Thursday, May 11, 2006


I just recieved an email from a listserve I belong to.

The email states:

Are you aware that Chancellor Klein has set yet another new testing policy which will begin next year? All K-12 students will be given "mini tests" every 6-8 weeks. NO SCHOOL WILL BE EXEMPT. These test scores will be used to rate schools and determine whether a principal can remain at the helm of his/her school. Can you imagine the toll it will take on teaching? This is the final blow to teaching and education in this city. He has put aside so far $25 million to get these tests made and there will be much more money spent on this policy. There is nothing more important than our children's education which is being outsourced to the profiteering testing companies.

There will be very little teaching done in the public schools if this policy gets going. Our children will be taught test taking skills and very little else.

Tuesday, May 16th, there will be a citywide parent meeting (teachers and principals are welcome) to discuss a plan of action to put an end to this policy as well as to the excessive and high stakes tests already in place.

Please join us and call parents you know from
schools throughout the Boros:
PLACE: 317 East 67th St. (between 1st and 2nd Ave.)
Room 109 or the small theater
Jane Hirschmann
Time Out From Testing
917 679 8343

I did not write the above. This is the first I am hearing about this. I'm asking you, my fellow colleauges, to please shed some light on this? Is this information accurate? What is the UFT doing about this? If anyone has any information please leave a comment.


Ms. Feliciano said...

I'm not too sure if my answer is correct, however I believe that this "mandatory testing" every 6-8 weeks is exclusively for Empowerment Schools (formally known as the Autonomy Zone).

I admit that I am not too familiar with the perks of being an Empowerment School (I guess I should read the information posted in the BOE website). This is definitely a subject that we as a staff should discuss further before we decide if this is truly the right choice for our school... but then again, we may not have an option or a voice in the matter.

Anonymous said...

Yes I think Christine is right. This was mentioned last week in the NY Times.

Deirdre O'Neill said...

I believe this testing was also briefly mentioned during the staff meeting we had a couple of weeks ago. I wholeheartedly agree with Christine that we really need to discuss this further. If we become an empowerment school then we need to know both pros and cons so that we can go into this change with eyes wide open. I am still waiting for the second meeting we are suppose to have about this or for the discussion to take place in our SLC's.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that effective 9/2007 ALL schools, empowered or otherwise will be mandated to proctor these exams. Empowerment schools will merely get a head start on the process. Be that as it may, it appears that the writing is on the wall - we just have to be savvy enough to read it.

We have been told, or at least we should have been told that Empowering ourselves gives us the opportunity to create "authentic assessments" in lieu of the mandated testing. In addition, we will no longer have to get dispensation to do what is good for our students or our school. Caveat Emptor...nothing is without a price. Where do we go to get this information? How do we protect ourselves from the "trickle down effect"? If the Principal becomes more accountable, doesn't that mean that we are even more accountable than he?

Moreover, how do we handle this mandatory testing in a school that overtly shuns such practice? What do we do until we receive the green light to implement our "authentic assessment"?

I don't know if anyone has the answers, but I think we should really ponder this issue closely. Think of what happened to us with the contract..."all that glitters isn't gold".

C. Lafergola