Testing/Assessments & Learning Standards
September 26, 2018

State tests are badly flawed and pegged to invalid measures of proficiency

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations

ALBANY, N.Y. Sept. 26, 2018 — Student test scores released today are based on badly flawed standardized tests that are tied to invalid and inaccurate “proficiency” benchmarks — and were provided to teachers and schools too late to be helpful, New York State United Teachers said.

“It is better that scores are up, but it doesn’t change the fact that the state’s standardized testing program — and the way it determines student proficiency — is badly broken,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “The tests remain too long and frustrating for our students and don’t provide meaningful information to parents and educators. If the state wants to earn back the trust of parents and educators, it must fix its standardized testing program and more accurately measure student success.”

NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango said, “The State Education Department still doesn’t have it right. These standardized tests continue to mislabel and harm students and their local schools. In many instances, they are still not developmentally appropriate. They frustrate students and their teachers. The system must change. Students and teachers deserve better than this.”

DiBrango said the State Education Department has failed to adjust the troublesome proficiency benchmarks to take into account changes in the state tests. “The state’s measuring stick for determining ‘proficiency’ remains badly flawed, painting a misleading and harmful picture of our public education system. In simple terms, they do not add up. The benchmarks must be fixed before any more students or schools are incorrectly labeled.”

While the test scores are being released publicly today, DiBrango noted that educators and school districts received students’ scores less than one week before the start of school — about four months after students in grades 3 through 8 sat for four long, frustrating days taking standardized tests in English Language Arts and math.

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.

The Tyranny of Testing

Revisit our report from May 2018, 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 assessments. LEARN MORE.

tyranny of testing