Teachers call for changes in standardized tests

Apr 9, 2019

New York schoolteachers and their supporters rallied Monday in front of the New York Department of Education building in Albany. They said not only were the recent state computer tests broken — standardized testing in New York is broken, period.

Andrew Pallotta, NYSUT president, is calling for major changes in standardized tests.
Credit Matt Ryan

"These state tests go against everything we know to be best practice in assessment," said Laura Franz, president of the Albany Public School Teachers Association. "In fact, they’re causing harm."

Franz said that assessing students’ progress is obviously one of the most important functions a teacher serves. It’s just that the current standardized test system doesn’t do that.

The statewide teachers union is calling on the Education Department to change the English and math tests for third- through eighth-graders wholesale, saying the tests are too long, too advanced, and that the scoring benchmarks don’t reflect students’ real ability.

Department of Education spokesperson Emily DeSantis said the exams have improved significantly over the past four years, and that New York state teachers themselves review every exam question.

A spokesperson for the Education Department says the exams have improved significantly over the past four years and that New York State teachers themselves review all the exam questions.