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Opt-Out, Testing/Assessments and Learning Standards
April 01, 2019

NYSUT launches ‘Correct the Tests’ campaign to demand changes to flawed state exams

Source: NYSUT Communications
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ALBANY, N.Y. April 1, 2019 — New York State United Teachers today launched a new campaign demanding state action to fix flawed, invalid tests that are harmful to New York students. The “Correct the Tests” campaign will raise awareness of the serious issues with New York’s grade 3-8 ELA and math tests and provide parents and educators a platform to demand the State Education Department take significant steps to address the stress and anxiety created by these flawed exams.

“The state’s obsession with high-stakes testing is a failed experiment that needs to end,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “That is why teachers, parents and students around the state have been working for years to fix New York State’s broken testing system. If we are going to restore trust in the system, we need to fix these tests now.”

NYSUT repeatedly has called on the state to recognize the fundamental flaws in the state’s grade 3-8 testing system and to take corrective actions to address those flaws. The union is again drawing attention to the fact that:

  • the state tests are flawed and invalid;
  • invalid scoring benchmarks mislabel children;
  • ELA and math tests are too long;
  • untimed testing can be cruel and traumatic;
  • the tests are developmentally inappropriate; and
  • computer-based testing is problematic and has been rolled out too quickly.

Instead of correcting the tests, the state is creating a climate in which school administrators are attempting to intimidate parents into forcing their children to take these tests or isolating children who refuse to take them. It is imperative that the state takes immediate action to address reported intimidation that has occurred in some districts prior to this year’s tests.

To address the numerous testing concerns, NYSUT launched CorrectTheTests.com to provide parents and educators with information about the flaws with these tests and about parents’ rights to opt their children out of taking the tests. The website also provides an outlet for parents and teachers to submit stories about testing issues in their schools. NYSUT has begun a public awareness campaign that includes digital advertisements drawing attention to testing flaws.

“New York’s state tests are failing our students,” NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango said. “This is an issue that demands a collective solution. The State Education Department needs to step up and engage with teachers and parents to end this disaster.”

Computer-based ELA tests, which were rolled out in disastrous fashion in nearly 300 schools last year, begin on Monday. Traditional paper testing begins Tuesday.

NYSUT is planning a series of regional events and actions across the state in April to further discussions about testing issues and potential fixes. More information about those events will be released in the near future.

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.

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