Will the Board of Regents Mandate Stand-Alone Field Tests?

As today draws to a close, so does the comment period regarding the NYS Board of Regents’ plan to change regulations to mandate stand-alone field tests that have historically been voluntary.

Many concerned stake-holders contacted the Board of Regents expressing opposition to mandatory field testing when this plan was first discussed back in November (read here) and yet the Board of Regents carried on.

NYSAPE coordinated an action alert to help stake-holders submit comments during the comment period.  Hopefully you were able to submit your comments via the action alert or via a personalized e-mail to the Commissioner of Education, Deputy Commissioner, Board of Regents, Governor, your Assemblymember/Senator and the NYSED public comment e-mail NYSEDP12@nysed.gov

Some superintendents, such as Superintendent Thomas J. Douglas from Bethlehem Central School District, encouraged members of their school districts to contact the Board of Regents asking them to oppose mandatory field testing (read here).

The New York State School Boards Association even submitted a letter expressing opposition to mandating the field tests.

Although NYSSBA has long advocated for the State to fully fund the state assessment program, it opposes stand-alone field tests based on concerns expressed by its members and the parents of the children they serve. Stand-alone field tests increase the amount of time spent on standardized tests in the classroom which negatively affects the ability of educators and local policy makers to ensure appropriate time is spent on classroom instruction.

Now we have to see what the Board of Regents does at their meeting on February 9 and 10, 2015.  Will they listen to the people of New York State or will they decide that they ‘know best’ and move forward to make field testing mandatory?

Peppermint Patty multiple choice

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From NYSAPE’s Action Alert:

Field tests are experimental questions that Pearson, NYS’s contracted educational testing company, uses to “test” new questions to be used for future tests. NYS standardized tests currently have approximately 25% field test questions already embedded in the NINE hours of testing each year for grades three through eight.

Astoundingly, the NYS Education Department (NYSED) previously admitted stand-alone field tests are “statistically unreliable”.

Our children are not SED test subjects or Pearson guinea pigs!