Focus on Education
Mon August 11, 2014
Union & teachers to shred Pearson tests in protest
Teachers from across the state will stage a protest tonight in Albany against a national testing company. In this Focus on Education report WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says they will tear apart tests made by Pearson.
Monday night's protest is organized by the state wide teachers union New York State United Teachers, NYSUT. Union leaders and teachers will be gathering on the steps of the State Education Department. They will use paper shredders to destroy standardized tests.
Pearson -- a private company -- has a more than $32-million contract to provide tests to the state Education Department. The teachers union says this prevents teachers from discussing test questions or pointing out problems with the exams.
In June the union was highly critical what it called the state's "flawed roll-out" of new standardized tests based on Common Core Learning Standards. During a visit this past May to Buffalo -- State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch defended standardized testing.
"The testing is never for the purpose of playing gotcha with kids, gotcha with teachers, frustrating parents, frustrating communities, but we nee to have a benchmark by which to know how are students are doing in different settings," said Tish.
Still NYSUT has continue to fight for a moratorium for teachers on the consequences from standardized testing they say was created from poor implementation of the Common Core.
Union president Karen Magee says Monday's "Public Education Not Private Profits" protest is designed to call attention to the wealthy elite who are trying to privatize public education and profit from students across the state.
"This protest underscores, once again, the undue corporate influence on the education of children," NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said. "We are speaking out against deep-pocket forces that want to privatize public education and erode due process rights."