The following is a letter from the Ossining School District to it’s parents. Last week, KPAE urged the Kings Park Board of Education to do the same in an open letter. We hope the district will send a similar message to our community.
May 21, 2014
Annually, the New York State Education Department randomly selects school districts to administer the New York State Field Tests. This year the Ossining School District was selected to administer the exams in 4th, 5th and 8th grades. These exams are intended to “provide data necessary to ensure the validity and reliability of the New York State Testing program.” The field tests are a series of standardized exams developed by the independent testing company Pearson. The company uses the field tests as trial for questions it may use on future exams.
After a discussion with the building administrators and the Board of Education, I am recommending that the Ossining School District not administer the field tests. My reasons are as follows:
1. Protect Instructional Time: Due to inclement weather, we have lost a significant amount of instructional time. In addition, students were recently administered 7 hours of exams. Administering the field exams will lead to additional lost time. Instead, our goal is to use the time to continue to provide our students with appropriate direct instruction.
2. Lack of Transparency: These exams do not provide parents, teachers or administrators with information regarding each child’s progress.
I want to reemphasize that I feel that this decision is in the best interest of the students we serve in our school district. It is critical that we protect the instructional time we have with our students.
If you should have any questions after reading this notice, please feel free to contact your building principal – Ms. Regina M. Cellio, Ms. Kate Mathews, or Dr. Corey W. Reynolds.