New York State Standardized Tests wrap-up and REFUSE the Field tests!

The New York State standardized tests are finished – well at least the students have finished taking them (or so we thought – see below **). For those parents who had their students take the tests, there will be a several month wait until test scores are received.

Some might wish that I would stop talking about tests, however I believe it is important to understand why many parents REFUSED the tests for their children. Dr. Padalino reported to the Kingston Board of Education that 10.7% of Kingston students grades 3-8 refused the ELA state test and 24% of students grades 3-8 refused the state math test.  This article was written prior to the state math tests being administered but it clearly articulates many of the concerns that I have and reasons why my daughter did not take the ELA and math state tests.

Unless a miracle happens and all of the politicians who are in support of Common Core are ousted in November, at both the state and federal level, we will still have state tests next year and parents will need to decide if their students will take those tests or not. Please inform yourselves now.

** State testing is not really finished – we still have field testing yet this school year. Do you want your student being a test subject for Pearson for FREE?  REFUSE the field tests – they are NOT mandatory!

Green Laces

Field tests are assigned to certain grades within the various school districts by the New York State Education Department (assignments listed here).  Students in the following grades/schools in the Kingston City School District will be taking field tests starting next week:

  • Chambers – 4th grade math (school code 620600010011)
  • Crosby – 4th grade math  (school code 620600010015)
  • Edson – 4th grade math (school code 620600010024)
  • Graves 4th grade ELA  (school code 620600010017)
  • GW – 5th grade math   (school code 662401060003)
  • Myer – 4th grade science  (school code 620600010013)
  • JFK – 3rd grade ELA (if I picked the correct school code 620600010014 )
  • Bailey – grade 8 math  (school code 620600010020)
  • Miller – grade 7 ELA  (school code 620600010025)
  • Kingston High School – US History, Earth Science and Geometry  (school code 620600010022)

Local schools determine when they administer the test between June 2-11, 2014.  If a student is absent on the field test day, they will not be asked to make up the test per this letter.

Turns out my students luck out this year and are not in the grades assigned for field testing.  However if your student is in a grade that will be taking a field test at their school, I recommend that you submit a copy of the field test refusal letter below and REFUSE the field testing for your student.

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SAMPLE FIELD TEST REFUSAL LETTER AND MORE INFO FROM LI OPT OUT/NYSAPE:

Regarding upcoming Field Tests:

Testing companies often pay test subjects to get feedback on experimental test questions. Three times a year, the testing company Pearson uses NYS children to try out test questions for future exams FREE OF CHARGE. As a matter of fact, your taxpayer money covers the cost of administering these tests. There are scheduled stand alone field tests in the fall and the spring, and field test questions are embedded into the spring ELA and math state assessments. This, of course, makes the ELA and math assessments even longer than they already are. About a month before the field tests are distributed, the SED puts out a field test testing schedule. About half of NYS schools are selected in the fall, and the other half are selected in the spring. Not all grades are selected. The SED has instructed schools not to make parents aware of these tests and what they are for. In a memo from last year to NYS districts, they stated, “Students should not be informed of the connection between these field tests and State assessments”. Field tests have no bearing on your child’s report card grades, the teachers grades, or the school grades. No feedback is given for these tests by the testing company to districts. The field tests take up to 50 minutes to administer.  Refusing these tests is a given. These tests yet again take precious time away from our children’s classroom learning.

Some districts are refusing to administer the field tests. Most want to refuse, but are afraid that doing so will have ramifications against the school. But as always, parents can take a stand against yet another useless assessment imposed on our children. If your school/child’s grade has been selected, and if you choose to refuse, just submit this field test refusal letter (or write your own):

Dear Administrator,

Thank you for all that you do for our students. I am refusing any traditional and/or PARCC field tests, for my child, (name of child) that are expected to be administered later this spring.  

I understand that (name of school) will be administering field tests. Our children are already over tested, and I see no good reason to subject my child to yet another assessment that will take away valuable instructional time. I am of the opinion that field tests use our children as unwilling and unpaid participants for market research so that testing companies can create their products. I am already opposed to the testing culture that dominates our schools today, and I will not allow my child to participate in any testing that enhances the corporate influence in our school.

To be clear, my child will not be participating in any of the upcoming field tests of any nature.
Thank you,
Name of Parent/Guardian