Newsday Misses the Point on Opt-Outs

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)

Newsday, a news source located in New York in an editorial on Monday called for the end of opt-outs in the Empire State.

As a result of the parent and teacher revolt against Common Core standards in recent years, new standardized tests were instituted in New York in the spring. Test results for individual students are more detailed and are released earlier to teachers. The percentage of test questions released has tripled. All questions are scrutinized by teachers before the tests. The tests are shorter, and their time limits are gone. All learning objectives have been reviewed to assure they are appropriate. Strong teaching tools are in place. And the teacher evaluation method that created so much fear among educators and parents, based partly on student achievement on the tests, is in a four-year moratorium.

What the “opt-out” activists could reasonably expect to achieve, they have. So now it’s time to end the opt-out movement.

When a student gets an A, C or F on a report card, it can be difficult to know what it means. Is the teacher tough? Is the school pleasing parents by inflating grades? How are the district and the state doing against others? A student’s B+ average does little to answer those questions.

Results of standardized tests are just about the only measure that equally compares student skills across classes, schools, districts and states. They can show teachers and schools what works, and highlight student strengths and weaknesses.

Talk about missing the point. Tweaks to assessments are not enough. If standardized assessments still exist, and if they still drive classroom instruction then the goal has not been achieved. If the federal government is still mandating assessments for states we still have a problem.

How tone deaf can one editorial board be?


One thought on “Newsday Misses the Point on Opt-Outs

  1. Teachers are still forced to teach to the test, children waste valuable time on redundant and costly testing which is NOT used to inform students, but grade teachers, and the content taught is insufficient. We are crippling an entire generation of kids on faulty Common Core standards which teach crazy math and upside down socialist history. Even if kids get an A on these tests, they will not be prepared for life. The mandated tests feed the testing beast, Pearson PLC and its corporate cronies, who seek to control the $1.3 TRILLION education market. We MUST restore local control to prevent them from stealing the hearts and minds of our children!

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