1. What is the secret? Share the tests and results. One more reason we opted out!!! They are our children not the State’s…—Parent
  2. How come King doesn’t see over 30,000 refusals as an indicator of a problem with the tests?—Parent
  3. It is unconscionable for NYS to farm out testing to profit-making corporations and to not let the public assess the testing materials for appropriateness and errors.—Concerned Taxpayer
  4. These children are OUR community’s future. They are the people that will take care of you and I [and] everyone else in our old age. For the sake of our communities do what is right.—Citizen
  5. With more than thirty years of teaching experience, I can honestly say I have never seen tests that are as poorly written and ambiguous as the recent ELA seventh grade exam. The tests do not measure or predict anything because they are not aligned to an age appropriate curriculum.—Teacher
  6. As a parent, I am appalled that I cannot know what assessments my children are being asked to complete by the State of New York. I am able to attend school board meetings to hear about curriculum, I have access to school administration, and teachers are available to discuss classroom instruction. But when my children are asked to complete a “high stakes test”, I am left uninformed. You serve us. You serve us using our tax dollars. Do not ask our children to complete work and keep the parents unable to review the things you ask our children to do. I insist that you make these tests available for review after they are administered. This is not an educational matter based on totalitarian decisions. We represent communities who should be properly represented. Proper representation requires transparency.—Parent
  7. We all agree that parents are their child ‘s first teacher. We depend on them to take their role seriously and to be actively involved in educating their child. They should see the NYS tests that their child is expected to be judged by- their voices should be heard about the ridiculous math programs that no engineer in their right mind would agree to as being viable in the world of work. The very fact that parents cannot see the tests is suspect. This is NOT the democratic method– SED is out of touch.—Principal
  8. A direct quote from Commissioner King: “the best way to determine how all of our students are performing, as compared with other students in their school, their district and across the state.” If Commissioner King truly believes his own words, then why aren’t his own children taking these inappropriate, unnecessary and stressful NYS Exams?!—Parent & Teacher
  9. The ‘gag order’ forced on teachers who are correcting the tests is completely at odds with the best practice of using data to inform instruction. And the test I proctored had multiple instances of ambiguity or insufficient information for students.—Teacher
  10. Commissioner King told a senate committee hearing that these tests were used “to inform instruction.” That is a direct quote from him. How is a test that you can’t discuss with your colleagues, you can never look at, and you can’t discuss with parents going to help inform instruction? What is the state hiding from? Angry parents. After seeing how the state scored this last round of ELA tests, I have decided to opt my own child out of testing next year. It is a racket. It is legalized corruption. Every parent should know.—Parent & Teacher
  11. No one believes anything from NYSED anymore. You are lying, ruining lives of children, teachers, and setting up superintendents, principals and school boards to follow you and act AGAINST parents’ & taxpayers’ positions. We will NOT be silenced or threatened anymore.—Parent & Board of Education member
  12. I could not agree more. Additionally, providing a scaled number from 1-4 to parents with no context, or break down is completely useless to us. We deserve better information about the results if you don’t want us to all opt out.—Parent & Professor
  13. I counted no less than 5 questions on ELA Book 1 this year that had two equally correct and supported answers. If the teachers cannot even find a single right answer, then the test questions are invalid and not appropriate for the students.—Teacher
  14. This wasn’t a test of ability. Don’t tell us it’s rigor when “absurd” is the only rational response.—Teacher
  15. If all this reform is really about students and their learning then you will release the tests. But we all know it is not. It’s about money and politics. Shame on you. But then again, your kids don’t go to public schools so who really cares right?—Parent & Teacher
  16. What are they hiding?—Parent & Teacher
  17. If Commissioner King is so eager to prove teachers and parents wrong, he should release every passage and every question (including field test questions) to the public. But he won’t, because he knows these new tests would not stand the light of day.—Teacher
  18. Results and all questions must be released to the public.—Resident
  19. In addition to the concerns listed, I believe that being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement when scoring clearly shows that the there is something amiss…—Parent & Teacher
  20. The sixth grade ELA exam was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.—Teacher
  21. One essay and 20 multiple choice questions are sufficient enough to figure out whether or not a student’s writing and reading skills are deficient. Three days of testing is ridiculous waste of teaching time. In addition, the time teachers need to be out of the classroom for the regional scoring of state tests is also waste.—Teacher
