Join us and the New York State Allies for Public Education, the New York BATs, Long Island Opt Out and NYC Opt Out for tonight’s #OPTOUT2017 Twitter Power Hour from 7-8pm. See ACTIONS below.
The Common Core New York State Tests in grades 3-8 are set to begin this month. While Commissioner Elia has asserted that significant changes have been made in response to the concerns of parents and educators, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, very little has changed.
- With the experimental practice of untimed testing, students as young as 9 years old will sit for up to five hours per day, three days in a row for the math test and again for the ELA test.
- While Commissioner Elia claims that the State has made significant changes to the Common Core standards, the majority of these changes are nothing more than changes in verbiage.
- NYSED continues to ignore the Common Core Task Force recommendations to reduce testing from three days to two days per test.
- NYSED continues to utilize flawed career and college readiness benchmarks (the benchmark by which student proficiency is determined) which means that thousands of students will continue to be misidentified as failing or in need of academic intervention services (AIS).
- New York State teachers continue to have minimal input in the creation of state assessments and, in fact, are not permitted to read the tests they are administering to their students.
- Test scores are still used to rank, sort, and punish schools. Despite the fact that test scores are a reflection of income level and resource availability, these scores continue to be used as one of the primary factors to punish schools and make them vulnerable to privatization or closure through the state’s receivership law.
- The moratorium on the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations is quickly coming to end. The misuse of these scores for purposes of evaluating the efficacy of teachers, principals, and schools continues to narrow the curriculum to only those skills that can be tested. And despite the moratorium, student growth scores based on state tests are still being recorded and assigned to teachers for “advisory” purposes.
Some parents have also been warned that if less than 95% of students take these tests, their school will not be eligible for Reward School status. What school officials fail to mention is that this status is meaningless and in most cases, does not result in any monetary reward. Some Title 1 schools may receive a nominal grant with Reward School status ($50,000 or less), but these grants are earmarked for specific vendors and purposes and do nothing to mitigate the exorbitant costs associated with high stakes testing and the associated unfunded mandates.
What can you do?
1. Post to your lawmakers/education commissioners/governor Facebook pages the posts below with links
2.Support our Thunderclap here https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/54441-campaign-to-optout2017 and then join us on Twitter from 7-8 PM EST at #OptOut2017 - see tweets w/ accompanying memes below
3.Get your Opt Out letter in and reach out to any parent you know with a child in Grades 3-8; if you are a teacher with school age children opt them out
4.Write a letter to your BOE/Super if they sent a letter that had outright inaccurate information about opting out of tests (i.e. We will lose funding = not accurate; We will lose Blue Ribbon status = who cares; ESSA does not allow children to opt out = not accurate; Law does not allow you to opt out = not accurate;)
Facebook Posts - Post to your own page
Opt Out of testing - Bring joy back to our classrooms. Here is an opt out fact sheet. Please share with anyone you know who has children in Grades 3-8 http://www.nysape.org/2017-opt-out-fact-sheet.html and here are sample templates in English and Spanish to opt out http://www.nysape.org/2016-2017-nys-refusal-letter.html http://www.nysape.org/spanish-test-refusal-letter-2016-17.html
Facebook Posts - Post on lawmakers/ education commissioners/ governors Facebook pages
We will continue to opt out until you return our classrooms back to our teachers #OptOut2017 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/04/06/how-many-students-are-refusing-to-take-common-core-tests-this-year/?utm_term=.3f8377052f80
Tweets for the Twitter Storm 7-8 PM EST on 3/24 #OptOut2017
We #OptOut2017 because our children are more than a score - more info on opt out go here http://www.nysape.org/2017-opt-out-fact-sheet.html
Letters to help you #OptOut2017 http://www.nysape.org/2016-2017-nys-refusal-letter.html
Spanish letter to help you #OptOut2017 http://www.nysape.org/spanish-test-refusal-letter-2016-17.html