The primary purpose of the June stand-alone testing period is to allow Pearson, the State’s education testing contractor, to perform research for operational exams it will then sell to the SED. The State is on record as stating participation in field testing is “not mandatory,” yet schools and parents in New York City have been kept in the dark and not advised that they have a choice about whether or not their children should participate.
UPDATE: Read Gotham Story: With field tests approaching, parents are reprising protests
What a pleasure to see the CTS group evolve from teacher dominated to parent and teachers working in concert as it attracted many amazing parents, some active for the first time, who were objecting to their kids being subjected to high stakes tests.
I've followed the evolution of this press release for the past 10 days and the work put in has been remarkable. Painful at times, but remarkable. And I think a remarkable outcome. I mostly stayed out of it ---- there were so many quality points made and the democratic debate taking place, so far away from anything going on in the UFT, makes me kvell.
I'm a little late in getting this up so I just copied and pasted from Leonie's blog. More on this coming tomorrow based on the wonderful work being done by our testing expert, Fred Smith. And more coming from two other groups, Parent Voices NY and Time Out From Testing. All of this is an opening salvo in what promises to be a major movement in this city and nationally to fight back against high stakes testing, which will hopefully include a new film by GEM/Real Reform Studios on HST. And yes, expect the UFT, while making an occasional squeak about the evils of the tests, to remain on the sideline.
- The DOE should immediately disclose specific information about the stand-alone field tests, explaining their nature and purpose and notifying parents of children in the 1,029 field test schools about the dates the tests are scheduled to be given.
- Pearson and the SED should address the claim by independent testing experts that the timing and format of these tests make it unlikely they will generate reliable data needed to develop valid operational exams.
- SED and DOE should allow parents and entire schools to opt out of participating and only administer field tests to students in schools/grades for whom explicit parental consent has been granted. The need to obtain authorization to test their children from parents or guardians should extend to all testing when the main objective is to support research and development for commercial testing products.
- Non-participating students in schools and grades undergoing testing should have a meaningful educational alternative activity during the testing period.