Myths and Facts

MYTH: The state tests help teachers identify students’ strengths and weaknesses.
Results from the state tests come in too late to be useful to your child’s teacher. And teachers aren’t allowed to look at the test and see the results in detail. MORE >

MYTH: Rating teachers according to students’ test scores is a good way to hold teachers accountable
In setting up New York’s new teacher-evaluation plan, politicians have assumed that when students show growth on the annual state tests, their teachers are good; and when they don’t show growth, their teachers are bad. But all the data suggests that this is a lousy way of assessing teacher quality, and has several negative side effects. MORE >

MYTH: The state recently placed a moratorium on using test scores to evaluate teachers, solving the teacher evaluation problem.
Teachers will still be evaluated by scores on students’ standardized tests, but on different tests. Students are now expected to take an ADDITIONAL standardized test, on top of the state tests (which even the state admits are flawed and need to be overhauled) for the sole purpose of rating their teachers. Confused? Join the club.  MORE >

MYTH: Testing helps fix school inequity and benefits students of color
This was the original idea behind the Bush-era “No Child Left Behindlaws. But testing seems to be making the achievement gap worse. MORE >

FACT: The New York State Exams are a “Bad Scale”
In part I, we provide a quick overview of how federal legislation and state policies have combined to create unreliable tests. In part II, we collect reviews from teachers and principals across the state regarding these low-quality tests.

FACT: Governor Cuomo sees public education as a market.

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