A field trip you won’t want to miss – tomorrow, Thursday, June 7th at 11 a.m. meet at the SE Corner of 53rd & 6th Ave. NYC for March to Pearson Headquarters. Read additional information below regarding the field test boycott.
Courtesy of the REF Steering Committee:
The Field test Boycott is taking place this week. Here are 2 things you can do in addition to registering your child for the boycott plus see below for the details for actually boycotting the test:
1. Send an invoice to Pearson for your child’s time .
2. Contact the NYS Education Department (the agency that sets education policy and requires these tests) to share your opinion. The top decision makers are:
- Dr. John B. King, Jr. (Commissioner of Education): (518)474-5844, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Merryl H. Tisch (Chancellor NYS Board of Regents): (518)474-5889, RegentTisch@mail.nysed.gov
- Harry Phillips, III (Board of Regents member representing Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester): (914) 948-2228, email@example.com
Here’s a sample e-mail or talking points:
I am a parent of _____ students attending public school in the ______________ School District. I oppose the decision made by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to have students take “field tests” this May and June that serve one purpose — testing the validity of test questions created by Pearson, the company being paid $32 million to implement a new assessment program for NYSED.
My children have been subjected to excessive amounts of standardized state testing this school year. The tests in April consumed six days of 90 minutes each, made longer by the inclusion of up to 30% of “field test” questions.
It is unacceptable that even more valuable classroom time be allocated to the testing of test questions. Furthermore, I object to my child being used as a research subject for a for-profit corporation without my consent, permission or offer of compensation to families or to participating schools.
As a parent in NYS I am very concerned about the current education reform agenda which keeps adding expensive, unproven high stakes standardized tests, taking class time away from teaching 21st century skills such as critical thinking; increase stress on children; and deplete the already-scarce resources of schools. I ask that the NYSED delay the aggressive timetable requiring our schools to rush in dozens of new assessments for K through 12 by the Fall of 2012. Give our districts time to develop quality assessments locally, allowing us to retain our tax dollars in our districts, instead of handing them over to the private-sector.
Here are the options for physically boycotting the field test:
The NYS Education Department is requiring all schools to administer the tests to children who are at school that day. However, students CANNOT be “coerced” into taking the tests, be given make-up tests later, or face repercussions for missing the test.
So there are 2 protest options:
1. Keep your child home from school for part of the day - The field test is a 40 minute test administered the week of June 4 – 8. Contact your school principal to determine the exact date and time of the test in your school. (A separate activity is being planned for 3rd graders at Upper Nyack Elementary School – contact Heather Cornell at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more)
2. Older kids or those who feel strongly about this themselves can simply write ”Refuse” on the test. They may have to sit quietly for 40 minutes while the test is administered. (There is no official word on whether or not students can read a book or write during this time (for example, write a letter, poem or essay about why they don’t like the tests or what they feel they have lost in school due to excessive testing!)
STAY TUNED for more information in the coming weeks on other ways to get involved, including a letter writing campaign to state and federal legislators.
Parents need to know the facts: Visit the REF wiki site https://nyack-ref.wikispaces.com/REF+platform to gather more information about changes coming to our schools, form your own opinions and take action to effect change.
REF Steering Committee
Jen Marraccino Home (845)358-5108
Angela Bernhardt (845)367-3754
Heather Cornell (845)480-1396