Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Field Tests: Mandated?

The NYS Board of Regents debated this week about making the field tests mandatory in schools across New York State.    In recent years, some districts and individual schools wisely refused to administer these extra tests and sent back the tests.  NYSED, trying to quell the testing revolt in New York is trying to force all districts to give the field tests.

( What are field tests?  Click here, here and here. )

What can you do?  

1.  Contact your local school board to resist and pass a resolution against the field tests.  Encourage your local board to refuse to give the field tests.

2.  Contact your elected state representatives to end the use of field testing in New York State.

3. Email NYSED between December 3 and January 20, 2015 expressing your viewpoint on the field testing.   Here is the background document.

Is this a wise move by the Regents?  I can see this action backfiring and helping those opposed to the increased use of standardized testing in our children's schools.  Other bloggers agree:

Diane Ravitch:

" The Regents and Commissioner John King think they are in public office to compel the public to do what they want. They don’t understand that they are “public servants,” which means obviously they are supposed to serve the public. When thousands of parents rise up as one to say that their children are over tested and their schools have been turned into test-prep centers, the Regents should listen. They haven’t. They have added fuel to parent anger. It is not going away just because the Regents have passed a motion. The children belong to their parents, not to the state. "
Retired Superintendent Howard Maffucci:

New York State Regents... ignorant of "The Rule of Holes"... they are in "Field Test" hole... won't stop digging...

"And, not just for the field tests, but for the yearly accountability assessments tied to theCommon Core. The members of the Board of Regents are misreading parental opinion of high-stakes tests.
Bad move. You are in a testing hole, and you should stop digging! "

 Perdido Street School Blog:

NY Board Of Regents Aid Opt-Out Movement By Moving To Mandate Field Tests

" But if the Regents vote to mandate the field testing for districts, they're going to start a fight with parents and teachers that makes the uproar King got in Poughkeepsie over Common Core look like a little skirmish.
So I say, go on Chancellor Tisch, mandate the field tests, punish districts that do not comply.
In the end you're only aiding the op-out cause by fanning the flames of anger and resentment over testing. "

From Fairport Superintendent Dr. William Cala

New York State School Boards Association

"NYSSBA will call upon members of our State Legislature and the State Education Department to seek legislation and regulatory practices that will take immediate action to eliminate mandated standalone field testing practices in New York State. "