Catholic elementary and middle schools in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany are stepping back from the Common Core-New York State Assessments and shifting instead to a more student-focused approach to standardized testing, the diocesan Catholic Schools Office announced Oct. 2 at a news conference at St. Madeleine Sophie School in Schenectady."Long before the advent of Common Core, Catholic schools in this diocese were known for their high academic standards, and today’s announcement signals a recommitment to and recognition of what we have always done best: educating the whole child – body, mind, and spirit,” said Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger.At the news conference, Catholic Schools Superintendent Michael Pizzingrillo explained that over the past two years, the Catholic Schools Office along with a variety of stakeholders have evaluated participation in the New York State Assessments and found that although its schools have used test results appropriately, the negative perception of its potential use did not allow parents and teachers the ability to benefit from its participation in all grades.“The end result is a stepping back from the New York State Assessments coupled with a stepping forward with an achievement-based assessment we have chosen for ourselves,” Pizzingrillo said. “Although the standards of the Common Core itself are good, the collateral pieces have caused great strife for families and teachers alike. It’s time to put a renewed focus back on our students where it belongs.”
They're still going to administer state tests, but only three times from K-8:
Beginning this year, diocesan Catholic elementary and middle schools will administer the New York State Assessments only in grades 3, 5, and 7, meaning the tests will not serve as annual evaluations of student performance, but rather as benchmarks of longitudinal student progress over a set number of years. Catholic schools will administer the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (recently renamed the Iowa Assessments), a nationally normed multiple-choice assessment, to all students in grades 3 through 8 in November.
Putting a renewed focus back on the students instead of rote teaching/learning and standardized testing...