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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County Public Schools will be cutting back on student assessments to increase teaching time.

In a letter to employees, new Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti wrote that he was announcing the reduction of district assessments after thoroughly reviewing the 2012-2013 calendar.

COMING MONDAY: Ask the superintendent a question

Vitti also cited concerns from teachers, students, parents, administrators and other stakeholders about the current volume of testing.

The superintendent wrote that scaling back on assessments will maximize instructional time and minimize the disruption caused by frequent exams.

Vitti wrote in the letter the following assessments will be dropped:

- Reading, Math, and Science Progress Monitoring Assessments (PMAs)

- Pre-test Learning Schedule Assessments (LSAs)

- Professional Learning Community Assessments

- Read 180: SRI Assessments

- Developmental Reading Assessments (DRAs)

- District Writing Prompt #3

- District Writing Prompt #4 (with the exception of grades 4, 8, and 10 and administered one week earlier)

- District elementary, middle, and high school Reading Interim Assessments

State requirements will still be met by using The Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR) results, according to Vitti's letter.

Coming up on First Coast News at 6, Jeannie Blaylock will have an interview with Vitti about the change in philosophy on frequent testing.

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