Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, April 27, 2015

Heastie Doesn't Get It: Testing Issue Not Just About Hours Spent On Testing

From State of Politics:

The response to the large number of students opting out of the most recent round of standardized tests be may be a “macro look” at the number of hours spent on examinations, Speaker Carl Heastie on Monday said.

“It is a concern for all of us with a huge number of students opting out,” Heastie told reporters.


Heastie said the numbers will likely spur lawmakers in Albany to take a broader look at the issue of testing in the classroom.

“We do have to take a real macro look at this,” he said.

It's not about how much time is spent on testing.

It's about the stakes that are attached to the testing.

So long as the stakes are schools get closed and teachers get fired based upon test scores, there will be test-driven classrooms and schools that dominate everything else.

That's the "macro look" at testing.


  1. You're right, but it's about the hours too. I just lost four days of classroom instruction for a pretty bad test. As I teach beginners, I'm not at all sanguine about my prospects under Cuomo's evaluation, whenever it happens. It will surely be my fault that kids who got here two weeks ago don't know English yet.

    1. It's true, the hours spent on the actual test are a loss. But they've looked to remedy the "overtesting" issue in this budget by getting rid of the local assessments and claiming that testing time has been cut. Which is technically true. But since the tests are now worth 40%-50% of a teacher's rating, the air those tests will suck out of the school year will be even more than when there was more time spent on testing. That's what I'm trying to get across - its not just time but the stakes too.

  2. Totally missing the big picture here. The other day I posted a link from the independent a British newspaper about the state of the profession. There we see that teachers are fed up with the constant surveillance that is being imposed on the school system via big data.

    1. Yeah, that too. Danielson here standardizes everything - teaching by rote. That's another issue that has to be addressed eventually, bringing creativity and individuality back to teaching. Right now, it's been stolen by the corporate deformers.

  3. They will back off tests significantly. They will maintain evals connected to whatever is left. Their hope will be that that backs opt off so they at least don't grow the #'s next year. If the numbers don't keep growing, they've contained the situation. Then onwards and upwards with the evals, all the big kinks ironed out (you know, except the huge philosophical and ethical ones). The tests are meaningless in sooo many ways. Most of all they are meaningless to the reformers. What has meaning to them is getting organized teachers out.

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