Friday, December 20, 2013

Wynantskill BOE passes High Stakes Testing Resolution

On December 19, 2013 the Wynantskill Board of Education passed a resolution against High Stakes Testing. The vote was not unanimous.

3 Yay ~ Andrea Paone, Ann Marsh & Andrew Lanesey 

WHEREAS, The Wynantskill Union Free School District is dedicated to provide opportunities for all students to reach their fullest potential; empower all to achieve personal excellence and encourage a life-long love of learning: and

WHEREAS, the decline in state support for public schools has forced our District to reduce programs and limited our ability to implement the new programs mandated by the state such as the Common Core Standards, creating an uneven rollout of the standards among school districts around the state; and

WHEREAS, while the implementation of Common Core will ultimately help students, teachers, and teaching and learning, the growing reliance on and misalignment of standardized testing is eroding student learning time, narrowing the curriculum, and jeopardizing the rich, meaningful education our students need and deserve; and

WHEREAS, despite the fact that research recommends the use of multiple measures to gauge student performance and teacher effectiveness, the state’s growing reliance on standardized testing is adversely affecting students across all spectrums, as well as the morale of our educators and further draining already scarce resources; and

WHEREAS, the federal elementary and secondary education act’s testing policies fail to appropriately accommodate the unique needs of students with disabilities and English language learners in assessing their learning, resulting in test scores that do not accurately represent a true measure of the contributions of teachers and schools; and

WHEREAS, it is time for policymakers to recalibrate the number, duration, and appropriate use of standardized tests so that we can refocus our efforts on student learning; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that we call upon the Commissioner of Education, the NYS Board of Regents, and other policymakers to reduce the use of and over-reliance on standardized testing; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that we call upon the U.S. Congress and the Administration to reduce federal testing mandates and support the role of and focus on multiple measures of student learning and school quality in accountability systems.

The Wynantskill community was also  delivered with the good news that Lee Bordick will continue on as Superintendent of the district for an additional two years, which starts as of January 1, 2014. It was a good night.