the blog of Carol Burris

Petition to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to End High Stakes Testing

We, the undersigned, support higher standards that are reasonably designed, implemented with care, and accompanied by the resources schools need to achieve them. The New York State testing program has undermined the implementation of higher standards, by creating a test-driven environment that does not serve our children well.  High stakes testing continues to waste precious taxpayer dollars and student learning time. It is time to say, “no more”.

We believe the following:

  • High-stakes testing lowers the quality of education due to “teaching to the test”.  It reduces time for the enrichment students need and enjoy, while increasing unhealthy emotional stress in our children.
  • Testing results belong to students and families. They should not be used to close schools, retain students or evaluate educators, and they should never be used for commercial purposes nor given to national databases.
  • Schools should be safe havens where students feel secure and cared for, not sorted and ranked by test scores. They should not be places where children feel inadequate, stressed and unsuccessful.  No nine-year old should be told whether he is on the road to “college readiness”.  It is absurd to try to make such predictions.
  • All tests and student results should be available to teachers and parents after test administration. They should be used only to inform parents and teachers about a child’s learning and to improve instruction.  Tests should exist to serve students not politicians or for-profit testing companies.

Based on the above, we support an immediate moratorium on high stakes testing in the State of New York.   Testing exists to serve our students.  Our students do not exist to serve testing.  Sign the petition by clicking here.

OVER 14,100 NEW YORKERS HAVE SIGNED ON!! (see who signed on here)

Read about the problems with “college readiness” testing here

239 Responses to “Petition to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to End High Stakes Testing”

  1. Michael Scottaline

    The whole process is ridiculous and should have been stopped before millions had been wasted (as usual). Math A anyone???

    • heidi

      The focus should be a well rounded education and challenging the students to reach high and to get rid of the teachers who are just taking up space and enjoying the union benifits. More focus needs to be put on keeping our kids safe we need metal detectors to keep the bad out.

    • Renee Gibson

      As parents, we can opt our children out of the NYS tests. They do not have to take these standardized tests until the Regents tests. My children have not taken them yet.

      • Lisa Ehrlich

        You are very fortunate to be able to opt out Renee, and must not live in NYC, and send your children to NYC public school. Our children have the additional pressure that these test scores determine where they can apply for ongoing schools (4th grade scores for middle school and 7th grade scores for high school).

      • Maureen Sackett

        So much time is invested. What do they do instead? Hoe do they feel about it and how are they placed in class? Just out of curiosity i might follow suit

      • Renee gibson

        Well, my son still goes through the same practices as the other children. His teacher does Guided Reading with them, so she checks their reading levels often, based on their reading level and comprehension scores, she works with them accordingly. Works on what their needs are but also comprehension skills probably on the test too, it’s hard to say. I wouldn’t expect her to create a new curriculum just for him. Eventually he will have to take the Regents and I wouldn’t want him to walk in blindly.

      • Virginia

        How exactly do you opt out. We are parents of a third grader and this ought to be our first year of standardized testing. We would love to set our precedent of “No” from the start. Any direction would be helpful.

    • Susan

      Ridiculous is too mild a word! Criminal, unethical, corrupt. . .and yes, aborted is what they need to be! Please also sign this petition to President Obama on his We the People website:

      The petition has until February 22 to gather 100,000 signatures. If it does, the White House has to issue a response. Please pitch in and pass it on! The more people speak out and demand an end to this hijacking of our education system, the more likely we are to see it change.

  2. Steve Cohen

    If this kind of testing regime is so wonderful, why not require it of the private, independent schools to which NY State Regents send their own children? Horace Mann, Trinity, Dalton, Brearley, Spence, Fieldston?

  3. Doug

    Your petition is fill in the blank. Thanks to recent reforms I am only prepared for multiple choice questions. Can I have some time to study first?

  4. Sean Crowley

    As I read the Pineapple section to the kids in the psych center where I teach it dawned on me that I couldn’t even figure out the answers. Let’s say I wasn’t surprised when the wheels came off Pearson and nobody could figure out how a company who’d taken $25 million for a 5 year stint failed to write up a valid reliable testing instrument. In the big picture of ed reform though we all know this doesn’t make any difference to the hedge funders, lawyers and general know it alls who see education as a high yield investment.

  5. onewomansjournal

    In the end, Cuomo will look stupid. Wonder who’s giving him money under the table.

    • Wesley McLaughlin

      The money they give is all over the table. It’s called a campaign contribution. If you want to know, go to Political corruption is perfectly legal in the US.

  6. Angel

    High Stakes Testing, specially when done through a contracted publisher, is not only absurb but a way to put more unnecessary stress on students, add expenses to school districts, and a way to reduce quality teaching, and limit our students creativity. Not only, the governor is adamant about feeding dollars to publishing fat cats, but to add insult to injury linking its bogus results to teachers’ evaluations! Assessments were tools that were used to adjust or modify instruction, not the oppossite!! Don’t forget to vote” them” down next November…

  7. Jim C

    Unfortunately the government is trying to compare us to countries that supposedly do “extremely well” on standardized exams. We are a society that creates creative thinkers not A, B, C, D choosers. The inundation of exams on our children is only going to widen the achievement gap, turn more students off from learning, and dissuade quality educators from entering the field. Wake up!! Please for the sake of our society.

    • Kelly B

      Excellent response Jim C! We wonder why our students cannot think critically or are afraid to be creative and produce something independently. Every one of my students from the below average to the elite learners need to see samples and models and want to know exactly what I expect so they get a good grade. I am glad they want to please me, and I am happy they want to perform well. But I am so sad that they are afraid of failure and do not KNOW HOW to think critically or creatively. A, B, C, D – choose one and don’t be wrong or you have to take extra punitive classes. ugh

  8. Vincent Palma

    The emphasis on test taking and test scores is tearing down the fabric of our education system. Assessment is an important aspect of teaching but over testing is counterproductive. I have a son in kindergarten and he had been put into a remedial math class bassed on his benchmark assessment. This test was given in second week of school. Most students at that age don’t even know what a test is. Students are in remedial classes more than with their primary teacher. This is appalling. This system breaks down the confidence of students and disrupts creativity. We will eventually have a country of test taking idiots who can’t problemsolve, invent, and see life as anything more than data! According to Howard Gardner there are 7 intelligents…how many are we developing now?

