Posted In: Educator Voices, New York, Rallies and Events, Uncategorized

Thousands of New York educators and parents to protest misuse of standardized tests

Tags: , ,

By Amanda Litvinov

New Yorkers do not have a reputation for staying silent when they see something they don’t like—and that’s a good thing for the state’s public school students.

Take Action ›

Share the event with your Facebook friends and leave messages of support for those marching in Albany next week. CLICK HERE.

Thousands of New York educators, parents and other concerned advocates will come together to speak up for those students at the “One Voice United” rally on June 8. A key concern is the state’s over-emphasis on standardized tests and the misuse of those tests to determine the futures of students and educators alike.

New York State United Teachers  (NYSUT) will be joined by more than a dozen other education, labor, community, business and faith-based organizations to decry what they see as the growing legislative influence of companies that create and sell standardized tests.

NYSUT members tell why they’ll rally in Albany on June 8.

“When the average person hears about a third-grade kid sitting through nine hours of testing, they’ll say this is crazy,” said AuSable Valley High School teacher Rod Driscoll during the Lake Placid stop of  NYSUT’s “Tell It Like It Is” tour, a series of regional forums on testing and other education issues.

“They’ll agree putting testing in the hands of private companies does not make sense for our kids. Their motivation is not kids, it’s profit.”

Driscoll, who is also president of the AuSable Valley Teachers Association, is one of the many educators who believe that building community support through public events such as next week’s rally is key to curbing New York’s testing mania.

Empire State educators were incensed when the state moved forward with new Common Core-based standardized tests this spring, despite the fact that teachers do not yet have the curriculum and therefore have not been able to include it in their instruction.

Rally-goers will call for a moratorium on the use of standardized tests in high-stakes decisions for students and teachers until the State Education Department and Regents properly implement the new Common Core learning standards.

NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi has said that the state’s obsession with standardized testing has brought together teachers and parents like never before.

“Parents and teachers must be the voice that defines public education,” Iannuzzi said. “We must be the voice that says ‘enough is enough.’ The future of public education is too important to hand over to corporations and billionaires.”

 

Reader Comments

  1. Tanja Scott

    Parents are never shown what the tests look like. These tests also do not show the growth students as individuals have made. This undermines students who may be frustrated as it is when they realize they cannot pass “the test.” A test we have assesses students in the middle of the year on what they should know by the end of the year so, the assessment does not show how students have progressed. What’s the purpose then, to stress out students and teachers? School districts are afraid to involve parents but they really should on behalf of children, isn’t that why we have schools in the first place? I think certain entities want us to spend our time teaching to the test so that we do not spend time teaching students poetry, creative writing, and other ways to express the human self. Our assessments also fund the computer technology industry especially if they are aligned with the technology common core standards. This will forever guarantee funding of the computer, etc., industry.

    Reply
  2. holly homan

    I have been saying for years that standardized tests are just ways for private for profit companies to steal our tax dollars. Standardized tests are wrong for out students. They create stress, they disrupt learning time and when teachers have to teach to the test, students don’t develop any critical thinking skills. Seattle spends $40,00 a year on just one test and students are tested several times a year. This money would be so much better used on hiring extra staff to help struggling students and to lessen class sizes. In the elementary school where I worked this past school year there are 26 kids to each class including kindergarten and first grade. Several kids just couldn’t handle being in such large groups and their learning was suffering. I was brought in to take a small group of students and work with them in another room but for writing only. These were kids who didn’t qualify for IEPs but were falling further and further behind for different reasons. Putting them into a small group made a huge difference. But the school has lost their funding and that won’t be available next year. I guess it’s far more important that the school be able to afford to buy all these tests.
    Oh, and Seattle forced teachers to take three unpaid furlough days. So they can afford to test students but they can’t afford to keep them in the classroom to educate them? Does anyone else see this as a bit ludicrous and a hideous waste of money?

    Reply
    • Tanja Scott

      Parents are never shown what the tests look like. These tests also do not show the growth students as individuals have made. This undermines students who may be frustrated as it is when they realize they cannot pass “the test.” A test we have assesses students in the middle of the year on what they should know by the end of the year so, the assessment does not show how students have progressed. What’s the purpose then, to stress out students and teachers? School districts are afraid to involve parents but they really should on behalf of children, isn’t that why we have schools in the first place? I think certain entities want us to spend our time teaching to the test so that we do not spend time teaching students poetry, creative writing, and other ways to express the human self. Our assessments also fund the computer technology industry especially if they are aligned with the technology common core standards. This will forever guarantee funding of the computer, etc., industry.

      Reply

Reader Comments

Learn More to Get Involved