In a lengthy statement today, state Education Commissioner John King refuted claims that the controversial Common Core testing is hurting students and teachers.
He pointed to results last week from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which showed New York on par with the national average. The report showed that less than half of the state’s fourth- and eighth-graders were proficient in math and English.
“The recent NAEP results are clear evidence we need to set strong standards for our students,” King said in a statement.
“There’s still a lot of misinformation about the Common Core. It’s not a curriculum; districts still have the flexibility to choose their own curriculum. State tests are not increasing; in fact, this week the Board of Regents will move to reduce the testing time associated with state assessments, and the State Education Department is working with local districts to reduce their use of local standardized testing,” King continued.
So much deception here.
King knows the over-testing problem is built into the evaluation system for teachers.
He knows that local districts have to give all these extra tests in order to evaluate teachers and he knows that the emphasis on state tests has ratcheted up now that teacher evaluations are based on the scores.
So when he says state tests aren't increasing, he's papering over the reality that the emphasis on the state test scores has increased exponentially with the APPR teacher evaluation system.
He can get lawyerly about how the time spent on tests hasn't increased and now the Regents plan to decrease the time just a bit.
The point is that the test prep for these tests has increased a ton because the scores are high stakes for students, teachers, administrators, schools, and school districts.
Add that fact in with the fact that APPR requires "local measure" assessments so that teachers in every grade in every subject can be evaluated on the local measure testing component in APPR as well as the state testing component, and you have a disastrous recipe for ENDLESS TESTING in NY State schools.
King knows this - indeed, he helped develop this very system with all this testing because he wanted to hold school districts, schools, administrators and teachers accountable for so-called student performance.
The over-testing, the ENDLESS TESTING, is built into the Regents/SED reform agenda.
And therein lies the problem for the Regents, the SED and the governor.
All these parts of their agenda are interlinked with the tests.
The CCSS is tied to the tests, the evaluation system is tied to the tests, the curricula and state modules are tied to the tests, the data collection project they're imposing on everyone is tied to the tests.
If they try and get rid of some of the tests, other parts of their reform agenda begin to fall apart.
And so, they are tinkering around the edges (see here for the latest tinker that is guaranteed to make things worse), trying to displace blame onto others (like the local district leaders) or just deceiving the public about the true nature of the system.
King's, Tisch's and Cuomo's reform agenda is built on two things FEAR and ENDLESS TESTING.
If either of those things go away, the system falls apart.
So they are holding tight to both and lying along the way to try and hold things together.