    • Ann

      Exactly! The end game IS to manufacture a generation of mindless humans who will be blind obedient objects easily manipulated for the gains of corporate agendas; stupified and zombified!!!

  9. sue

    The students will succeed if they are given the time to learn instead of weeks of testing. All of these weeks add up to months of non-instruction. They want to learn!

  10. John G

    NYS Educators and parents… Lend your signature to stop subjecting our students to hours of testing that do NOTHING to inform teaching or enhance learning. Students in my school were in tears after being forced to sit for NINE hours of testing. Why is this needed to check the mastery of third grade content? This is longer than most tests needed for entry into high stakes adult professions! Let the governor here our frustration.

  11. donna kornblatt

    All this testing and teaching to tests limits and ends creative ideas, creativity,and enthusiasm for learning.

  12. Rita Dougherty

    We are teachers. We are not parents. We are not extended family. We can go above and beyond in making ourselves available. We can extend ourselves beyond the hours we are assigned. We can work miracles…to an extent…and we do.

  13. Susan Heller Fisher

    It is time for educators, parents and legislators to listen to each other as one message is delivered: High-stakes testing does not lead to better educated and more prepared students. How much suffering will be endured by students and teachers before our legislators come to their senses? As an educator and parent, I am weary of this battle…

  14. Tim

    The end result of highs stakes testing and data driven instruction is that we have narrowed the curriculum to only that which will be tested. If you are inside the system, you can see what a monster the policy makers have created. It is sickening for those of us who love to teach.

  15. Claudia Re

    I have yet to see a viable test created that truly guages student achievement on the prescribed New York State curriculum.

  16. Monique Ruane

    These state tests do not gauge student achievement, they only serve to usurp valuable teaching time and stress out our students.

  17. Amanda Barchi

    Teaching is an art. It is not a business and our students are not a product!

  18. Jorge Perdomo

    Our goal is to develop children to become productive citizens, not test takers who cannot apply their knowledge and skills to real life situations.

  19. Bruce Silvers

    This whole process has become a travesty. It has taken away valuable time that could be spent on lesson planning and student learning.

  20. Marilyn Hirschfield

    It’s time for legislators to come to a classroom and work like teachers do, everyday all day long and see the quality teaching that is evident. The money wasted could be better spent on programs where children truly need extra help and materials.

  21. Ellen Kresic

    Stop wasting our children’s time and taxpayer money! Parent and student accountability are what will change education. Not more tests !

  22. Laurie Joslin

    End it already! Step back and think about what will really help our students succeed in life!

  23. Loren

    Too much time is taken away from the classroom for teacher-training on these tests. Then they must teach to these tests. There is no room for creativity, independent thought and critical thinking. What has happened to our schools? Politics has happened, infiltrating every part of our society, and now the classroom as well. Sad I say, so very sad.

  24. md

    With the new required testing, there is little or no room for the spontaneous instruction from which students truly learn. Enough of the cookie cutter instruction. These are children who need nurturing and encouragement, not stress from the thought of test, test, test.

  25. Judy Baker

    Schools need to celebrate every child and make them feel valuable for who they are.

  26. Alicia

    High stake testing in elementary school does not determine a child’s future but the love of learning will. You are taking away that love for all involved in education.

  27. delores farmer

    it is almost like setting up students for failure and that lowers the self confidence and self esteem.we need to encourage, boost and not stack the stakes so high.

  28. Deb Silvers

    I could be making meaningful learning activities for my students. Instead, I’m jumping through endless hoops; an effort which has brought my students absolutely no benefits. You have the power to do the right thing for our kids. PLEASE DO IT!

  29. Joseph P. Bottini

    The adage, “One Test Does Not Measure the Worth of a Child” says it all.
    I have been part of at least 12 education panaceas during 35 years as a teacher and 6 years as a Board of Education member.
    “There is no cure for stupid” comes to mind when I hear about the learned folks in Albany and Washington creating and instituting many ridiculous programs and mandates. Always, there are dollar strings attached so as to bully the local districts into complying, or trying to comply, with what I have come to refer to as used oats.
    If one mucks the horse stall enough, one will begin to have the same odor as that eminating from the place where one is working.
    Yes, we must test. Yes, we must evaluate teachers and administrators. Yes, we must improve the quality of educational offerings. It is not what is done, but how it is being asked to be done, that is the problem.
    Those federal and State mandates for the above are educationally unsound and unworkable on a practical level.
    And, might I add, unconstitutional. Read the 10th amendment of the U. S. Constitution, again for the first time.
    At age 78, I have no dog in the hunt and therefore I am not self serving.
    However, if one cares about children, one must speak up when children are being used (held hostage) so local districts can be eligible for funds.
    Organized crime extracted “protection” money, the government offers money to bribe educators to comply with what most teachers know is unworkable.
    It does sound good and the public is duped into thinking something is being done to avert the crisis in education that does not exist, at least in most school districts.
    The politicians and the press have created a crisis frenzy that is believed by many of the unsuspecting parents who are not tuned into what is going on in our schools. Society has a problem and schools are asked to “fix” it.
    I invite Governor Cuomo to be my guest and visit our community and our school district.
    One visit and he will be awakened to the absence of a need for what he is trying to sell us in order to become the education governor who desires to become the next Democrat presidential candidate.

