ALBANY, N.Y. May 14, 2018 — New York State United Teachers today released The Tyranny of Testing, a compilation of first-hand accounts detailing the many problems educators and students experienced during the latest round of grades 3—8 state standardized testing.
Many of the stories are painful to read — accounts of children as young as 8—9 years old testing for more than five hours, and forced to skip recess in order to finish what is billed as a 90-minute test; students crying and becoming physically ill over confusing and vague test questions; and children having their tests completely erased due to computer glitches.
“It’s crucial for our education leaders to hear these on-the-ground reports so they realize how great the need is to fix New York’s broken testing system,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “These tests gauge little more than how long a student can sit in their seats and endure them, which is why so many called the tests abusive.”
The accounts were compiled via a “Share Your Story” submission link NYSUT created to allow educators, parents and concerned community members to share their testing experiences with State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and members of the Board of Regents. Nearly 200 personal stories were submitted.
To protect students, and reduce the state’s reliance on high-stakes standardized tests, NYSUT is calling on the Senate to vote on S.8301, legislation that would return control of teacher evaluations to educators and local districts, giving schools the necessary flexibility to curtail testing, particularly in the early grades, and bar standardized test scores from becoming part of students’ permanent records.
The legislation currently has at least 54 senate sponsors and co-sponsors, including a majority of Republican senators. The Assembly already voted 131-1 in favor of the companion legislation, A.10475. At a press conference at the state Capitol last week, NYSUT leaders called on Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to immediately bring S.8301 to the floor for a vote. View the report at nysut.org/testingtyranny.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.