Updated November 2013
The events of the past several months continue to strengthen our argument for a moratorium: a moratorium on the high stakes consequences of state standardized tests. This position allows us to remain committed to accountability, appropriate testing and the potential Common Core has to offer — if done right. A three-year moratorium allows for a reasonable period of time to repair the damage done last year, an opportunity to collect and analyze data appropriately, examine curriculum associated with the CCSS and make adjustments as needed.
As a strategy, a three-year moratorium keeps us aligned with our allies among parents, administrators and community groups. This places us in a strong position to achieve a favorable outcome that improves conditions for our members and the students they teach — our ultimate goal. As our legislative department finalizes language, I doubt we will have any trouble finding multiple sponsors!
Richard C. Iannuzzi
This week the State Senate Education Committee held a hearing entitled "The Regents Reform Agenda: 'Assessing' Our Progress" in Brentwood. It is the first of four scheduled hearings over the next six weeks.
Nadia Resnikoff, president of the Middle County Teachers' Association and a member of the NYSUT Board of Directors, testified on behalf of NYSUT. Here's more from NYSUT.org.
She outlined the problems related to SED's rocky implementation of Common Core testing, the need for sufficient resources and transparency in the use of standardized tests, and ways in which the state can get it right. She launched NYSUT's call for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences for students and teachers and postponement of the implementation of the Common Core Regents exams as a graduation requirement.
Testimony at the Senate hearings echoed the concerns that parents and teachers have repeatedly expressed about the pace of the Common Core's implementation, and the tremendous increase in the instruction time lost to standardized testing. Parents told lawmakers about the stress created by high-stakes testing, while one principal noted that fifth-grade students in her school will take 19 state and local tests this year.
Three more Senate hearings are slated for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Syracuse; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Buffalo; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in New York City.