Changes to the state’s testing program could leave public- schools kids in grades 3 through to 11 taking as many as nine exams per year in English and math — more than four times the current number, officials said yesterday.
The potential jump comes from New York’s participation in a federally funded consortium of 25 states that’s seeking to make exams computer-based, more challenging and administered several times per year.
The latest consortium plan calls for students to be tested as many as four times annually in math and five times a year in reading, starting in 2014.
Currently students take only one exam in each subject, and only in grades 3 through 8.
Concerns about the amount and cost of testing have already prompted the consortium, known as The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, to mark four of the nine exams as “optional.”
The state Board of Regents will have approval over the final plan before it’s adopted here.
Recent changes to the state’s teacher-evaluation framework are also going to require students to be tested — perhaps several times a year — in other subjects, including science and social studies.
The testing expansion is necessary because student performance on state tests and other assessments must count toward 40 percent of teacher ratings starting next year under state law.
“It’s clearly going to be a lot more testing,” said education advocate Leonie Haimson, director of Class Size Matters.
“[Education officials’] answer to everything is just more tests.”
Indeed, that is the answer for everything in education reform.
And of course because President Obama, who says there is too much teaching to the test, has put in place an education policy that promotes multiple high stakes standardized tests in every subject in every grade K-12, and because the New York legislature took him up on his $700 million Race to the Top blood money, and because we have a governor in this state who is in the pockets of the testing industry and the hedge fund managers/education reformers, we are going to get more and more tests that will be used almost solely to grade schools and fire teachers.
As I keep saying, it is going to be a dark decade before these catastrophic policies finally end.
And they will eventually end - even the gullible American public will eventually figure out endless testing in every subject over and over ever year in order to fire teachers and close schools is a stupid, damaging thing.
But there will be a lot of children hurt by these policies, perhaps a whole generation.
And of course there will be a lot of damaged reputations of teachers and ruined careers too.
That's the future Barack Obama has brought us - CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.
This is also the future Andrew Cuomo has brought us here in New York.