Connecticut need only look across the border to New York to see the on-coming, out-of-control freight train that is barreling toward our public schools and our children.
Connecticut’s Mastery Test System is on its way out; soon to be replaced by the far more grandiose and far more expensive Common Core Testing System that is part of the corporate-funded education reform industry.
The new computer based, Common Core Tests will be similar in scope to the tests that sent New York State and City reeling in recent days.
To better understand the New York controversy start with the August 7, 2013 article in the New York Times entitled – Test Scores Sink as New York Adopts Tougher Benchmarks.
The New York Times explains,
“The number of New York students passing state reading and math exams dropped drastically this year, education officials reported on Wednesday, unsettling parents, principals and teachers and posing new challenges to a national effort to toughen academic standards.
In New York City, 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the tests in English, and 30 percent passed in math, according to the New York State Education Department.
The exams were some of the first in the nation to be aligned with a more rigorous set of standards known as the Common Core.”
Here in Connecticut a number of Connecticut school districts piloted new Common Core tests this year, although the results have not been released.
Next year, in addition to the Connecticut Mastery Test, at least 20 percent of all Connecticut public school children will serve as guinea pigs for the new Common Core test system and the year after that; all Connecticut students will be taking the new Common Core tests.
As more and more teachers and parents are coming to realize, Connecticut will be burdened with having to accommodate two complete sets of massive standardized testing schemes until the state fully shifts over to the Common Core testing system at some point in the future.
Governor Malloy’s education reform bill requires that the “old” Connecticut Mastery Test be used to evaluate students, teachers and schools. However, his “reform initiative” also mandates the development and implementation of the new Common Core curriculum and testing system.
Apparently diverting over $25 million a year from teaching students to paying for the Connecticut Mastery Test program wasn’t enough for Malloy, Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor and the legislators who supported what can only be called as an exponential growth in the use of standardized testing.
To better appreciate the monster that is headed our way, here are a few “must read” articles.
Diane Ravitch’s recent commentary piece in the Daily News provides a powerful look at what we can expected.
In it she tries to educate the public about the fiasco created by the Common Core testing in New York. See: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/punishing-kids-adult-failures-article-1.1420622
In addition, Arthur Goldstein, a New York City high school teacher, addresses the issue in another Daily News commentary piece lambasting the tests based on the Common Core. See: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/common-core-tests-answer-article-1.1420940
Leonie Haimson, the executive director of Class Size Matters and administrator of the New York City parents’ blog, has written an incredible analysis of the New York Test Score debacle which you can find here: http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/08/leonine-haimson-dont-believe-the-new-york-scores/
And finally, Diane Ravitch shines the light of truth on one of the key factors that led to New York’s “testing fiasco” in a post entitled, The Error That Caused the New York Test Scores to Collapse.
While these articles all relate to the problem in New York, thanks to Governor Malloy’s “education reform” initiative, unless we take action, we’ll be witnessing similar things in Connecticut within the next couple of years.