With state testing under way, many younger students appear to be exhausted by this year's longer exams and unable to complete their work effectively, Long Island school officials reported Tuesday.
English testing began in grades three through eight Tuesday and will continue Wednesday and Thursday, with a maximum four hours, 30 minutes allowed for completion over the three days. That includes 90 minutes allotted Tuesday.
"They just didn't have the stamina for it," said Peggie Staib, assistant superintendent for curriculum in the Connetquot district, which serves communities in Islip Town.
Last year's state English tests allowed a total of two hours, 50 minutes or less for completion, depending on grade level.
Islandwide, more than 200,000 students in public schools are taking tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Math testing will be held April 25-27.
This year's testing has extra significance because results will be used by the state for the first time in its new job-performance ratings of teachers and principals. Job evaluations, which will include input from local districts, are due Sept. 1.
Preliminary reports from districts such as Amityville , Connetquot, Jericho , Oceanside and Rockville Centre suggest that many 8- and 9-year-olds are having trouble completing the tests, which include more multiple-choice questions and essays than those used in the past.
According to Staib, Connetquot's seven elementary schools reported that substantial numbers of younger students, tired after 45 minutes or so of testing, were simply filling in the remainders of their answer sheets at random -- a reaction known as "bubbling."
Tony Sinanis, a principal at Cantiague Elementary School in Jericho , observed a similar response by some third-graders there.
"We're noticing that they're getting the same types of questions wrong at the end of the test that they got right at the beginning," Sinanis said. "Stamina becomes an issue."
Just wait until students have to take BOTH city AND state tests in every subject - math, ELA, science, social studies, physical education, art and music - in order to evalute teachers as part of the new NY State teacher evaluation system as agreed to by the NYSUT and the UFT.
How many teachers are going to be declared "ineffective" and vilified by the criminal journalists at thr NY Post and the serial liars at the NY Daily News because students just stop caring about the tests after awhile?
And what is all this testing going to do the children?
Does anybody really think 35+ standardized, high stakes tests a year is going to improve education for children?
I mean, anybody outside the "reformers" who stand to make money off this stuff - like News Corp's Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, Pearson, et al. - or the politicians and oligarachs who want to use these high stakes test scores to pillory teachers and break the unions - like Bloomberg, Cuomo, Obama, et al.?
This is madness, brought to us by Barack Obama and his "Fire Our Way To The Top" education reform policies, steamrolled through legislatures all across the country and hapily promoted by the corporate media like the Washington/Kaplan Test Post or News Corporation/Wireless Generation that stands to make hundreds of millions from these "reforms."