Albany politicians used the state budget process to impose a ban on standardized testing in prekindergarten through 2nd grade and restrict the use of state test results for student promotion. No action was taken on the use of the tests for teacher evaluations, although the governor suggested that legislators should address the issue soon.
“Legislators were right to shield students from the consequences of these new tests,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Why should teachers still be judged by them?”
Responding to a statewide outcry over the way that new Common Core Learning Standards and state tests were rolled out, lawmakers stipulated that standardized test scores cannot appear on the transcripts of students in the 3rd through 8th grades until 2018, nor can they be the primary basis for promotion or placement decisions.
Students can no longer be required to repeat the grade if they fail the state’s new Common Core tests. New York City was the lone district in the state that used test scores as the sole criteria in determining promotion, but Chancellor Carmen Fariña on April 10 reversed that policy.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated on March 31 that he would consider delaying the use of the new Common Core test results to evaluate teachers.
“If you said Common Core testing was premature for the students, and you just halted the grades on the transcripts, then what is your opinion about the impact of Common Core testing on teacher evaluations, and what should be done?” he asked. “That is an issue that we have not addressed and that we need to address before the end of session.”
Previously, the governor had resisted the idea of any modifications to the new teacher evaluation system.