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NY Teachers Call Latest Test Scores “Meaningless”

Only about 40 percent of New York children were rated proficient by tests in English and math. (Michelle Collins/Wikimedia Commons)
Only about 40 percent of New York children were rated proficient by tests in English and math. (Michelle Collins/Wikimedia Commons)
August 23, 2017

NEW YORK - The latest standardized test scores are out in New York state, but teachers are calling them "virtually meaningless."

The scores for third- through eighth-graders improved slightly in both math and English, but still only about 40 percent of students were rated proficient. Carl Korn, chief press officer for New York State United Teachers, said the scores don't count for students - and they shouldn't count for teachers either.

"They're based on a broken testing system, they're rooted in the Common Core standards that are no longer being taught," he said, "and they're the foundation of a teacher evaluation system that has been totally discredited."

There currently is a moratorium on the use of standardized test scores for evaluating both teachers and students through the end of the 2018-19 school year. However, Korn noted that even if the scores aren't being used for evaluations now, they are still being tabulated.

"We believe the over-reliance on standardized testing and this 'test-and-punish' agenda is what has fueled the strong opt-out movement in New York," he said.

For the past two years, about 20 percent of students across the state have boycotted the standardized tests.

The New York State Board of Regents is to take up adoption of a new evaluation system in the next few months. Korn said NYSUT wants to see the current system repealed.

"There's a lot more to the school experience than just testing and more testing. We think any evaluation system should look at everything that goes on in a school, and be much more holistic in its approach."

NYSUT wants testing to be returned to what Korn calls its original purposes - providing an overview of the system, guiding instruction, and helping teachers help their students.

More information is online at

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY