• The New York State Education Department has published numerous memoranda and documents related to assessment and the Common Core Learning Standards, each of which add layers of unprecedented bureaucracy and great uncertainty, proving that there are many aspects of implementation, and the consequences of implementation, that NYSED can’t manage without causing great damage to our schools.
• The research of Walter Troup, of the University of Texas, and others, has demonstrated that the methodology used by Pearson to create the New York State assessments renders them “virtually useless at measuring the effects of classroom instruction” (New York Times, July 28, 2012).
• The United States Department of Education has granted the New York State Education Department a waiver from the requirements of No Child Left Behind (May 29, 2012), which technically lifts the federal testing mandate in grades 3 – 8. Finally, school districts have been informed as recently as September 19, 2012, that more field testing is necessary this October, requiring more testing and less learning.
• As of September, 2012, the curriculum associated with the Common Core Learning Standards still has not yet been fully developed (NYSED continues to ask vendors to write is curriculum modules), nor has it been has not been implemented fully in any part of the United States or New York State so that its effects on students can be measured or researched.
• To date, there has been no trial or testing to verify effectiveness of this student testing and teacher evaluation system, and no research to show that holding students or teachers accountable to the Common Core Learning Standards has been proven to increase the effectiveness of either.
• The Chicago teacher’s strike was a crisis that was primarily focused on the inappropriate role of standardized testing in evaluating students and linking these tests to teacher annual professional performance reviews. We should be aware of the very real possibility that the numerous controversies, implementation issues, and confusion may well cause considerable disruptions to the important work of educating our children.
• Why would we spend millions of dollars and subject children to another year of emotional distress when it has been determined that these high stakes tests yield no useful information?
CONCLUSION: Given the Mission and purpose of the PTA which clearly states that the PTA is: “A powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child.” We believe it is our duty and responsibility to be a voice and advocate for our children and our schools.
from Diane Ravitch