Are students being overtested?

Posted at: 10/25/2013 6:13 PM
Updated at: 10/25/2013 9:21 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

Educators, parents and kids worry that students are being over tested.

The tests are used to gauge students and also to evaluate teachers.

At Thursday night's Common Core forum, which was attended by more than 500 people, one local school board member learned that it might be possible to assess teachers using means other than a test in every class.

Commissioner King was very clear last night, New York is staying the course with the Common Core Curriculum.

But he did say districts had some flexibility when it came to the other tests many students take.

Most of the complaints at Myers Middle School Thursday stemmed from the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum.  But students, parents and educators also voiced concerns about kids being subjected to tests, in all subjects, in order to evaluate teachers.

It's called APPR and can take up to six weeks of the school year.

Commissioner King indicated during the forum that districts are welcome to come up with more creative ways to measure professional performance.

“I'm going to remain hopeful the conversation about flexibility will go to the amazing number of tests” says Albany School Board Member Sue Adler.

APPR flexibility is something King addressed in front of an audience topping 500.  

But also, says Albany Board Member Sue Adler, to her separately.

Adler's hope is that state Ed will work with Albany to implement change.  The teacher's union believes it can't happen soon enough.

“All of our teachers do their best every day and are trying to do what's right for kids to sit them in front of computer for test after test after test, we watch the breakdown and we can't do what we know is best for the children” says Sue Gray of the Albany Teachers Association.

Commissioner King is on the record stating that change is an option.  Now it's up to individual districts to implement it.

“It's more than trite. It actually matters when you can actually be heard” say Adler.

Sue Adler is a sitting Albany School Board Member and that's why she was interviewed for this story.

But it's important to note that she and two other candidates, Edith Leet and Anthony Owens, are on the ballot in November.