March 19, 2013

Iannuzzi: Overreliance on tests undermines learning (via Buffalo News)

Author: Richard C. Iannuzzi
Source: Buffalo News

In today's Buffalo News, NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi offers commentary on New York state's overreliance on high-stakes testing.

Teachers statewide are deeply concerned about their students – and they are speaking up.

As a key component of its "Tell It Like It Is" campaign, New York State United Teachers members are writing letters that spell out for state policy makers the negative impact of the overreliance on testing. Teachers in Western New York, and statewide, are blanketing the offices of State Education Commissioner John King and the Board of Regents. Their letters provide the kind of excruciating detail that comes from those in the trenches.

Key themes are emerging: State requirements for extensive pre-tests and post-tests in every grade are narrowing the curriculum and eroding the broad education students need to be successful in college and careers and as engaged citizens. Teachers also are forced to use valuable classroom time to “teach to the test” at the expense of real instruction.

"Even students on, or near, grade level focus less on learning and more on passing the test," one Western New York teacher wrote. "The assessment of skills through constant testing is antiquated and uninspired. Tests should be but one small component of the overall assessment process."

You can read the entire piece online at Buffalo - and take action on high-stakes testing at

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