Friday, October 26, 2007

CEC in D26 Forum on Testing

Held on October 25:

At one point Senator Padavan spoke and said he will look into the possibility of limiting the high stakes testing by imposing limits on state funds to NYC; in a manner similar to the recent limits of CFE money for class size reduction."

Posted on nyceducationnews listserve as part of a report from a forum testing held in Queens last night. Appearing were Randi Weingarten, Bob Tobias (former head of accountability at the old BOE and a frequent BloomKlein critic on testing policy) and Jane Hirschman (time out from testing)

My comment:

As we learned at our high stakes forum a few weeks ago at Fordham, NY state has one of the most regressive and oppressive testign procedures that goes way beyond what NCLB requires. One thing the Senator can do is to focus on the process for appointing the state board of regents which appoints the state ed commissioner. Right now I understand the state assembly has the major role and Shelly Silver is instrumental.

If there is to be progress on reforming the state and city testing procedures it starts there. Holding politicians accountable is part of the process. So why am I, as usual, skeptical? Has the UFT put any effort into these kids of reforms? Appearing at forums and saying the right things is fine. But if it stops there then they are just words. If UFT reps appear at these forums they should be asked exactly what are their poliicies on reforming state ed and how far are they willing to go to back this up -- ie. withholding endorsements and support for candidates.


From Leonie Haimson's post:

See email below, from Rob Caloras, the president of the CEC in D26, reporting on their forum last night on testing.

Sounds like a dynamite forum; we hope to be able to make the tape available. Meanwhile, Rob’s summary is below. Exciting news about Padavan supporting the introduction of a bill that would ban the use of high-stakes testing in our schools; I sincerely hope that the Democrats in the State Assembly may go along with this as well.

Last night, Community District Education Council 26 hosted a forum on testing & Assessing in NYC Public Schools. Our panelists were Randi Weingarten, President of the United Federation of Teachers, Bob Tobias - former Executive Director of Assessment and Accountability of the NYC Department of Education and current director of the As Stei

We were informed that during the last five years, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of standardized tests and assessments given to our children and a vast proliferation in the ways results are used. All of the panelists explained that testing is an integral part of the education system and is necessary to determine whether or not students are understanding a given subject. However, all of them agreed that the standard tests were not designed to be used in the way that they are being used in NYC schools. In particular, the use of these tests in determining whether a student is promoted and in evaluating an individual student and teacher’s performance was criticized and rejected as inappropriate. It was also explained that there is no evidence that when students are subjected to more standardized tests, their efforts increase and understanding improves. Panelists also discussed: the disparity between students’ good results on We were i

In general, parents expressed equal concerns on the above matters and expressed frustration over the inability to stem the regimen of testing now imposed. In fact, a belief that the system of testing is harmful to the quality of education is held by most parents . Such is the frustration that many parents called for a student boycott of tests. The Community District Education Council will be evaluating whether or not a boycott will be helpful to our students and if a boycott should be called and organized.

I urge you to take steps to publicize issues on testing and assessing that do not reflect only the Department of Education’s point of view. By doing so, you will be doing a tremendous service to our children.


Robert Caloras,
CDEC26, President

No comments: