May 23, 2007

NYSUT: English language arts (ELA) test results show progress

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

ALBANY, N.Y. May 23, 2007 - New York State United Teachers welcomed the overall progress made on the Grade 3-8 English tests and said schools will be able to build on that progress with the historic increase in state education aid that was included in the 2007-08 state budget.

NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said the improvement in test scores indicates that teachers and other educators are successfully implementing "strategies that have worked."

"The 2007 results show movement in the right direction," Iannuzzi said.

Iannuzzi said the results continue to show that more resources should be targeted to the state's neediest schools and that more should be done to end the achievement gap that has left too many of New York's children behind academically.

"As educators and as a society, we have an obligation to put to the very best use the resources we've been given to end the gap and to provide equal opportunities to all our children," Iannuzzi said.

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said the statewide results are mixed because new federal rules forced English language learners to take inappropriate tests.

"We need to examine the scores of English language learners, as well as the scores of students with disabilities, and learn from them," Neira said. "We need to use this information to better structure our instruction and to help us put our resources where they're needed the most."

Neira added that NYSUT would continue to work with its national affiliates and New York's congressional delegation on needed changes to the No Child Left Behind Act, up for reauthorization this year. "We need to ensure that assessments given to ELL students and students with special learning needs are fair."

NYSUT represents more than 585,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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