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Union Resolutions

Resolution calling for the proper use of assessments to further education

Union Resolutions

WHEREAS, assessments are a natural part of the teaching and learning process, as educators constantly appraise how well their students are learning; and

WHEREAS, in order that assessments fairly gauge student progress, they should be authentic measures of students’ knowledge and abilities; and

WHEREAS, when assessments are used properly, they are a servant to curriculum: The curriculum drives and determines the manner of assessments — not the other way around; and

WHEREAS, setting standards is also a natural and appropriate part of education, as without them, students who may be struggling — such as English language learners, students from high-poverty neighborhoods or students with special needs – can fall through the cracks; and

WHEREAS, standardized tests, when designed and used appropriately, are one facet of the assessment process, but when they are overemphasized, they can lead to an increase in test-prep; a narrowing of curriculum; and a diminishment of time and resources available for subjects such as art, music and physical education; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers opposes the disproportionate impact of any test in relation to its educational value; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT supports the right of parents and guardians to choose to opt their child out of standardized tests because parents and guardians know what is best for their children; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT affirms its support of standards and its support of multiple measures to assess student progress; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT calls for all state-mandated assessments used in New York City to be diagnostic and informative tools for educators and for the assessments to be developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive and socially relevant for students, and will work with the city Department of Education to ensure that assessments meet these criteria; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT calls on the state to break the monopoly of Pearson Education Corp. on testing in our state by engaging educators to participate in the design of standardized assessments — a move that would also recognize the critical importance of including teachers in decisions about education; and be it further
 
RESOLVED, that the UFT condemns Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ill-conceived proposal to increase the weight of standardized tests in teacher evaluation as this would only cause harm to the state’s public schools by greatly overemphasizing and distorting the use of these tests; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will continue to lobby at the state and federal levels to ensure the appropriate use of assessments.

Related Topics: Testing