NYSUT has been visible and vocal in its call for a three-year moratorium on the use of state assessments for any high-stakes consequences for students and teachers. The union has also been critical of how the state Education Department rolled out the new Common Core curriculum and of its obsession with standardized tests. The NYSUT message has resonated with parents and others concerned about the state of public education as the turnout at SED-sponsored hearings — there are two more this week — has shown.
Today, NYSUT was joined by a powerful ally as the New York State Parent-Teacher Association launched an online campaign with a message and theme consistent with the union’s. Here is what the PTA is requesting of the state:
- Recognize families as essential partners in education and hear our voices of concern.
- Suspend the link between student performance on required Common Core tests and individual educator performance until Common Core instructional elements have been fully and properly implemented for a period of at least one year. (NYSUT’s position is that a three-year moratorium is needed.)
- Promote flexibility in measuring achievement of Student Learning Objectives that leads to reduced student testing.
- Evaluate the current cumulative testing program to make best use of student time; to assess student mastery and needs; and to shape instruction.
- Reduce test length.
- Explore options to annual grades 3-8 testing that permit state required student assessment on a less frequent basis.
- Embed field test items into required assessments to eliminate time devoted to stand alone field-testing.
- Invest in professional development that supports continuous improvement of instruction.
- Identify and promote effective professional development models.
- Invest in capacity building and professional development for those who observe and evaluate instruction.
- Fund professional development that links classroom instruction to individual and collective performance goals.
- Support continuous evaluation and research to update standards, curriculum, instructional best practices and resources.
It clear that teachers and parents are on the same page when it comes to the Common Core and fairness for students and educators.