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King Tisch Letter

King Tisch Letter

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Published by Jermain Gibson

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Published by: Jermain Gibson on May 21, 2013
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05/21/2013

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 May 21, 2013Dr. John B. King, Jr.Commissioner  NYS Education Department89 Washington AvenueAlbany, NY 12234Hon. Merryl H. TischChancellor  NYS Board of Regents89 Washington AvenueAlbany, NY 12234Dear Commissioner King and Chancellor Tisch:As Speaker of the New York City Council and Chair of the Council’s Education Committee,respectively, we are committed to ensuring that all children in New York City have theopportunity to maximize the time they spend learning. It is for that reason that we are askingyou to immediately stop the administration of stand-alone field tests.We have heard from parents and teachers across the city who are concerned about stand-alonefield tests. To begin with, many families and educators are increasingly frustrated with thenational emphasis on standardized testing. They believe that it puts unnecessary pressure ontheir children and prevents schools from adopting rich, whole child curricula that include socialstudies, science, physical education, and the arts. Field tests add to this frustration.It is imperative that we have a strong, reliable system in place to measure student progress and assess learning. We also understand that the state ELA and math exams are federally mandated.Stand-alone field tests, however, are not. Field tests disrupt instruction and cause students tolose valuable class time. And while they create another source of anxiety for some students,many students know that these tests “don’t count” and therefore do not give the exams their fullfocus. As a result, stand-alone field tests do not provide a reliable source of data, as the NewYork State Education Department noted when they needed to recalibrate the 2009 state examscores and confirmed in yesterday’s
 New York Times
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