    Joseph P. Bottini
    9440 Willowbrook Lane
    Sauquoit, NY 13456
    315 737 9317

  30. Stephanie

    The State comes up with an idea (Not teachers) !!! The test companies then make a lot of money to produce new materials. The school districts rush and spend a lot of money to accomodate the changes. The teachers frustrate the students to implement the NEW WAYS and then BAM!!! It didn’t work and then the whole process starts all over again!!! Let teachers teach!!!

  31. beth

    I really wish I could go back to teaching…..This is the WORST year in my 12 years of teaching.

    • Renee Gibson

      I am in total agreement Beth, for the first time, I am actually considering other career options. It’s not because my job is more difficult or that I can’t teach, it’s because they won’t let me teach my way. My children can spit out all the facts, data, main idea and details I’ve taught them, but they do not know how to interact with one another, they do not have social skills and they have lost their imaginations because we aren’t giving them the opportu ity to explore that. Every thought they have, we’ve put there…not how I started or how I saw myself teaching, so sad.

  32. Janet C. Fabiano

    More bureaucratic BS that JUSTIFIES their Political Ambitions!!! The children do not matter to them-it’s about POWEr and the VOTES to keep them in POWER!!! Politicians SUCK!!!!! FIRE THEM ALL!!! HIRE RETIRED TEACHERS!!!

  33. Marcy Tretler

    Parents with the financial means and the interest in their children’s education will put their children in private schools -even those who live in the top-ranked districts. We are doing our educatioal system a disservice by requiring all these tests rather than making our children interested in real learning. Private schools still have that option. Teaching to a test is not education and every professional will agree with this statement. There must be a better way to make schools work for our children.

  34. KarenErskine

    It needss to stop – Government interferance in our lives is challenging educators to do their job effectively, who will suffer- THE CHILDREN!
    We have very well educated people in the world today without the pushing of all this rediculous testing and pressure.

  35. Darinda Field, MBA

    Let us start focusing on teaching and not teaching for a test. They are very different.

  36. PPayne

    SUNY New Paltz stated: The worst kind of teacher is the teacher who teaches to the test.

  37. Kelly Murphy

    Please give our children life experience – help them learn life skills, business acumen, managing money and help foster a passion in life and self-worth. Don’t waste time and resources on such useless and baseless nonsense

  38. govtmule

    With the new testing requirements we are now being placed into the same neat little box without any room for what makes each teacher unique in their own way: creativity and individuality. We are being forced into a robotic teaching existence by our “leaders”.

  39. Dorothy Golden

    It is important for us to stand together as we have noted thru history.

  40. Lance

    Mandate to all teachers in New York State: Differentiate instruction according to individual learning styles and various expressions of multiple intelligences… and then test all students with uniform, standardized tests

    • Mary Thurston

      But don’t you know that’s how it used to be done? Horrors that we might look back and see something old might just be the way to educate our children without all this pressure! But no, we have to keep up with global competition. Think! We USED to be educationally superior. Spoken from 37 years in the classroom.

  41. kzahedi

    The infatuation with data is embarrassing. The technocratic efforts of this new wave of “reform” is a failure before launch since education involves the engagement of people who are not mere cogs in a machine. When using numbers provides less precise explanations/approximations, we should just go back to saying what we mean!

  42. Marilyn Rosas

    I taught in NYS for 33 years. This testing program is a travesty. You cannot reduce good teaching to simple data. Standards are important but this testing program is ridiculous. It would be a lot less expensive and more productive to return to the format of old regents exams. Bring in teachers from around the state and have them write questions for the curriculum they cover in each class you wish to test. Stop the insanity now before we ruin a generation of children.

  43. Kevin M. COady

    There are indeed MANY problems within the education system. So much needs to and can be changed if we all work together. The State Legislature reminds me of a classroom, a group of children jockeying for recognition no matter the effect on anyone else. Governor Cuomo, you have yet to figure out how to teach these ADULTS how to act in the best interest of the whole. Why presume that you know how to regulate a classroom? how me any reliable data that shows that shows a correlation between scores from high stakes testing and a well educated and employable citizenry. Actually also show me how any policies at all have resulted in more opportunities for our students.

  44. dbpigtail

    Reblogged this on The Plain Satisfactions and commented:
    My reader base is small, but growing every week. Thank you for supporting my blog, even if I do go off track once in a while 🙂 This is serious though! Please consider signing this petition, and forwarding it to everyone you know. Thanks!!!

  45. tdog

    Would this testing be acceptable if it were not tied into Teacher Evaluation Performance or Benchmarks for Schools. I understand the pros and cons and am looking for a compromise. anyone??????

    • carolcorbettburris

      Not at its present intensity, no. In the early days, when it was testing in grades 4 and 8 and teachers could see and score the tests, it was helpful to students and their learning. You knew who needed support and you knew where you needed to modify your curriculum or instruction. If it became low stakes, like NAEP, with grade levels sampled, it would make sense. But they are planning to begin testing kindergarteners soon. It is out of control and has taken on a life of its own.

  46. Wendy B

    As a parent I firmly refuse to allow my child to participate in these useless tests. They limit the teachers ability to teach effectively and pigeon-hole kids who may have just had an off day. Want to help the kids – let the teachers teach and give the districts the state aide that they need to be effective. You don’t go without a raise why should our educators?!

  47. Wayne j fisher

    Does NYS Ed realize that some students are highly intelligent in different areas and these tests do not cover all the capabilities of each student? come on, being a test taker alone never made this country what it is, has been, or will be. Wayne J Fisher (retired sp. Ed and regular Ed teacher for many years.

  48. danielleR

    What are you really doing to the children?? Do they need stress of high stakes testing. Really, end it, it has been way too long!!! RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. crystal calandro

    I turned out well… 2 degrees under my belt including a masters degree from NYU and I did not have to be tested like a lab rat!
    Its insane that my daughter doesn’t want to go to school at 8 years old as she is afraid to Fail!
    The pressure is uncalled for! I would pull her out and do private school if i had the means!!!

