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Is the NYC DoE planning to test preschoolers, or just kindergartners?

October 23, 2011 am31 12:41 am

I cannot pretend to be outraged. The people who set policy at the New York City Department of Education are beneath contempt. I have known this for a long time.

But standardized testing for five-year-olds? People, speak up. This is wrong, and there’s not another point of view worth considering. Not for an instant.

On her listserve, Leonie Heimson copied a job listing: Periodic Assessment Associate, reporting to the K-2 Program Manager. Responsibilities include management of implementation activities for ECAM (Early Childhood Assessment in Mathematics)

The UFT officially stands opposed to testing before 3rd grade (a New Action resolution, passed February 2010. A version for consideration by the NYSUT RA was passed a year later, I don’t know the disposition, text below). Last year when Aminda Gentile introduced a resolution supporting standards for K-2, I expressed grave concern, as I suspected (correctly, it turns out) that standards in this day and age pave a path to testing. But we’ll dust off the anti-testing stuff.

February 2010:

The following Resolution to Oppose K-2 High-Stakes Standardized Testing was submitted by Karen Alford, Leroy Barr, Richard Farkas, David Kaufman, Maria Ramos and Michael Shulman:

Motion:       To recommend to the Delegate Assembly the following Resolution To Oppose K-2 High Stakes Standardized Testing:

WHEREAS it has been the policy of the UFT to oppose high-stakes testing where the score is used as the sole evaluator for students and teacher evaluation; and

WHEREAS “Time Out from Testing” opposes K-2 testing for these same reasons; and

WHEREAS “Time Out from Testing” has collected over 4,000 parent letters and over 50 principals have signed letters opposing this kind of testing; therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the UFT oppose the DOE’s plan to implement K-2 high stakes standardized testing; and be it further

RESOLVED that the UFT support “Time Out for Testing” in its effort to have 20,000 more letters from parents and 200 more from principals before holding a press conference with national experts on this matter; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Action Committee be directed to design a plan to publicize the dangers of K-2 testing and to achieve the above stated goal.

Motion:       To insert the following clause after the third “whereas”:

WHEREAS the DOE has spent $400,000 on a pilot program to expand standardized testing into kindergarten – grade 2, despite the near universal agreement of early childhood experts and educators that the testing of young children is unreliable and developmentally inappropriate.

Carried.  

Motion:       As amended:

                   WHEREAS it has been the policy of the UFT to oppose high stakes testing where the score is used as the sole evaluator for students and teacher evaluation; and

                   WHEREAS “Time Out from Testing” opposes K-2 testing for these same reasons; and

                   WHEREAS “Time Out from Testing” has collected over 4,000 parent letters and over 50 principals have signed letters opposing this kind of testing; and

                   WHEREAS the DOE has spent $400,000 on a pilot program to expand standardized testing into kindergarten – grade 2, despite the near-universal agreement of early childhood experts and educators that the testing of young children is unreliable and developmentally inappropriate; therefore, be it

                  RESOLVED that the UFT oppose the DOE’s plan to implement K-2 high stakes standardized testing; and be it further

                  RESOLVED that the UFT support “Time Out for Testing” in their effort to have 20,000 more letters from parents and 200 more from principals before holding a press conference with national experts on this matter; and be it further

                 RESOLVED that the Action Committee be directed to design a plan to publicize the dangers of K-2 testing and to achieve the above stated goal.

 

                                                                                                                                                                        Carried

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