Grades 3-8 State Testing
In March and April, children in grades 3-8 across New York State will be taking standardized tests in mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). Over the past few years, we have seen fluctuations in the number of our students taking these assessments. When the participation rate in the district falls below a level set by the State, the District can face negative consequences. To that end, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has put in place several measures to increase participation. Please consider them and the information that follows before you submit a request to refuse.
In response to feedback from parents and educators, NYSED has:
- Reduced the testing administration period from three days to two days;
- Reduced the number of test questions;
- Implemented untimed testing, allowing the children to work at their own pace;
- Increased the involvement of teachers in writing, reviewing and selecting test questions.
Standardized testing does provide us with important data that we use to ensure that our ELA and mathematics curriculum is, and continues to be, of the highest quality. A review of our data is most impactful when we have all our students represented in it as it allows us to look at student performance as individuals, as a cohort, as a school, and as a District. In addition, standardized testing results by an individual student can be one factor used to make the case for extra academic support for a struggling student.
Finally, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires an assessment participation rate of 95 percent or higher. When this does not happen, it can make the District vulnerable to state-imposed sanctions, and it can damage our standing in the State. As a result of our high number of refusals, from time to time, we risk being deemed by the State as not making, “adequate yearly progress.” This is a serious designation. Should that happen again, the State could impose corrective measures upon us in order to remediate this issue. This could severely impact our State and National rankings. Given our high level of achievement, it is extremely troubling and wasteful to be mandated to engage in a process that is completely avoidable.
We hope that you will have your child participate in the ELA and mathematics assessments. If you have any questions about State assessments, their use, and the impact of refusals, please feel free to give me a call. To access the 2019-2020 Testing Refusal Notice, click here: Testing Refusal Notice