Why do local administrators give out such statements? FEAR.
Let's look at some of the misinformation that is being spread:
Misinformation #1: The State Assessments help inform instruction for educators.
Misinformation #2: Why would a parent not want to know if their child is on the path towards College & Career Readiness?
Answer to #1:
In order to "inform instruction", educators need actually useful and detailed information, the NYS Assessments do not provide such data.
Answer to #2:
First of all, do we really think a test will determine if an eight year-old is on track for college? Secondly, parents receive virtually no information other than a number on their child's score report.
More detail on misinformation contained in arguments #1 & #2
From New York's Secret Test by Bianca Tanis:
Education leadership would have us believe that parents who choose to refuse the tests are doing their children a disservice; without the tests, they say, how will we know where students stand on the road to career and college readiness? Left unspoken is the fact that rather than engaging in sound pedagogical practice, and allowing teachers, parents, and students to access the tests and utilize them as a teaching tool, the state has empowered corporate interests to dictate policy, and sadly, they have put our children’s interests last. Teachers are prohibited from discussing the exams with parents, even in vague terms.From my opinion piece in the Buffalo News:
Families receive a score report months after the testing that contains little information to determine their child’s specific strengths or weaknesses. More shocking is that educators receive only a vague set of data from the state assessment results. Teachers and families cannot see the entire test or the students’ actual answers to assist them in helping children. Educators are not allowed to discuss the actual test questions or they could be fired. How does this secretive assessment system help our children’s education? It does not.
“I believe that test refusal is a terrible mistake because it eliminates important information about how our kids are doing. Why on earth would you not want to know whether your child is on track for success in the fifth grade or success in college? Why would you not want to know how your child and your school are doing compared to other children in the district, region, and State? Why would you not want to know the progress of our multi-billion dollar investment in education? Why would you not want to know whether all students are making progress, not just the lucky few? I do not pretend that test results are the only way we know, but they are an important piece of information. They are the only common measure of progress we have. We are not going to force kids to take tests. That’s not the New York way. But, we are going to continue to help students and parents understand that it is a terrible mistake to refuse the right to know. We don’t refuse to go to the doctor for an annual check-up. Most of us don’t refuse to get a vaccination. We should not refuse to take the test.”