  50. Heather Harris

    PLEASE stop this testing! My daughter developed anxiety in 3rd grade due to these ridiculous tests! People wonder why our middle school population is turning to drugs, alcohol and sex. They are under more school related stress than any generation that preceded them. They are forced to deal with adult stresses when really they are still very young children. Of course they are turning to drugs, alcohol and sex — they are seeking an escape and they are crying out for help by acting out.

    As an educator and a mother, I beg of you to STOP! These tests are sadly forcing many teachers to “teach to the test” as mandated by their districts. The creativity is gone. The passion is gone. It is incredibly sad and unfortunate.

    My biggest fear is that these tests will result in a population of young adults who are extremely good at filling in bubbles on scantron sheets but can’t think outside of the box. We need to foster creativity, imagination, collaboration, and a passion for learning in our schools.


  51. ann

    stop this testing it does not show a childs true knowledge. you cannot base the childrens ability on a test. this just causes stress and makes the childrenn want to leave school. please think this thru and stop these tests!!!

  52. On National Opt Out Day « morecaucusnyc

    […] Out of High Stakes Testing   Or one of 4,000 who have signed Carol Burris’ petition to Governor Cuomo and the LEgislature to End High Stakes Testing   We care MORE about the people our students become and LESS about the scores on the tests they […]

  53. Michelle McKenica

    I sooooo agree! As a former teacher who didn’t have to teach based solely on test answers, I feel my students received a much better education that wasn’t dictated by page 7 on the test packet. This is just another way that blockheads in our government are not thinking about the big picture. Our children aren’t learning better, they’re just being programmed to pass tests. Disgusting!

  54. Jennifer ledda

    I would love to know how we are supposed to get our 12-1-1 students who all year have all reading read to them but for the state test we can’t read it to them. If they are struggling with this and they are behind in the reading level how will they be able to read and answer questions when it is so difficult for them to read the passages. Please come up with something else to help these students feel good about themselves. tThis test doesn’t help them.

  55. Bethany H

    All we do is test, when is there time to teach? How a child performs on 1 assessment is hardly a true reflection o fwhat their teacher has taught them throughout the year.

  56. James A

    Yet another unfunded mandate for financially strapped districts to pay for, causing cuts, increasing class sizes, and reducing opportunities for individual attention. We spend so much time testing, meeting, about the results, we have no time to develop authentic assessments where students can truly demonstrate what they have learned.

  57. Kristen

    We as teachers care about the people our students will become, not the test scores they will receive.

  58. CW

    What happen years ago when there was less testing? We’re our students less educated? I think not! I know students from years ago with less testing and now are holding office. So what’s that say?

  59. Ron Petroni

    Makes sense to me. Testing is and can be very misleading. Many “kids” just don’t test well!! And they manage to do very well in later life. I can attest to this. NY is not the only state that should rethink it’s teaching methodology.

  60. Virginia Dudko

    This is taking time and money away from real education–and not giving the desired results. We need to hand education back to the educators.

  61. Tracy

    An individual should not be identified by a score. There are so many variables to this testing , it’s ridiculous. I wish these “knowledgeable” people would come visit the schools and communicate with the ones who are with these students everyday. The money is going to the wrong place- testing. We know exactly where it needs to go- come have a listen.

  62. Duane Wolff

    It is well known that individuals learn and perform with different styles. Therefore, it makes little sense to place so much of our emphasis and money on just testing. Teachers are the professional educators that have been required to earn degrees in specific areas of higher education. It seems that it would make more sense to give us back some power on how to properly assess students rather than having the assessments come from those who are not necessarily in the classroom.

  63. bruce gelbman

    as i retired teacher , i am so glad i no longer teach after all you ” peter principle idiots” in ny state education dep’t decided it is better to test than to educate. let’s put teachers in a position where they no longer can relate to their students as people, and make them learn the mantra, “i’m sorry we can’t discuss that question right now, we all have a test to pass in a a few…… You have destroyed the basic reason why education ever worked teacher- student relationships , and replaced it with trying to homogenize all these kids in school.

  64. ag

    Teaching to the “test(s) undermine the true meaning of “education” and interferes in the “long-term” learning process. Government should step the hell back and leave politics out of the classroom.

  65. Joe Falese

    School is for kids. Now they go so the teachers can be evaluated. The new rules are taking class time, money from students, costing jobs. Control belongs local. Stop stroking your ego politicians and BUTT OUT!

  66. Jeannot R. Barr

    The real problem begins at home – don’t make teachers “their” parents as well. Teachers have no control over a home situation which is a prime component of any student’s success.

  67. Lorraine Kosnar

    How about take the freeze off the hiring of paras. Address the health and safety issues in our schools and give them a safe place to learn.. Focus on education and developing college ready students rather than the nonsense testing and prepping.. For test that come once a year and take up much to much class room instruction

  68. Christine Stavish

    Too much testing. You are taking time from learning and preparing dynamic lessons! Step into a classroom, and you will see what is needed! Step into homes throughout New York State, and you will also learn that this certainly isn’t a solution.

  69. Lori Governale

    Lori Governale-I have been teaching kindergarten for over ten years, and with all these new standards and expectations the emotional needs of all of our students is being put on the back burner. The most important part of what makes a child a child is being ignored due to these new, unreasonable expectations.

