In Mr. Montesano's letter, he portrays these tests as now being valuable and important to parents, teachers and students because of a few VERY MINOR cosmetic changes that have been made. But, what about the fact that:
- Parents and teachers still don’t get to see all the questions to know if the tests are valid.
- Parents and teachers don’t even know what exact questions students get right or wrong, making it impossible to meet the individual needs of students.
- These tests are developmentally inappropriate verified by nearly 70% failure rate.
- Test results are generally not received until after the new school year begins, making it impossible to assist students for the start of school.
- Schools and districts are still evaluated based on these test scores thereby still forcing a teach-to-the-test classroom environment
- Focus and priority schools are still determined by these test scores thereby still forcing a teach-to-the-test classroom environment
- Receivership is still based on these test scores thereby still forcing a teach-to-the-test classroom environment
- These NYS tests are only decoupled from teacher evaluations for a short moratorium period and will soon be used again for teacher evaluations
- Teachers are still evaluated based on local tests during the moratorium period thereby still forcing a teach-to-the-test classroom environment
- Curriculum is still implemented in line with NYS tests thereby forcing a teach-to-the-test classroom environment
- These tests are very expensive and take funding away from programs that could truly help student learning
- These tests are still administered every year and have not yet been reduced to administration only once in grade 4 and once in grade 8 as parents have demanded.
Just this week, the Chancellor of the NYS Board of Regents announced that she “would opt-out at this time” if she had children in school (article here). The NYS Commissioner of Education announced that parents “absolutely” have the right to opt-out of NYS tests (article here). Governor Cuomo announced that, “the grades [on NYS tests] are meaningless to the students” (article here).
Mr. Montesano's attempt to persuade parents to participate in this flawed testing program is an insult to parents. These tests are NOT valuable to students. Parents will continue to refuse participation. With the likelihood that opt-out numbers will grow this year, I would like to encourage all Superintendents to view this 'Superintendent Opt-Out Tool Kit' so that students and parents are treated respectfully and in non-misleading fashion. Parents see through the misleading propaganda regarding NYS testing, and these misleading tactics will tarnish reputations of those portraying a false narrative. Please treat students and parents respectfully and truthfully. It is not worth sacrificing the lives of innocent young children just to push the political agenda of those in Albany.
Please contact Nyack Public Schools Superintendent and school board. Here are the email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com