These are the times that test our souls

This will be one tough week for New York’s third-through-eighth-graders.

Here’s a link to a New York Times article that sums up the test anxiety, with several heart-breaking examples.

That news article, like others, gives short shrift to the issue that students should not be tested on what they have not been taught. It quotes Merryl H. Tisch, chancellor of the state Board of Regents, saying the state “can’t wait. We just have to jump into the deep end.”

Here’s a link from the Canadaigua Messenger-Post about parents rejecting that notion and here’s  a link to an Associated Press article that gives more details about the ramifications of these tests, including the growing pushback from parents.

The line from the Associated Press article that is of serious concern is “Children who skip the tests won’t be punished, but schools face sanctions if less than 95 percent of their students take the assessments.” The sanctions could be the loss of funding, but that has not been spelled out.

Schools districts cannot afford any more loss in funding. The Plattsburgh Press-Republican has this article about the financial crisis facing the Ticonderoga schools.

What can you do about it? You can support the Truth about Testing bills. Click here for a website that explains the legislation and allows you to contact your lawmaker. One would prohibit the testing of kindergarten through second-grade students unless they are diagnostic assessments. Another requires the public disclosure of how much time and money is being spent on the tests. Here’s a link for an easy way to fax your lawmaker through NYSUT’s Member Action Center.

You could also join the 8,546 people who, by noon today ,have signed the petition to the state Board of Regents to end the obsession with high-stakes testing.

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  1. Brian April 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    The PJSTA will be wearing these shirts tomorrow…

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