  70. Karen Molenko

    There are many reasons why our children are not learning in our nation’s schools but the biggest reason is due to government making policies for a highly skilled profession that they know nothing about. Somehow our leaders believe because they “went to school” they should know how to run it! When was the last time you knew of a politician or lawmaker actually spending a day within a classroom setting to see how their imposed laws are affecting student outcomes. These tests along with the regents, are costing millions of dollars, wasting our precious time to teach and killing far to many trees just to have a further “burden of proof” to lash out at teachers for the failure of education.When the lawmakers starting pushing advanced concepts and forgot about teaching “how” to read, “how” to write and “how” to spell is when this nation started to fail. And why? All for the sake of standardized tests and making the grade. When vocational education classes were taken out of our schools and “no children were left behind” this was a recipe for disaster. Now, we have a nation with a high percentage living on welfare while the working class support them. When the students fail tests over and over they just give up.Its time for a huge change and taking the arts and librarians or sports out of the schools is not the answer. No more standardized tests is the answer. Our nation was much stronger years ago when they barely existed. Wake up America! Education needs your support.

  71. Larry Jodush

    I live in a high poverty area, approximately 53 % of my students, and have NO control over the home situations in which they come from. Don’t hold me accountable for the poverty these students come from!! Politicians have let industry and business leave the United States for years putting our country in this position, not ME!!

  72. Jennifer LaPasota

    Please let our teachers teach freely so our kids enjoy learning and want to go to school! ****I tried to sign the petition however when I checked to make sure my info published it was not on the petition, is there a delay? I will check to see if my info is added to the petition in a few hours. I hope this technical issue gets fixed so all of the votes count***

  73. Christine McCullough

    Children need the opportunity to learn in the manner they learn best. They will learn what they are suppose to learn for their life!

  74. Sandy wicklund

    Our children should not be put through all of this testing. This is not what school is about. Teach our children what they should be taught and not to a test.

  75. tracy polak

    Let the teachers teach. Stop the state test. You are giving our children undeserved stress

  76. Mighty Oak

    I wonder how much more information our children’s brain can handle with alll of the technology and testing. Our money is better spend educating parents how to care properly for their child, keeping them away from the violent games and the negative and repusive language in songs they listen to. Let our children be KIDS for awhile and enjoy the learning experience without the undue stress that they WILL be faced with in the future. Bottom line is that our gorvernment is telling society that no one is educated….no one is educated doctors, judges, dentists, clerks, accountants, police, governors and all the way to the top…. the president. Don’t you think we should stop harrassing teachers and children. I wonder who will be next.

  77. Eyes Wide Open

    Has anyone wondered “why”? I truly believe that the end game for all this testing is not for the betterment of our children and their educators, but to provide politicians and private corporations the fake ammunition to privatize our public education system and dollars. It would also be able to adjust the results to expedite removal of higher paid teachers and their pensions. They want to eliminate tenure. The company providing these tests is Pearson (, a large multinational corporation traded on the London and New York Stock Exchange. I’m sure they are more concerned with their profits then our children’s success, the more tests they supply, the more they make. I can only wonder what financial rewards and pressure they offered to get into our school systems nationwide. This is just one of the piranhas eating away at our tax dollars.
    We need to tell our leaders and school boards that numerical evaluations are false idols. WE need to develop procedures that fairly evaluate programs that work, allow modification to those that need it, and eliminate ineffective or outdated ones. We also need to develop a procedure to fairly evaluate teachers, one that would include input from their peers, parents, and administrators, and not solely on test scores. This could be a better barometer of who is effective, need retraining, or needs to move on.
    We dont need Wall Street or Washington to tell us how to educate our children, and we haven’t for the last 237 years.

    • Pauline

      Our children have WAY too much stress in today society as it is………THEY DO NOT NEED ANYMORE……..MORE STRESS WILL LEAD TO MORE PROBLEMS, and that certainly is NOT WHAT TODAY’S CHILDREN NEED!!!! ENOUGH

  78. What is the DWPC (District Wide Parent Council)? « George Washington Elementary

    […] TOPIC:  This will be a discussion on our involvement in a National Petition to overhaul Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the “No Child Left Behind Act,” reduce the testing mandates, promote multiple forms of evidence of student learning and school quality in accountability, and not mandate any fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators. END HIGH STAKES TESTING AND SIGN THIS PETITION TO GOVERNOR CUOMO […]

  79. keith connors

    End the senseless testing!!!!!! Let the teachers teach and keep politicians out of education!!!!!!!!

  80. Melinda Murphy

    Let put the kids and there education first not the company making a profit on there test that the poor kids are having totake

  81. Kindergarten teacher

    This year for the first time in all my years teaching I had to have my Kindergarten students take a standardized test on the computer. They struggled with the mouse and weren’t sure how to answer and were truly flustered as we raised their computer chairs to reach the computer! Come on stop the corporate and political greed and do what’s best for our children. High stakes testing and teaching for the test is not the answer!

  82. Kimberly Velentzas

    Enough unnecessary testing!!!! Stop teaching to the test! This is not helping our kids!

  83. Barbara Ireland

    High stakes is not an evaluation of either a child or a teacher. So much is creativity and spontaneity is being taken out of the art of teaching. We will be raising a generation of test takers not thinkers.

  84. Doralee Mickle

    Standardized testing is NOT the answer. Let the teachers teach. People who have never taught children are making up these stupid tests. Let them sit in a classroom with 20-30 students a day with different abilities and see what their students test scores are. Since we have no student left behind and need to intergrate special needs children into a regular classroom it pulls down the scores of the non special children since so much more one on one needs always go to the special needs child. This is not fair for all the children and the teachers. Someone will always be left behind, then testing all of those children at the same level is not fair!!! Stop this stress making test taking now!!!!

  85. Frank Aurigema

    Testing is a must to measure learning. Current standardized testing is not the ONLY way to measure learning though. I believe the students would be better served to have multiple ways to express and demonstrate learning (just like we recognize different ways/methods of teaching through differentiated instructional practices). I believe in project/portfolio based assignments. This format not only shows you, empirically what the student has learned but the student can then take this product with them to use during other endeavors. I believe in performance based learning (labs/activities) – SHOW me that you understand the ideas/concepts/skills. I have plenty of students that can manipulate understanding with materials but cannot accurately do so by traditional matching terms on paper, picking out the best choice or filling in the blank. Traditional testing has its place in the mix but standardized tests, as the exist today, simply do not work for ALL kids. I cannot believe that we, as a society have really made so many advances in so many different areas but we seem to refuse to advance in education. What’s the hold up?! The KIDS are the ones that must deal with the scars of current educational practices.

