In response to the delay in the release of the proposed New York State school aid pending an agreement on education and legislative reform, members of the BH-BL Board, BH-BL administrators and the BH-BL Teachers' Association would like to state the following:
1. In 2011 Governor Cuomo, the legislature, and NYSUT negotiated and agreed to a change in state-wide teacher evaluations that included 20% standardized testing and 20% local testing, and 60% classroom observation. Any changes to that now should be discussed and negotiated in a careful, thoughtful manner, maintaining local control, and not forced upon school districts with threats of withholding funding;
2. Standardized testing has a long history in education and will be part of students’ lives throughout high school, college, and beyond. When standardized testing informs instruction, it has merit for students and for the school at large. That being said, we have concerns that the information provided by the grades 3-8 tests provides less and less useful information for instruction as these tests are being used to serve multiple purposes;
3. BH-BL will follow all state requirements for testing. Parents have the right to have their children not participate in something they find objectionable. We will make alternate arrangements for students who refuse the test. However, we encourage parents to keep all tests in the proper perspective.
We encourage the Governor and legislature to isolate the issues of testing and evaluations from the budget process and complete their responsibility to provide school aid information in a timely manner.
This joint statement is supported by: