July 25, 2013
By Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy
Late last week, a bipartisan group of state legislators (including myself) sent a letter to the New York State Board of Regents and Chancellor Merryl Tisch with our concerns in regards to what we feel is over-testing of K-12 students not only here in the Capital Region but across the State of New York.
Our concerns and thoughts are reflective of what we heard from area superintendents, teachers, parents, and students at our forum, K-12 Education at a Crossroads: A Forum on the Impacts of Testing and Mandates, regarding the inequities of the education system and its testing regulations.
Forum panelists openly discussed the negative effects of over-testing including: stress, decrease in morale and self-esteem, and increased anxiety in classrooms, all of which have proven to be detrimental to the growth of our students. We have agreed that while maintaining accountability on every level of education is necessary, testing has become excessive and there is a need for transparency on testing material, and consistency in deadlines and directives.
Too much emphasis on testing related to teacher and administrator evaluation and the rush to implement additional testing on the Common Core curriculum has reduced the amount of time spent on valuable classroom instruction, learning and creativity, and hampered students’ ability to develop the necessary critical thinking and problem solving skills that are essential for surviving in the 21st Century workforce.