  86. Stephanie Denney

    Tests are not a sure-fire way to know a students’ abilities. I received low SAT scores, and have post graduate courses under my belt.

  87. Sally

    I’ve been teaching for 24 years, and morale is the worst it’s ever been. Teachers are stressed, overworked. The paperwork and overtime hours needed to stay on top of everything is overwhelming. For the first time in my career I hear teachers talk about leaving the profession and getting other jobs! New standards like these to raise student achievement will NEVER work. Instead, they pull teachers away from spending time becoming better teachers. I feel so sorry for my fellow teachers who have many years left in teaching. I don’t think many of them will make it.

  88. Dolores Roedel

    Lets get back to the basics. Teach our children the curriculum and stop
    with all the testing. Let the teachers do what they are supposed to do
    and teach the students and stop with all this preparing for tests.

  89. Stacy Tuohy

    Teachers know who to help and how! Let us have the time to teach! Stop the testing!

  90. Rozann Sattler

    These tests are ridiculous. They’re not in the best interest of the children. Stop the testing!

  91. Julia Fuchs

    We need to reprioritize our goals, who sets them, and what we define as an exemplary education. As the mother of a 2nd grader and 6th grader I have seen the changes in education through them — especially over the last two years. The increased testing and stress surrounding them is not AT ALL how I define a quality education. As a teacher, and as a mom I am very, very uncomfortable with where we are in education. If how we as a society define a great education is merely (or primarily) focused on test scores, then we as a nation have a great deal of soul searching to do. Believe me, as a mom and as a teacher I set high goals for my kids — socially, behaviorally, and academically. I expect my own kids and my students to give it their best each and every day…and the results are amazing. Ask me though, if what matters most is measured by these assessments??? My answer will be a resounding NO. I do not sit awake at night dreaming of what great test takers I will raise…..I dream about the wonderful, compassionate, hard-working, problem-solving, dreamers and thinkers that I am raising and educating. Assessments do absolutely have a place in measuring a child’s growth, but I think we have lost sight of balance and what these scores are being used for. I would really, really, really like to gain back some of my instructional time with my students. The time spent testing is felt by all of us. Educational gains and insights come about through instruction, not excessive assessments. Where would you rather we invest our time?

  92. Katie Agostino

    It makes it harder for kids to see the wonder in learning and impossible for teachers to provide them with opportunities.

  93. Dana Bialecki

    Education is not about state testing. Come on people. We’re smarter than this!

  94. Athena Aldoroty

    Not fair…these kids are way too young for this kind of pressure!! They will have it their whole lives. Why does it need to start so early? And for what? So a school is #1 in the region? Big deal!

  95. Maureen Gambino

    Please stop adding additional stress to the daily lives of children and creating an environment overcome with too much testing and data. The time takes away from valuable learning opportunities.

  96. Andrea Egolf

    I don’t feel the state testing is a fair representation of what out kids learn in school.

  97. Christine

    State testing is absolutely ridiculous because then the teachers teach to the test rather to the kids’ interest!

  98. All About the Kids

    Enough already! It IS important to know how are kids are doing…but the test formats are ridiculous and UNFAIR! YES we need to push our students, but at their own pace not the states!

  99. Barbara Lazcano

    My daughter is growing up in a test driven world. She feels the pressure already in 2nd grade and it has caused anxiety and a low self-esteem. Is this the goal? Where is the nurturing part of education? The positive reinforcements? You are constantly made to feel useless if you don’t do well. This is not what school should be about.

  100. Michael

    We should also take up a petition to end automatic tenure. Ther should not be automatic tenure in any field. Gainging tenure should be a process taht is earned and gained through an extensive vetting process, not handed out for merely showing up to work for a few years.

    • carolcorbettburris

      Michael, tenure is not automatic. In my school it is earned by less than half of all teachers hired. I do not know of any school that awards automatic tenure.

  101. Maureen Sackett

    I’ve always felt this way growing up with my Dad being a teacher. I’ve witnessed the change in education as a student and now as a parent. I am very unhappy with this system and find it highly unfair to the students with unpredictable results. My childs teacher put her in,a lower reading group because of a test at the start of the year. She felt bad because she knew she was not being challenged and having known her fellow students reading level she knew she was misplaced. She is only nine. Shame shame shame on the government and the teachers who take these test seriously without considering how fickle children are

  102. Maureen Sackett

    Curriculum is being sacrificed! So much time is invested in read and reviews for ny state test. At one point my child last yr in 2nd grade had 5 read and review every night for hw. I spend more time teaching at home what the teacher doesn’t have time to teach

  103. Eyes Wide Open

    All the comments are spot on, but to really put the pressure on we need to put “boots on the ground”. We all need to spread the word. We need to get up and visit our school board meetings. We need to call our local politicians, congressmen, and senators and demand they speak on our behalf. We need to tell Albany what to do, not the other way around. Oh, and by the way, districts are going to have to spend 100’s of 1000’s of $$ or more to be computer compliant for these tests by 2014-15. Get moving!

    • Cheryl Salerno

      Good point! All the comments in the world won’t help if the powers that be don’t get the message! Round up some parents for the next board meeting. And don’t just sit there. If they have time which is open to comments from the floor…..go for it.

  104. Melinda Edgley

    Teachers need to stand on their own measures for performance, stop putting the pressure on our kids with all this testing

  105. Jamie Wesseldine

    My child is in 2nd grade and already worried about who has better test scores this is not what education is about!

