The scores for third- through eighth-graders improved slightly in both math and English, but still only about 40 percent of students were rated proficient. Carl Korn, chief press officer for New York State United Teachers, said the scores don’t count for students – and they shouldn’t count for teachers either.
“They’re based on a broken testing system, they’re rooted in the Common Core standards that are no longer being taught,” he said, “and they’re the foundation of a teacher evaluation system that has been totally discredited.”
There currently is a moratorium on the use of standardized test scores for evaluating both teachers and students through the end of the 2018-19 school year. However, Korn noted that even if the scores aren’t being used for evaluations now, they are still being tabulated.
“We believe the over-reliance on standardized testing and this ‘test-and-punish’ agenda is what has fueled the strong opt-out movement in New York,” he said.
For the past two years, about 20 percent of students across the state have boycotted the standardized tests.
“There’s a lot more to the school experience than just testing and more testing. We think any evaluation system should look at everything that goes on in a school, and be much more holistic in its approach.”
NYSUT wants testing to be returned to what Korn calls its original purposes – providing an overview of the system, guiding instruction, and helping teachers help their students.