Days before the state moved forward with two weeks of grades 3-8 standardized tests, Representative Assembly delegates unanimously passed a resolution criticizing the State Education Department's rocky implementation of new Common Core standards and demanding this year's test results not be used for high-stakes decisions affecting students and teachers.
After the resolution was unanimously adopted, delegates made it clear during a question-and-answer session with Education Commissioner John King that the state's flawed implementation of Common Core and obsession with standardized tests are hurting students and narrowing the curriculum.
One teacher questioned the rush to test, given that the state has produced only five of the promised 39 math modules for middle school.
Another called it "heartbreaking" to have to see special education students and English language learners struggle "when the data does not support having them sit for those tests."
Yet another spoke about student morale and the devastating impact of test scores that, as SED has acknowledged, will drop dramatically.
King said SED and the Regents decided to offer the Common Core-based state assessments in English language arts and math this spring because the new instruction is under way. "These assessments are an opportunity, not a judgment of failure," King said.
NYSUT has been telling SED for more than two years that it is moving too fast on Common Core and failing to give schools and educators the time and resources they need to implement the new curriculum and to help students succeed.