New York Adjusts Common Core Tests to Encourage “Opting In”

New York State Department of Education Building in Albany, NY. Photo credit: Matt H. Wade (CC-By-SA)
New York State Department of Education Building in Albany, NY
Photo credit: Matt H. Wade (CC-By-SA 3.0)

New York State the past two years has seen tens of thousands of students opt-out of taking the state’s Common Core assessments. reports:

Students between 3rd and 8th grade will now see less questions in the English and Math portions of the tests. This year, the state is also advising teachers to offer untimed tests for both ELA and Math. This means students can pay attention to the test and not the clock. They’re also adding more teacher involvement for future testing.

“We have shortened each of the assessments Grades 3 through 8 in both English Language Arts and Mathematics. And, we are looking for even as we move forward to change those even more,” says Commissioner (MaryEllen) Elia.

The Department of Education hopes by making these changes, more parents will be opting in this year instead of out.

Certainly shorter tests are better, and not having the pressure of being timed is good. However, many parents object to the idea of high-stakes testing. No tweaks to the current assessment will fix that.

Kids are more than their test score.

Update: Richard Innes over at Bluegrass Institute in Kentucky made the following observations regarding this news.

  • There is no mention of any validation studies for the new test formats.
  • Will New York try to claim the results from these rather heavily altered tests are comparable to earlier testing? Will anyone believe that?
  • Does this actually severe the existing trend lines from New YorkÔÇÖs past Common Core testing?