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Plan to change test paper said to save hundreds of thousands

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Scott Elliott

Remember the Beacon teacher Helen Zelon flagged last month, who’s trying to save money by taking his classroom paperless? New York State’s education department is taking a page from his book, sort of.

The state is printing all tests on recycled paper this year, a change that will guarantee hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings, spokesman Jonathan Burman said.

Why hasn’t the state used cheaper paper all along? Burman explained that the department’s printing staff (yes, apparently there is an entire “Print Plant staff”) has been testing paper for a while and “only recently” discovered a cheaper recycled paper up to the testing office’s standards:

Where we typically used a 50 lb offset in the past, we can now get the same or better “opacity” (a key standard for Testing to prevent “bleed-through”) and brightness from a fully recycled roll (Note: we print from large rolls of paper weighing 1350 lbs each, not from individual sheets). So, by making this switch, we are saving the state money, getting better quality testing materials, and helping the environment all at the same time.

Exam materials that have color graphics are printed on the same expensive, non-environmental paper, Burman said.

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