Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
This resolution, and a letter to Governor Mario Cuomo, NYS Education Department Commissioner John King, NYS Senator Jack Martins, NYS Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and other state officials, was sent by Great Neck Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Dolan.
The resolution was approved by the GNPS Board of Education at the June 4 school board meeting.
The letter stated: “We join with other districts, and other organizations, in imploring the policy makers at the state level to recognize that an over-reliance on standardized testing is having a deleterious effect on many of the aspects that have made public education the powerful force that it has been.”
The resolution reads as follows:
“A call to the governor of the State of New York, the New York state Commissioner of Education, the New York State Board of Regents and other policymakers to stop the over-reliance on standardized tests as a measure of student performance and principal/teacher effectiveness.
“WHEREAS, every student deserves a quality public education dedicated to preparing engaged citizens, creative and critical thinkers and lifelong learners ready for college and careers; and
“WHEREAS, the decline in state aid and support for public schools has forced our district to reduce programs and limited our ability to fully implement new programs mandated by the State such as the Common Core standards thereby creating an uneven rollout of the standards among school districts around the State; and
“WHEREAS, while the implementation of the Common Core standards will ultimately help students, teachers and the teaching and learning process, the growing reliance on, and mismanagement of, standardized testing is eroding student learning time, narrowing the curriculum and jeopardizing the rich, meaningful education our students need and deserve; and
“WHEREAS, there has been a reliance upon the Common Core standards in the development of state testing despite the fact that students have not been exposed to these standards for a sufficient amount of their school experience; and
“WHEREAS, despite the fact that research recommends the use of multiple measures to gauge student performance and teacher effectiveness, the State’s growing reliance on standardized testing is adversely affecting students across all spectrums and the morale of our educators and is further draining already scarce resources; and
“WHEREAS, the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s testing policies fail to appropriately accommodate the unique needs of students with disabilities and English language learners in assessing their academic achievements which results in test scores that do not accurately represent a true measure of the impact of teachers and schools; and
“WHEREAS, it is time for policymakers to reconsider the number, duration and appropriate use of standardized tests so that our schools can refocus their efforts on improving student learning outcomes; now, therefore be it
“RESOLVED, that we call upon Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, State Education Department Commissioner John B. King, Chancellor of the Board of Regents Merryl Tisch, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education John Flanagan, Senator Jack Martins, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education Catherine Nolan, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and other policymakers to reduce the use of, and over-reliance on, standardized testing.”