We are very pleased that a resolution authored by SWRTA, and signed onto by eight other locals, was unanimously adopted, as written, at the 2016 NYSUT Representative Assembly.
This resolution affirms NYSUT’s continued fight against harmful and inappropriate testing and sends a clear message to our partners – parents and community members – that we are in this for the children and we are in it for the long haul, explicitly stating our commitment to ongoing advocacy even if our efforts to decouple scores from evaluations are successful.
Continuing Advocacy Against Inappropriate Testing
Bellmore-Merrick United Secondary Teachers, Brentwood Teachers Association, East Quogue Teachers Association, Middle Country Teachers Association, Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association, Shoreham-Wading River Teachers Association, Syosset Teachers Association
Whereas, assessment is an important component of education which benefits students in three important ways: providing them with feedback on their performance, giving their teachers information to guide instruction, and helping teachers/schools identify students who need additional support; and,
Whereas, the current New York State tests do not fulfill the primary purposes of assessment in that the delay in reporting results and the less than full transparency of those results renders them unsuitable for use in modifying or adapting instruction or accurately identifying which students need support or how best to support them; and,
Whereas, the current New York State tests not only fail to help students, they cause harm in multiple ways; they rob instructional time (both in the actual administration of the tests and in preparation for them), they force a narrowing of the curriculum, they label students as failures through use of inappropriately correlated cut scores, they cost districts thousands of dollars that could be better spent, and they disrupt the operation of schools during the testing period; and,
Whereas, it is understood that annual testing in grades 3-8 will continue to be mandated by federal statute and that NYSED is obligated to comply with federal regulations, but it is also understood that NYSED’s primary obligation is to serve the needs of the students of New York State; and,
Whereas, NYSUT fully supports accountability at the classroom, school, district, and state level, but firmly believes that the job of evaluation should fall to adults and not create a burden on students; and,
Whereas, the New York State Common Core Task Force has made recommendations that include some positive steps toward fixing these issues IF they are implemented with full fidelity; and,
Whereas, NYSUT has, via previous resolutions, consistently opposed the over-reliance upon, and misuse of, standardized testing; therefore, be it
Resolved, that NYSUT will continue to advocate against the current state testing regimen, and will specifically call for a complete overhaul of the NYS 3-8 testing program in order to insure tests created to fulfill Federal mandates are appropriate in content, created with true educator input, yield timely, clear, and useful results, do not consume inordinate amounts of time, provide accurate appraisals of student learning (i.e. are normed appropriately), and are not given disproportionate weight, and be it further
Resolved, that said advocacy will continue unabated as the Task Force’s recommendations are considered and implemented to insure that that they are implemented in a manner that best serves our students, and be it further,
Resolved, that NYSUT will insure that this advocacy will be continued, regardless of the outcome of NYSUT’s efforts to decouple test scores from teacher evaluations.