P.E.I. Teachers Federation President Gilles Arsenault says teacher numbers should be maintained. (CBC)

Provincial student assessments will cost $1.6 million over the next two years and need to be discontinued, says the P.E.I. Teachers' Federation.

'For a small province like P.E.I., that's a lot of money.' —Gilles Arsenault

The testing in reading, writing and math in Grades 3, 6 and 9 is important to measure student performance on an individual and overall level, said the province.

But federation president Gilles Arsenault said national and international testing is also being done, and the economics of provincial tests no longer makes sense.

"So, for a small province like P.E.I., that's a lot of money when, on the other hand, you're cutting 40 to 70 teaching positions in the next two years," said Arsenault.

"That's where the teachers are feeling that there is a disconnect, between how to help out students in the classroom and how to manage those common assessments."

The federation will be asking the province to discontinue the assessment program.

Teachers are worried there won't be the staff needed to address concerns raised in the test results, said Arsenault.

Alberta dropped end-of-year provincial testing this spring. In that province, new start-of-year computer-based tests are being developed.