Arbitrary, burdensome testing interferes with classroom learning and affects the quality of education in our schools. Even worse, the pressure of relentless high-stakes testing is causing undue anxiety and stress for students all across New York.
Some of this testing is being imposed on our youngest students without having a specific education-related purpose and without identifying specific academic needs.
And individually-identifiable student testing data could be made available to for-profit companies for private, commercial use.
Enough is enough.
The Truth in Testing legislation (S.6009 Flanagan/A.8356 Nolan) requires a rational, thorough review of the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Common Core state tests.
The bill requires the State Education Commissioner to report to the legislature on the following items:
Further, this legislation mandates an independent audit performed by an independent contractor with experience in testing who is not affiliated with any testing agency or company. The audit will evaluate the common core testing program and must include:
As your constituent, I am requesting your support for legislation which imposes a two-year moratorium on the use of high-stakes tests in decisions regarding teachers and principals.
While the enacted State Budget included a two-year moratorium for students on the use of state tests for certain decisions, it failed to include a moratorium on the use of these same test scores against teachers and principals.
The legislature must support at least a two-year moratorium on the use of the flawed state tests resulting in high-stakes consequences for BOTH students and teachers.
Students, parents, educators, advocates and legislators are uniformly concerned with the implementation of the new Common Core Learning Standards. New York's students and educators need more time and resources to adapt to tremendous changes in testing, curriculum and evaluation.
Students and educators must have time to adapt to new demands and ensure the proper sequencing of curriculum for student learning: from curriculum development, educator understanding, student learning, and limited necessary testing.
Further, there is serious concern about the developmental appropriateness of many of the new Common Core Modules and tremendous concern over increased testing and testing solely for teacher and principal accountability purposes.
Students and educators should not be held accountable for materials they have not yet learned or been taught, and teachers cannot be penalized for the poor implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards. If the tests are not valid or reliable to hold students accountable, how can the flawed assessments be used against teachers and principals?
Policymakers must continuously engage parents, educators and students to address their many and appropriate concerns over the Common Core Learning Standards, module and curriculum development, age/grade-level appropriateness, unnecessary testing, testing solely for accountability decisions, and concerns regarding students with disabilities and English language learners.
Further, I support a delay in the implementation of future Common Core-aligned Regents exams.