State’s excessive testing damages public education

State Education Commissioner John King Jr. was in town Dec. 12 to provide updates on the Regents’ reform agenda. This supposedly unbiased forum was highly calculated, right down to who was invited and what questions were asked. I hope parents can see through the political spin and make informed decisions to take action and expose the truth about the excessive focus on testing that’s standardizing and damaging public education in New York. The media aren’t making it clear that our educators are not opposed to testing, but rather are advocating for meaningful and appropriate testing.

Did you know that teachers are not even permitted to view or discuss results from state tests? How does anyone besides test-making corporations like Pearson benefit from such foolishness? The numbers don’t lie. In the Williamsville district alone, taxpayers have already spent more than a million dollars implementing the changes, yet the government provided only $70,000 to facilitate change. In addition, teachers are increasingly out of classrooms to create and score these secure tests. Taxpayers are yet again footing the bill for these unfunded mandates by our political leaders.

Remember, as parents we can send a message and make our concerns heard by opting our children out of state testing. Politicians and those with minimal classroom experience should not be exclusively calling the shots. Let’s demand our school administrators and teachers minimally have a seat at the decision-making table in Albany. Our future economy depends on the education we are providing today.

Rob Zdrojewski

Technology Teacher

Amherst Middle School