Friday, August 9, 2013

Statements RE: Common Core Testing Results

  City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to early reports on City schools’ results on the new state “Common Core” test scores:
New York City public schools’ reportedly dismal results on the new state tests send a clear message: Mayor Bloomberg and his Tweed cronies have been cooking the books on student test scores for 12 years. Pointing to rising high-school graduation rates, the Mayor claimed that high-stakes testing was leading to greater student achievement and teacher accountability. He excoriated teachers and others who pointed out the flaws in his analysis. In fact, the regime of teaching to the tests pushed kids out the schoolhouse door, even if their diplomas were worthless and their skills did not permit them to succeed in college or jobs. Mayor Bloomberg had 12 years to advance his so-called reforms and pad his educational legacy. He failed. He cannot spin these results to mean something they don’t. New York City’s children deserve better.

“We must do better in educating our children and preparing them for the rigors of competing in a global 21st Century. The release of today’s Common Core math and English test scores will undoubtedly solicit varying opinions about their meaning and efficacy in assessing student’s learning. But it’s important to look at the entire picture, rather than isolated facts. Test scores are lower, but for the first time, students were tested on new, more demanding material.
Education reform continues to be one of my top priorities and a Lhota Administration will remain committed to helping our children excel in these new requirements. We have already begun to transform New York City’s public education system under mayoral control and the expansion of charter schools. Our objective must be to set the highest standards possible, while giving our educators and students the resources they need to help them achieve their goals. We must not allow politics or special interests to come between the success of our children.” --Joe Lhota

RE: Common Core Testing Results

The dramatic decline in test scores by New York City school children raises a number of issues, questions and concerns.  Standardized testing is inherently imperfect.  We’ve seen this before, as a myriad of objections have been raised regarding the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.  In fact, in the complaint filed by the NAACP, LatinoJustice, AALDEF and others, it is noted that this test has yet to be properly validated.

In this case, the alarmingly low passage rates seem to validate all along, that for 12 years, the DOE has been promoting a policy of teaching to the test.  If real learning and skill development were happening in our schools, wouldn’t more of that educational attainment have been reflected in the new tests?

Our school system is overly reliant on standardized tests, and the debate on which tests to use only distracts us from the larger challenges facing our children.  In the mean time, testing companies are signing lucrative contracts and profiting from our children’s misfortune.  Who does Common Core really benefit, the testing companies or our children?

The other questions we need addressed include: What have we done in 12 years to reduce class size? What have we done to ensure that our teachers are receiving the necessary professional development to succeed and stay in the profession? What have we done to adequately fund after-school programs, so that kids in economically disadvantaged communities have equal access to growth opportunities outside the class room?  Why haven’t we moved to extend the class day and the school year? 

What are we doing to mitigate the correlations between poverty and scholastic underperformance?  If we want to raise academic standards, that’s fine.   However, we must also look at which school districts had the biggest drops, study why those drops occurred and support those schools with the critical funding and resources they need to succeed.

We should incorporate, and place greater emphasis, on other and better pedagogical metrics to ascertain academic growth and achievement.  It’s inconsistent to celebrate Common Core for implementing critical thinking testing on students, when we as educators invest such incredible blind faith in the infallibility of standardized test,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.


1 comment:

  1. The bottom line-bloomberg f**up and diaz did nothing to save the alleged failing schools