  22. I trust the teachers on this. They’re the ones breaking their backs trying to do the best for our kids.—Parent
  23. How can a state hold others accountable when they will not allow the same accountability for themselves?—Parent & Teacher
  24. High stakes testing must stop; collaboration, innovation and respect for teachers must begin.—Parent
  25. Dr. King is not listening. He perhaps needs to take a child development course for starters.—Grandparent
  26. Let’s do what’s best for the students, instead of what advances the interests of Andrew Cuomo.—Teacher
  27. Time to be transparent SED. If you are going to demand this level of information on our children, you need to make it available to teachers in a timely manner…it is a waste of money otherwise. STOP WASTING MY MONEY!—Parent
  28. These tests are abusive; they are too long and require students to rush and abandon the taught reading and writing strategies that make them successful readers and writers.—Teacher
  29. Lack of transparency only means one thing- you are hiding something. Such action is totally unacceptable….period!—Teacher
  30. The tests administered last year and this year by our state education department are the most ill-conceived tests I have seen in my 40 years in teaching.—Teacher
  31. Let parents see the test! What are you afraid of?—Teacher
  32. The third grade test had readings and questions so difficult test makers should be brought up on child abuse charges! There needs to be more transparency and accountability!—Parent & Teacher
  33. Stop encouraging and protecting corporate profit at the expense of public school students and teachers. Stop degrading public school teachers. Stop YOUR “drama and noise” in the interests of corporate reformers.—Teacher
  34. Stand by the tests, publish them, and see if they withstand public scrutiny. Or do what’s right and eliminate them altogether and save yourselves and the State much unneeded embarrassment.—Teacher
  35. I stand with Spencerport and their desire to have the testing information made available to the public. We have a right to know what you are subjecting our children to.—Parent
  36. Be Transparent. Especially if you have nothing to fear.—Parent
  37. A poorly written test does not measure the progress of children. If we test our children it should be with the finest tools available…this year’s ELA and Math tests are obviously not a reflection of the state goals.—Retired Counselor
  38. Refusals will continue to grow and the data and tests will be useless until NYSED changes their secretive testing process.—Parent & Teacher
  39. How can we give an assessment when we don’t have access to the questions, passages and answers? What is the purpose of assessment?—Teacher
  40. The cover of shadows create fear and uncertainty. If there is nothing to hide, why not try transparency?—Teacher
  41. History will stand on the side of those who saw the folly of these types of exams.—Retired teacher
  42. Why does there need to be such secrecy about the tests? If commissioner King feels the test is “the best way to determine how all of our students are performing…” Then release them so the public will know why.—Parent & Teacher
  43. This is an amazing and well phrased letter. It represents every sentiment that I have about these tests, except that it doesn’t include the fact that as outrageous as these tests are for typical students, they are even more useless (and discouraging) for students with special needs. Thanks to Spencerport for standing up to the system and speaking out! There is so much fear driven attitude in education that we could easily become paralyzed. This is a wonderful example of exercising our democratic rights and keeping the best interest of students at the very front of what we do! Thank you.—Teacher
  44. These teachers are so brave – all NYS teachers should be doing the same.—Parent
  45. Bad: our students are subjected to these grueling tests. Worse: these tests are a terrible indicator of true intelligence which (any good teacher will tell you) is a beautiful and mysterious blend of critical thought, skill, and creativity. Collateral Damage: teachers who are judged by the results of these tests. Tragedy: the wrong choice for improving public education system. Behind the Scenes: big money for corporations.—Teacher
  46. There is an urgency about this issue. Each year that goes by pursuit to current reform measures compromises public education and our children’s learning. Please act now and make the changes that will ensure the best practices of 21st century learning can occur at all public schools.—Parent
  47. Why is this even a debate? Let everyone see the assessments. The illogic of not releasing them is stunning.—Parent & Teacher
  48. The only reason to mandate that these tests remain secret is if there is something to hide from parents & the public. What is being hidden?—Parent
  49. Why are Cuomo, King, and the for profit test companies afraid of transparency? What are they hiding? Only a matter of time and change in leadership before the truth is revealed.—Parent & Teacher
  50. How can the “data” generated by the Common Core tests be of any use if their connection to the CCSS is dubious at best? Additionally, education is based on the mantra that “assessment drives instruction.” Giving tests to third through eighth grade students that do not provide any data to drive instruction is educational malpractice. Putting aside the question as to whether such tests are appropriate AT ALL, reforming them seems to be a needed first step.—Parent & Teacher

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