Updated: Feb 1, 2021
I'm not a standardized test fan for a whole bunch of reasons, but to suggest that this school year we NEED standardized test to measure "where our students are" is insane.
Where are our students? In a pandemic is where they are, right along with their teachers who are pivoting, redesigning, and differentiating to make lessons work. Right along with their families who rely on their 10th grader to get their 7th grader on all their Google Meets or are losing shifts at work to deal with remote schooling. Right along with administrators who are trying to keep their teachers and students safe while maintaining programs to feed the families in their community, provide internet connections, and keep Covid at bay. Right along with all of us who have been touched personally by this virus. We know where our students are.
I can speak to the wide variety of circumstances I know about with my own students; however, these tests are statewide. Buffalo City Schools are going back in person today, in a very limited manner, for the first time. How would it be fair to compare the experience of those students against others who've been able to return to school for at least some in-person learning? I'm not knocking virtual learning, and I even believe that for some it is compatible with how they learn; on the other hand, where is their parity for those who stayed home with a parent or caretaker sitting next to them helping them vs. the kiddos who were navigating online learning like an 11 year old forced to be a college student when they were home alone?
Luckily, there is hope that this year we will not engage in futile testing when there are so many other, bigger needs (social and emotional support, routine, relationships, to name a few). I'm very excited that NYSED and NYSUT are lobbying to get a waiver from testing this year. PLEASE make it a priority to speak up about this important issue. It only takes a minute! Here's the link: http://www.nysed.gov/essa/accountability-and-assessment-waivers-public-comment?fbclid=IwAR2Q9AM73k8hHHNzmP7P_XRIUl7K0a5RIUtMy8OdQ2dT5zLIsyC6GvNymBA