Disclaimer! I am not a K-12 Educator. I do not teach in an Education Graduate Program. I am not a member of any Education Activist Organization. I am an historian, specializing in social movements, who has been in regular communication with parents, teachers, administrators, legislators and Regents on issues relating to testing for the last 5 years. PLUS, I am a tenured Professor who is basically untouchable and immune to intimidation
So, here is my candid assessment of what people who think testing in New York State is out of control should ask for
First, that the ELA and Math Tests in grades 3-8 should be one day each, with a maximum time of 90 minutes per day
Second, that the Tests should be diagnostic only, with all stakes for the test removed. Under no circumstances should tests be used to evaluate teachers, schools, or entire school districts, much less to remove teachers or principals, close down schools or put districts into receivership. Their only legitimate use is to evaluate individual students, with the evaluation being something shared between teacher and parent or guardian to help guide future instruction
3. All Test Secrecy should be Eliminated. Teachers, parent/guardians and Administrators should be able to look at individual test results
There are many other objectives that could be fought for, but these three should be the immediate focus as they are all goals that can be won if parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials can unite.
Can we do this?. We have to make change in increments. These changes, taken together, would take the boot off the neck of our State's children, teachers, families, and administrators