Dear Commons Community,
As reported in The Huffington Post and other media, school principals around New York City are fighting back against what they see as flawed state tests.
A group of 15 principals from selective middle and high schools around the city sent a letter on Tuesday to parents, students and educators explaining they would not be taking recent state tests into consideration when evaluating fall admissions spots, reports DNAinfo. The letter, which you can read for yourself below, expressed their disapproval of recent state English and math tests, which they felt “[took] away time for quality instruction and authentic learning and testing.”
The tests, which were given in late April to students in grades third through eighth, were supposed to align with recently adopted Common Core Standards. Common Core assessments theoretically call for more critical thinking and in-depth knowledge of English and math than previous state tests.
However, after the tests, education leaders complained that the exams were “more difficult than they expected,” according to the New York Times. Some educators also noted that pressures regarding the tests were making their students sick.
The principals’ letter to parents and students came in the same week that a larger group of 50 principals sent a letter to the New York State Education Commissioner John King expressing concern over the recent state tests. In the letter, the educators said they found the exams “limiting” and “unbalanced,” and said they had concerns about its “timing, format.” Furthermore, while they noted that they were hopeful the test would live up to Common core ideals, they felt the exam “fell short of the aspirations of these Standards.”
More principals, teachers, and education policy makers need to take similar actions if we are ever going to stop the testing mania that has gripped our public education systems.