Archive for October, 2013

Too much testing

October 7th, 2013 by Robert Lowry

Why?

Last week, roughly  2,500 Western New York parents, educators and others came out for a forum on the impact of testing in our schools.  The Buffalo News reported,

“Reform of high-stakes testing for schoolchildren, a groundswell movement of lawn signs and small-scale protests, became an earthquake Wednesday evening.”

At the Council’s fall conference last month, Rockville Centre superintendent Bill Johnson warned State Education Commissioner John King that the testing “opt-out” movement is growing.  He stressed, “This is different,” explaining the participants are more thoughtful and better organized than critics of the past.

Reporting on a State Senate Education Committee hearing, Newsday wrote,

“Emotions ran high Tuesday at a Long Island public hearing on state tests and related school issues as a procession of parents, teachers and others assailed what they described as Albany’s overemphasis on student assessments.”

Testifying at the Senate’s Syracuse hearing, a statewide PTA leader said,

 “If you ask our members (and we have), our concerns aren’t based so much on a fear of instructional change, but with a perception that we have become obsessed with student testing, with preparation for tests and with the use of test results for purposes never intended by their designers.”

I like to say it’s hard to get the right answers if you’re asking the wrong questions.  Also, we often overlook the simple question, “Why?”

Why is this happening now?  What has changed in recent years to cause discontent over student testing to swell?

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