Saturday, November 27, 2021


Don't want the hassles of Black Friday - consider a refurbished gift this year; day after Thanksgiving travel could be messy - and supporters regroup for recreational marijuana in South Dakota.


Big retailers predict an historic holiday shopping season, but small businesses are not sharing that optimism, and economists weigh in on what s behind the nation's labor shortages.


South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

NY Teachers Call Latest Test Scores “Meaningless”


Wednesday, 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 Korn said NYSUT wants to see the current system repealed.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

get more stories like this via email

Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…


HELENA, Mont. -- To honor the Biden administration's steps toward greater ties with tribal nations, conservation groups are calling on it to list the …

Social Issues

PIERRE, S.D. -- Supporters of establishing recreational marijuana in South Dakota say they're pouring all their energy into a new ballot initiative…

Farming is Virginia's largest private industry, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (Adobe Stock)


RICHMOND, Va. -- In central Virginia, permanent access to land is one of the biggest barriers to farming. A new land-trust model aims to secure both …

Social Issues

BOSTON -- This holiday season, consumer advocates are urging Commonwealth residents to consider giving gifts that don't require purchasing anything…

The mission of the 'Buy Nothing Project' is to promote the giving of goods and services within hyperlocal circles. (bfleeson/Pixabay)

Social Issues

AUSTIN, Texas -- Supply chain delays have some holiday shoppers stressed that gifts won't be on store shelves on this "Black Friday," or won't arrive …

Social Issues

DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- A team of New York-based filmmakers is producing a documentary about reclaiming Indigenous heritage, told through the experiences of an 18…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021