Randi lends powerful voice on testing fairness

randi weingarten

AFT President Randi Weingarten today joined the chorus of education leaders who have been pressing New York state to make the new Common Core standards and assessments work before making them count.

In an address to the Association for a Better New York, Weingarten called for a moratorium on attaching high-stakes decisions for students and teachers to the new standards until proper training, resources and support are provided.

NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi agreed. NYSUT has been leading the charge across New York state against the state’s testing obsession and the unfair use of those tests to assess students and their teachers, and delegates to the union’s convention passed a resolution affirming that position. Here’s a link to the parent petition. Here’s a link to the Tell It Like It Is site for teachers to send messages about what testing has done to their classrooms. Here’s a link to an April 22 statement calling on the Commissioner and Regents to be held accountable.

“The insistence on using unproven tests — on material students haven’t learned, from a curriculum that teachers don’t have — is undermining the Common Core’s potential to enhance teaching and learning,” Iannuzzi said.

Iannuzzi was among a number of NYSUT leaders present for Weingarten’s remarks. Local presidents Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers and Pat Puleo of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers joined the NYSUT president. Also present were Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education and a leading critic of the current testing mania.

The speech is already getting national press. Here’s a link to the Washington Post article. Here’s a link to an EdWeek blog post.

Testing is sure to be one of the education issues around which NYSUT’s June 8 rally in Albany is focused.

Tags: ,

One Comment

  1. cindy May 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Beyond preparation/support, somebody needs to examine the tests themselves and the exemplars/training used to grade them. Without giving any specifics as per the nondisclosure agreement, somebody in a position of authority must examine the tests, the timing issues, and the grading systems and question the validity and reliability of any scores based on these tests. I think I could come up a better indication of a student’s reading and writing skills by throwing darts at a dartboard. In my opinion, that is why we are not allowed to see the tests or talk about them.

Post Comment