The federal government should play a less active role in how schools evaluate teachers, test students or adopt learning standards, according to a poll of school board members.
“As Congress debates reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, most school board members across the state would like to see the federal government take a less aggressive role in public education at the state and local levels,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer.
Kremer noted that the state’s annual testing mandate for students in grades 3-8 comes from the federal government. He also pointed out that a federal grant program, Race to the Top, provided states such as New York with significant funds in exchange for adopting college and career readiness standards and implementing teacher evaluation systems that incorporate student achievement on standardized tests.
Specifically, 80 percent of members responding to the poll oppose federal government intervention in how states evaluate schools and teachers, while only 13 percent support it, and 8 percent were not sure.
About two-thirds of board members (65 percent) oppose the U.S. Department of Education offering incentives to states to adopt any particular set of learning standards. Nearly one-quarter of respondents (24 percent) favored federal incentives, while 11 percent were not sure.
In addition, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents oppose the federal requirement that states test all students in grades 3-8 in English and math each year. About 29 percent support the requirement, while about 8 percent were not sure.
Yeah - feds out of ed policy!
Stop mandating testing of all students!
Enough with the Endless Testing regime!
Enough with test-based teacher evaluation mandates!
Except that even if the feds bowed out tomorrow, we have a governor, a legislature, a Board of Regents and a New York State Education Department that is totally on board with the Endless Testing regime and test and punish schooling.
It's swell to say "Gee, we wish the feds would mandate less stuff," but let's be frank here, it's not just the feds doing it.
Sure, there's a lot of pressure put on the states and local districts by the feds, but as we saw in the NY Times story from a few days ago (and earlier in the Times Union and Capital New York), there's a lot of money rolling into this state to push Endless Testing and education reform as well.
The feds could drop the mandates tomorrow, but Andrew Cuomo, the heavy hearts in the legislature, Merryl Tisch's Board of Regents and the MaryEllen EVILia NYSED aren't going to follow suit any time soon so long as they continue to skirt political consequences for promoting the Endless Testing regime and test and punish schooling.