This month, NYC schools are being asked to test children, again, to benefit for-profit NCS Pearson, Inc.

The New York State Education Department has assigned 169 NYC schools to give “field tests” between October 23rd and 25th (for the list of schools, see Attention Parents – Get Ready for Another Surprise: More Tests in October.  Testing companies use these exams to try out questions for future tests, such as the ELA and math exams that will be given in April.

This will be the third time this year that our children have been subjected to experimental testing solely for the benefit of the state’s test development contractor, NCS Pearson, Inc., with out parent’s consent.

Field tests are not mandatory for children. They have no consequences for your child’s grades or placement. If your child does not take the test, s/he will not be asked to take a make-up exam.
If you share these concerns, please download the FAQs and Letters below and join with other parents to take action:

  • High-stakes standardized testing already consumes too much of our children’s valuable class time with “teaching to the test.” The curriculum has been narrowed, harming the quality of education.
  • If our children are spending class time taking experimental tests for the benefit of a for-profit company, parents should be informed and asked to provide consent.

October 2012 – Letter to Parent Leaders

October 2012 – Parent Letter

October 2012 Field Tests FAQ

Octubre 2012 – Parent Letter, Spanish

5 responses to “This month, NYC schools are being asked to test children, again, to benefit for-profit NCS Pearson, Inc.

  1. ’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this during my hunt for something concerning this.

  2. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this web site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

  3. Please help parents underrstand what the field tests are used for and stress that they should opt their children out. People think that the large-scale standardized tests are a kind of *checklist* of things that students should know and be able to do at a given age in school–i.e., that the tests are criterion-based–they’re not. The tests are *norm-referenced*, meaning that students are judged based on how well OTHER students answered the questions. (Sometimes this is even how they SELECT the “RIGHT” answer–it’s the one most of the students chose!)

    So, test items are created (often by non-educators) based on a list of subject items the state sends to the testing company and then FIELD-TESTED; Then the questions for an actual test are SELECTED based on how well they fit a statistical model (in which half the students GET THE ANSWER WRONG.)

    Then they assign “cut-scores” so they can adjust the number of students passing based on policy makiers’ needs. (Remember what happened in Florida last year? Too many kids flunked so they adjusted the cut scores, and miraculously lots of those kids passed. It’s all just a giant WASTE OF MONEY, TIME, EFFORT, and student lives).

    Students and their families need to stop being USED as pawns in this abusive system. Please help get the word out.

  4. Pingback: This month, NYC schools are being asked to test children, again, to benefit for-profit NCS Pearson, Inc. | Change the Stakes·

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