Making Field Testing Mandatory?

The New York State Board of Regents on Monday discussed a proposal to make field tests – the tests that “test out” questions for future standardized testing – mandatory for school districts. The New York State Education Department has said the practice tests are already required*, but some school superintendents disagree. At least eight school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley said no thanks to field tests this past school year – and so far have faced no sanctions (details here).

Many concerned parents contacted the Board of Regents on Monday expressing opposition to changing regulations to make the field tests mandatory but the Board of Regents ignored all of the input and is moving forward with the proposal.  A comment period will begin on December 3 and end on January 20, 2015 and the Regents will be voting on the proposed change to make field testing mandatory at the February meeting (February 9 and 10, 2015).

Diane Ravitch has captured perfectly my thoughts regarding the decision of the New York State Board of Regents to make field testing ‘mandatory’.

The Regents and Commissioner John King think they are in public office to compel the public to do what they want. They don’t understand that they are “public servants,” which means obviously they are supposed to serve the public. When thousands of parents rise up as one to say that their children are over tested and their schools have been turned into test-prep centers, the Regents should listen. They haven’t. They have added fuel to parent anger. It is not going away just because the Regents have passed a motion. The children belong to their parents, not to the state.

– Diane Ravitch New York Regents Encourage Opt Out Movement By Ignoring Parent Objections to PARCC Field Testing November 18, 2014

If you are concerned about testing, please submit comments during the comment period.

“Opportunity for submission of data, views or arguments: Comments regarding the proposed amendment may be submitted to: Ken Wagner, Deputy Commissioner, State Education Department, Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Educational Technology, EBA Room 875, 89 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12234 (e-mail: NYSEDP12@nysed.gov). Comments must be received by the State Education Department on or before January 20, 2015.”

Also be in regular contact with your Regent member regarding your opposition to making field testing mandatory.  Regent Josephine Finn represents Ulster County on the Board of Regents.  Her contact information is RegentFinn@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-5889.

When you submit comments to Mr. Wagner, don’t forget to cc Regents, cc and contact your legislators and get your BOEs involved in issuing objections.  Contact information for all of the Regents and legislators is available here on Jolyn’s Education Corner.

Peppermint Patty multiple choice

* Below is information from United to Counter the Core explaining some background information on the field testing debate.

Nysed tried to deceive parents and administrators and forced students to take abusive field tests for years by claiming field tests were mandatory. They led parents and districts to wrongly believe that they were required, but that claim was debunked and found to be untrue by advocates who pushed back last year.http://schoolsofthoughtny.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/attention-field-tests-not-mandated-by-nyseds-own-admission/

Parents and schools refused field tests last year in record numbers! NYSUT supported districts that refused. http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/30/nysut-supports-districts-that-opt-put-of-state-field-tests/

NYSED is not happy about this.  So, now they plan to force schools to give the abusive field tests by bypassing parent/district control and free will by changing the law!http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/November2014/1114p12d2.pdf
So much for reduced testing in NYS!