The following action alert was issued by the New York State Allies for Education (NYSAPE). It does a fine job explaining why parents should refuse any field tests on behalf of your children. We will continue to update the public as more information is obtained. If you have not already done so, please submit your refusal letter as soon as possible.
We are calling on parents to contact their district TODAY and request that their school districts RETURN the 2016 grade 3-8 stand-alone field tests to the NYS Education Department (NYSED) and at a minimum, parents should complete and submit this refusal letter on behalf of their children. Here’s the list of schools being field tested this year: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/fieldtest/2016fteirev2.xls
Over 2,300 schools have been assigned to administer the stand-alone field tests to a quarter of a million students (250,000) starting this Monday, May 23rd and given any day through June 10th. In addition, schools are currently administering Regent field tests which you can also refuse.
Since 2013, a growing number parents have refused the field tests for their children, and many districts have returned the boxes of tests unopened so their students wouldn’t have to sit for the extra stand-alone tests. Just recently, the media reported on New Paltz’s Board of Education rejecting the field tests for its students.
What are field tests?
Testing companies often pay subjects to get feedback on experimental test questions. The information they get is used to produce and sell future exams. Since 2012, NYSED has allowed the testing company Pearson to use NYS children FREE OF CHARGE to try out test questions for the following April’s statewide exams.
In fact, your taxpayer money covers the cost of administering these tests. Field tests for grades 3-8 will take up to 50 minutes to administer. For your information, field test questions were also embedded in the April grade 3-8 ELA, math and science state assessments. This, of course, increased the length of the ELA, math and science exams.
Are parents informed about field tests – what they are and when they are administered?
In most cases, no. Many districts administer field tests to students without informing parents. You can call or email your school to find out when the tests are being administered this year.
Are field tests graded?
Field test results have no bearing on your child’s report card grades, teacher evaluations, or school rankings. The testing company and NYSED provide no feedback or information of any educational value to districts. Refusing these tests is a must.
Can we refuse field tests? How?
Of course. If you did not already check off field tests in your state test refusal letter simply send in a letter stating you do not want your child taking ANY field tests. Instruct your child not to take the test if anyone in their schools attempts to administer them.
How are schools selected for field tests?
Each year SED generates a list of districts, schools and specific grades within them that are assigned to administer field tests. Field tests are then shipped to them. This year, districts were asked to participate in computer-based field testing. If your school is on the computer-based field test list, it is because your child’s services have been volunteered for this latest giveaway.
Are districts mandated to administer field tests?
No. Every year dozens of districts send back field tests unopened to protect their students from the excessive and unnecessary additional testing. Last year the Board of Regents sought a regulation that would make field testing MANDATORY. The proposed regulation never came to a vote because sharp public resistance rose against it. It has not come up again.
Thank you for your continued advocacy to save public schools and ensure all children receive a quality public education.
NYS Allies for Public Education