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Tisch urged untimed exams to address ELA stress

Apr 07, 2015 12:02 am
Jessica Bakeman is reporting at Capital New York state education officials recently considered allowing unlimited time for the upcoming Common Core-aligned English language arts exams, but stakeholders shot down the idea. The exams are scheduled to begin April 14. Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch said parents and teachers have complained that students struggle to finish the English exams during the time allowed. So she, with the state education department, tried to gauge interest among school groups for the tests to be untimed. Tisch told Capital. “I thought that was a way to value teachers and their discretion: let a teacher decide when a kid is working productively and give them time....We thought it was a productive idea. All of a sudden people said "no." I don’t think anyone thought it was a bad idea. I just thought the politics around doing anything positive about testing became too difficult to manage.” Tisch cited the failed attempt as an illustration of the contentious political environment surrounding public education these days. The powerful New York State United Teachers and the New York State School Boards Association opposed the plan. Lisa Rudley, a parent-activist who has helped organize opposition to the current testing arrangements, said Tisch’s plan shows the chancellor doesn’t understand parents’ concerns. She said, “The chancellor’s suggestion is completely outrageous, and it shows that she’s not listening to parents." The tests are required by the federal government. New York began using assessments that reflect the Common Core standards in 2013. Last year, about 31 percent of students statewide were proficient on the tests. Read the full story at Capital New York.
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