The leaders of the New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), a coalition of more than 45 parent and educator groups from throughout the state, are calling for the NYS 3rd Grade math test to be deemed invalid, since many questions were missing today from one of the four forms.
In light of the high stakes attached to these tests for children, schools and teachers, this major misstep by the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Regents who oversee NYSED, raises serious questions about NYSED’s leadership and their relationship with Pearson.
Pearson is a British multi-national conglomerate, which offers publishing and assessment services to schools and corporations.
Commissioner King and the Board of Regents have been criticized extensively for not listening to parents or educators on the need to revamp the Common Core standards, lessen the focus on testing, and to cease and desist from thrusting one-size-fits-all statewide curriculum on local schools. And despite repeated issues with its testing vendor, NYSED has failed to take meaningful action, ignoring criticism from all corners of the state.
After repeatedly witnessing NYSED and the Board of Regents leadership fail to act within their authority, New York State Allies for Public Education has now called for the termination of Commissioner John King and the resignation of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch. The concerns of parents and educators throughout New York State have been casually dismissed at the detriment of their children for far too long.
NYSAPE members are also waiting for a final tally of the tens of thousands of students who were expected to opt of the Pearson Math test today. Earlier this month, nearly 40,000 students opted out of the English language test.
Members of NYSAPE say that the errors discovered today, once again, reminds parents that the practice of subjecting 8 and 9 year olds to 6 to 12 hours of testing over the course of six days is grossly inappropriate.
“This comedy of errors has gone on too long. From the overly long, obscure and confusing ELA exams, with commercial product placements, and now with missing questions from the math exam, it is clear that the educrats at NYSED who have flunked, not our children,” said Chris Cerrone, Springville parent, Western New York Educator and founding NYSAPE member.
“While NYSED is eager to impose high-stakes on our schools and our teachers, where’s the accountability for them?” asked Jeanette Deutermann, North Bellmore public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out, “We need to stop the excessive testing and test prep, with defective modules and exams, and get back to educating our children once again.”
“Even as Louis CK has brought attention to the inherently flawed nature of the Common Core test prep materials this week, parents throughout the state are opting out their children in even larger numbers. In our school district, more than 48% refused to take the math tests. But it is unfair to all children and teachers to be assessed and compared with others through an invalid exam with missing questions. Enough is enough! John King and Merryl Tisch, resign.” said Stacey Serdy, Worcester Central School District parent and founder of Worcester Community for Education.
“My two daughters attend public school to receive a full comprehensive education. NYS Education Commissioner John King has repeatedly failed to provide this. He insists on pushing forward with his narrow agenda in spite of parent concerns. It is time for him to resign,” said NYSAPE founder Eric Mihelbergel.
Janet Wilson, the young New York mother who was instrumental in beginning the opt-out movement said, “Common Core is the epitome of what is wrong with politics in our country today. Our federal government has become far too powerful and should never, ever, have control over education. Education should be locally controlled, it should have evidence-based curricula, and it should not include data mining children. The federally-mandated high stakes testing has got to go. The ELA and math tests from New York show exactly how ridiculous Common Core and the federal takeover of education truly are.”
Wilson continued, “Not only does Common Core destroy pedagogy in the United States of America, but it is unconstitutional based upon the Tenth Amendment. Through Obama’s Race to the Top grants and his Common Core State Standards Initiative, our federal government is controlling the now botched education of our Republic. The entire United States Department of Education is unconstitutional. We need to get the government out of our schools and let the teachers teach.”
Teacher and author of the Cult of Common Core, Brad McQueen, who worked on the PARCC evaluation team said, “Many people are focusing on the incompetent implementation of the Common Core tests or the need to rework the standards. The reality is that the entire Common Core beast, including the never-before-tested-standards that were created in secret, the tests which were based on those standards, and the data suctioning systems which were put in place to track our children’s personal information and monitor teacher compliance with Common Core Central, should be slayed and buried in total. States’ Governors and Superintendents of Education were elected to protect the interests of our children, yet they let this Common Core beast through the gates. There should be a call for them to resign and/or not seek re-election in light of their educational malpractice.”