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NYC's Schools Should Use Fair and Accurate Measures for Admissions Screening, NOT the 2013 NYS Exams.

This petition had 734 supporters


Many selective High Schools and Middle Schools in NYC are still planning to use students' scores on the 2013 New York State exams to screen students for admissions for the 2014/2015 school year.

The signers of this petition are students and their families who would like their applications to NYC's selective schools to be judged by fair and accurate measures, and therefore NOT by the 2013 New York State exams. 


In the Spring of 2013, news media, blogs and on-line communities were buzzing with discussions, complaints and reports about problems with the new 2013 NYS Math and ELA exams. These complaints came from all levels: students, parents, teachers, principals, and local officials. 

Apparently, in 2010, the New York State Department of Education had decided and announced that the 2013 NYS exams would change significantly in scope and content from those of prior years. The NYS and NYC Departments of Education had THREE YEARS to prepare students for the new tests. 

...but that's not what happened!

NOT TAUGHT:  
In response to escalating pressure to maximize student performance on NYS tests, schools continued to teach exclusively to the old test through the 2012 testing season: students (and their families) feared being held back and poor school placement, teachers were threatened with severe professional consequences for poor student performance, and schools were threatened with cuts and closures.

NOT TRAINED: 
Although NYS had announced the new tests in 2010, teachers were not trained by the NYC   Department of Education until January 2013 and materials were first distributed to teachers and students in February for the tests in April. Instead of three YEARS to prepare for the new tests, teachers and student had fewer than three MONTHS!!

NOT GOOD: 
The tests themselves were not pedagogically sound: they were fraught with issues related to poor test design, unvetted questions, typos and graphical errors, questions and answers taken directly from test-prep materials, and a myriad of other issues that can all be attributed to NYS having created the exams at the last minute. 

. . . 

The whole experience of the 2013 NYS exams was an unforgivable burden on our students, and a prolonged distraction from their education. Let's not perpetuate this offense by measuring each students' academic potential based upon their performance on these pedagogically and statistically invalid assessments.

In recognition of the problems with the 2013 exams, the undersigned would like each of NYC's selective high schools and middle schools to make a formal statement that they will omit the 2013 NYS standardized tests from their admissions screening this year. 

We thank all of the schools that have already stated that they will not use the 2013 NYS exams. These are listed here: 
http://www.cobblehillthinktank.com/petition2013    

 



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