  106. Peggy Cochran

    Give our children and our teachers a break! Let them learn at the right levels, not have anxiety in elementary for goodness sake!!!

  107. veronica kline


  108. Doris Romano

    You have taken the joy out of learning and the joy out of teaching. The children are now stressed to the max. Where is the common sense? Let our children be children, not test taking robots! I have not talked to one child, parent or teacher who thinks all this test taking is neccessary.

  109. Rhonda Morien

    What is the maic number…what number of signatures do our state leaders have to see before they realizethis is bad for children? Whats the number?

  110. Tania

    We have gone from a stressed out adult community to now imposing this pressure on our children. Standardized tests for children as young as 5, numerous times throughout the school year, who are still learning to hold a pencil…why? Or better yet, computerized tests the 5 year olds were made to take…many of whom do not have computers…again, why?

    I don’t think many parents truly know what is happening within schools across New York today. If they really knew, I think there would be a revolt to have their children taken out of their present schools. Teachers who once loved their job and working with children and stressed out and are looking at other professions. We are are going to lose the very people we need working with our children.

    Stop the insanity!

  111. Cheryl Salerno

    Teaching to the test is destroying the education of our children! It totally defeats the chances of students learning what they really need to learn. I predict the loss of many teachers because of this practice. It must stop!

  112. Katie Snyder

    As a teacher and parent, I see school becoming a “chore” and not a place of discovery. Teachers are losing their ability to be creative and teach in the moment, because “the moment” is not on the test. Students are losing time to discover and work through concepts at their own pace, because there isn’t time for that, there’s a big test in April. I’ve seen the examples of the tests that these children will take, and I’m am scared. I predict students giving up, because their best, what we always tell them to do, is not enough, it’s not even close to enough. Once they have started to give up in the lower grades, why try anymore and our dropout rate will steadily increase in the next 4-6 years as these elementary and middle school students reach high school. Please, give teaching back to the teachers and let us make school a place where our students come to learn and enjoy the process.

  113. Steph

    Tests don’t always show what the cild knows! Let teachers teach what they need to and not just what is on tests!

  114. Kathleen I

    We can’t raise our children as if they are all from a cookie cutter. Each child is unique and different with their own special gifts. It is not all about Math and English. My 13 year old daughter who is a straight A+ student in English had a stomach ache while taking her English ELA. She wound up in English workshop the following year because of her low ELA score! How ludicrous is that??? I watch my bright children get more and more frustrated with school everyday. It is something that they use to love but now find it a source of stress and anxiety. This will carry into their adult life if we don’t stop this madness now! Please watch”The Race to Nowhere.”Thank You.

  115. Nicole K

    Boycott the Test!! From Buffalo to Staten Island parents should take a stand! Governor Cuomo and the New York State Board of Education are either uneducated themselves about children or simply don’t care. It is shocking that people running this state hold a blind eye to the future of our children.

  116. Ann Mueller, Valatie, New York

    We need to stop teaching to the test! Its just a snap shot of a few days. It gives a false sense of who these children are. What does it really accomplish when scores are released in September and October when schools already in session. Oh yeah, it justing keeping someone in a job. Stop abusing children! And for who’s sake??

  117. Gabriella M. Cervoni

    I agree with this petition. These exams don’t really show what the students know and it does not allow teachers to teach what the students really need to know and not teach to the test.

  118. Susan Blume,CTC

    No need for all this stress- invest in our teachers and the children will benefit. Stop wasting my money, energy and time.

  119. Chuck

    When testing is secret (yes, that’s right, you cannot see the test your child will take or has taken) and is used as a punitive measure it is no longer a viable instructional tool. When the state can arbitrarily decide what constitutes a passing grade after the test has been given it allows politicians to bemoan the sad state of education and insist on new measures to “reform” schools. Oddly, these reforms always seem to result in tax money becoming corporate money, some of which will likely (gasp!) end up as campaign donations to these same politicians. Seems a strong coincidence. And tragically, this never seems to result in better schools, just reaffirms educational power in the hands of non-educators.

  120. Melissa Costigliola

    Our students deserve a well rounded education. They go into school now to prepare for testing and testing discussions and anxiety has filled their days. I teach a violin group and now all my students have been pulled out for test prep. How is that helping them? How is that teaching them about their interests or tapping into their various intelligences? There has to be more to education than testing! Do it for the children!

  121. Dana Akers

    Our children and students are not just “test scores.”. Parents need to demand that they see the standardized tests and Common Core Standards that are developmentally inappropriate and administered to all students with and without IEP’s. They need to demand to see copies of the tests administered and how they are scored. Parents should be questioning why these poorly written are secure to really grasp how their children, teachers, and school districts are being set up for failure .Above all, parents need to get to the polls and vote Governor Cuomo and his Commissioner of Education out of office. It’s APPR time for them! Let’s all send a clear message through our votes- they are INEFFECTIVE! Parents and educators have had enough.

  122. joyce nawy

    Education is more than taking and teaching to take tests. The only people that are profiting from these programs are the manufacturers of these tests.

  123. Jeanette Pietrantoni

    Testing will only prove that a youngster had managed enough information to pass the test; it will not mean that he or she has achieved a real education. Ordinary reading, writing ability, some math and science testing should be done at intervals – but not to the extent that teachers have no choice but to teach to each test.

    • Nicole K

      It is evident that we are extremely frustrated but what can we do to ensure our children get a fair eduction and stop teaching towards the tests before it’s too late? I see our teachers being pulled out of class regularly for curriculum and state test training. They are overwhelmed with abundances of paperwork (ELA & Math). How is this helping our children prepare for real life if they lack basic reading, writing and math skills? Wonderfully gifted teachers are feeling frustrated and our children have become just another number in the New York State education pool! If Bloomberg can put so much time and effort into caring about how much soda we drink, how can we get New York State legislators to care about education? I am a hands on parent but the state is failing our children!

