I have read many articles about why parents should refuse the New York State tests this year but this one by William Farmer is the one that I wish I would have written.
Will has captured my belief that the real problem is not the tests but the Common Core standards that the tests are designed to enforce as well as the refusal of many New York State officials, including Governor Cuomo, former NYS Commissioner John King and some members of the NYS Assembly, Senate and Board of Regents, to listen to the concerns raised about the Common Core standards, the tests and other associated educational changes. There are problems with the NYS standardized tests themselves but just fixing the tests will not fix our education problems.
The key here isn’t that kids are spending too much time on “test prep” or the tests themselves. Rather, it’s that the standards upon which the tests are based are flawed and must be fixed.
It took a massive opt-out for the state to actually discuss correcting the problems they created.
New York state has admitted there are serious problems with the standards and it took four years to get to this point. The Education Department either lied to us or they were grossly negligent when rushing into Common Core.
Either option does not inspire parents to place our trust they will now do what is in the best interest of the students.
Like Will, I do not have much faith in the state officials who have discounted the voices of parents for the past four years. Even now Commissioner Elia, while stating that parents do have the right to refuse the state tests, is still committed to the Common Core standards allowing for only minor adjustments as well as to the benefits of standardized testing. I would like to believe that I can trust the promises for change that Commissioner Elia and Governor Cuomo have made but until I see real changes, codified in law, I believe that parents will need to continue to make their voices heard by opting-out/refusing the state tests.