Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, June 8, 2013

NYSED Commissioner John King Blames Teachers Union For Anxiety Over Standardized Tests, Field Tests

According to the Times Union, NYSED Commissioner/rookie teacher John King attacked the NYSUT for causing all this anxiety over testing:

For a few moments this week, New York's classrooms will belong to a multibillion-dollar international company, critics contend.

Students across the state are taking "field tests" that Pearson Education Inc. will use to develop the standardized exams it produces for New York.

The tests are given in every school district in the state, though schools decide when to administer them. Some districts gave students the field tests in the fall; others must do so this week. A field test can eat up to an hour of learning time, and interfere with the daily schedule, affecting other classes, area school administrators said.

It's a practice that has been in place for years, but parents, teachers, critics and school officials say this time it's different because the state increasingly relies on standardized tests.

Students cannot handle more state tests, said Peter DeWitt, principal of Poestenkill Elementary and a blogger for Education Week magazine. Young children wonder why they have to take a test that won't count for anything and offers nothing toward their educations, he said.

"Doing a field test is to the point where it's abusive to students," he said. "You're putting kids in the position where they're guinea pigs."

Field tests are used by testing companies to gauge the effectiveness of questions.

Companies can use the sample questions to tweak wording or evaluate the fairness of a question, to check if too many students miss its meaning or intent. In other cases, sample questions are embedded in standardized tests and do not count toward a student's final score.

New York has used field tests for years, and has administered them on behalf of other companies, including McGraw Hill, state Education Commissioner John King said. He said field testing is a necessary part of test design and that it is used in every state because a large number of student responses are needed for accuracy.

King blamed the concern about field tests and standardized testing on the state teachers union, New York State United Teachers.

"It's a reflection of the environment, given NYSUT's concern about teacher accountability. They have tried to create a more tense environment around assessments," he said.

Apparently NYSED Commissioner/rookie teacher John King does not buy the argument that increasing the number of tests students have to take during the school year - both high stakes and field tests - is a problem.

It's ironic he doesn't think that, since he sends his kids to Montessori schools where they take neither high stakes standardized tests nor field tests.

Clearly he doesn't want his kids stuck taking these tests at any time during the school year, let alone all the year through as students are going to have to do soon under his new APPR system.

But as for everybody else's kids who attend public schools, well, they should just shut up and take their field tests and high stakes tests.

Oh, and all the anxiety the kids are feeling over all these tests?

It's the fault of the teachers.
You can't make this stuff up.


  1. Lil John is a rookie in all of the most unsympathetic ways anyone can be a rookie. Like the arrogant sub who fears he is not being shown the proper deference and goes nuclear over a tiny infraction, proving he deserves no respect and alienating students and adults alike. What has this little data twerp done besides repeat his scripted lines, threaten to withhold funding, malign teachers and create as much chaos as his lilliputian persona can muster. He should really try to get right with his creator and fast before the karma fairy alights on his shoulder. The guy is a shameful example of what happens when you get into education for ALL of the wrong reasons.

  2. Curious to see what shapeshifter Dick Ianuzzi will have to say to one of his reformer buddies after he's been bitchslapped publicly now. Or is this all for show?

    1. That's one of the reasons I couldn't take this rally as seriously as I should have. Iannuzzi is so full of shit on this that frankly I think he's the guy we should be protesting.