    • jpbottini

      Folks: The governor has gone off his rocker. He took the training wheels off and lost his balance. I could not vote for him even if I was paid to do so.

      A HUGE demonstration in Albany is in order. Let me know and I will be there, if I am not out of State.

      It is time we average folks took the gloves off. Forget the polite petitions and polite speeches.

      Bombard the airwaves with the truth and demonstrate with gusto. No, not the Tea Party mich-mash. Orderly, professionally created demonstrations of huge proportions.

      He is messing up public education. *Attached is my last guest editorial in the Observer-Dispatch, Utica, NY.*

      He is accommodatingHollywood (special dispensation to use multi-powered weapons) to make products (movies on the streets of New York City) with sex and violence that have created – you guessed it – a culture ofsex and violence (on the streets of said city). . He wants gun control for thosewho are law abiding. I don’t own nor want to own a gun of any kind, but there are folks who do.

      Feeda monkey and he is going to want more; and he will poop all over your property.

      Duh, I am running for President, and doing it early and often from the governor’s office in New York State. By the way, I am not some right-wing extremist, I am an old (78) retired teacher.

      Joe Bo

      Joseph P. Bottini 9440 Willowbrook Lane Sauquoit, NY 13456 315 272 9986 cell 315 737 9317 land

  124. Dawn Dahill

    Stop th testing – Kids aren’t learning and is causing anxiety if young children

  125. Arlene Zagas

    Find a better way of grading teachers. This testing system is not working and costing us taxpayer additional money (becuase the fees are unbudgeted everytime you change the test) that as Long Islanders we DO NOT have because you consider us “RICH” and cut our State Aid. We would rather use the money to actually teach our children things other than techniques to take a test so they grade well. Honestly, I don’t pressure my kids anymore and I am seriously thinking of opting out because it does nothing for my children and they can use that time to do more class/school/homework or something creative/educational with that time. Besides, have you actually been to a store lately, cashiers can’t even make change (but I bet that same person scored well on a State Math test), or the college student that doesn’t even know basic current events (ie. who our Mayor is, Governor is, who the Secretary of State is. These kids are our future and might run the state or country one day and we can’t even give them a basic education. Hopefully they can run everything via a test.

  126. Donna Midgette

    All this extra testing causes stress and anxiety for our children.

  127. Lynda Mason

    It’s not about education, it’s about competition and that’s wrong…


    If we are trying to empower America with people who can THINK, COMMUNICATE, CREATE and PROBLEM SOLVE, then we need to make testing a very small piece of the education pie. Save our kids, save our future and let us teach our children what they need to know to compete and succeed in the world.

  129. Heather

    These tests are crushing the creativity of our youth. They have deflated egos and you are using them as pawns in your game to make money for the state and Pearson. Shame on you. We are raising a nation of bubble filling zombies.

  130. Toni Gates

    Please think about all the pressure and stress this difficult testing is causing the children, the teachers and their families.

  131. Heather

    As the mother of a fourth grade student, and a teacher of a fourth grade class, I implore you to closely examine the face of education today. I am desperately trying to meet the needs of each student and grow HUMAN BEINGS. Not test scores. Ask yourselves, where would you like us to place importance?
    My nine year-old son, who is a strong student, came home the other day, exhausted. “Mommy, I’m so sick of writing thesis statements that THAT could be a thesis statement!” I don’t think I could ever articulate this more clearly.

  132. B. Capanna

    All this testing isn’t good for the children. It just creates unnecessary pressure and anxiety, which can lead to all different kinds of issues. I disagree with what you are trying to do.

  133. Michele London

    The current standardize testing is backwords inits thinking and a regression in our education system. It produces anxiety in our children and on this years ELA it’s contents are completely unreasonable. It’s an abonmination.

  134. Sara Levine

    The fact that our children have to spend weeks on LEARNING to take this test instead of learning important information (english, social studies, science, math, etc.) really upsets me. Teachers RUSH through subjects so that they are sure that their kids will have all topics that are on the ELAs instead of spending the time needed for the children to understand and succeed.

  135. melissav76

    I hate the state tests!! Our kids spend more time preparing for the state tests then they do actually being taught the content that they SHOULD be learning!! My daughter struggles in Math..but because her teachers have to spend so much time preparing for the tests, she cannot be taught what she needs to know nor can she learn as an individual child..she has to be taught the same way as every other child! Dont our lawmakers know that every child learns differently? That theyre all individuals? Apparently not! Thus, she “fails” the Math portion every year..ends up in remedial classes which she doesnt need to be in..and feels even worse about herself for “failing”! Good job lawmakers (insert sarcasm here)!! Let kids be kids and let teachers teach!!!

    • Nogaa

      Here is an interesting website about “opting out of the NY tests” without having any affect on teachers, students or funding. Many parents are considering this option. If refusing the test as stated in the NY SIRS 2012-2013 official manual with a (999) code has no validity and will not be counted for anything why don’t more parents choose to do so as the first step in stop schools from teaching toward the test all year long.

  136. Ogo

    These test have to stop! Students and teachers are against it! There is no actual benefit from these test. All they do is degrade students like myself!

  137. AP

    The entire school year is all about making sure the kids do well on these tests. It’s frustrating for the kids, the parents, and I’m sure the teachers as well. End it!

  138. Penny Wolf

    I’ve taught in NY public schools for 27 years and seen a lot of changes. Recent changes in curriculum (with no training for teachers or time for educators to learn this new way of teaching) high stakes tests, and the new evaluation system has been too many changes at once. Administers, teachers and especially students are extremely stressed out right now. Shame on you New York State Education Department! I’m embarrassed to be associated with you.

  139. sherly

    This is just waste of money! What are we doing with our kids by putting so much pressure? This test is not getting us anywhere. It has to stop.

  140. Too much government is bad for you.

    We should be getting together to fight Common CORE as well. We need to get the government out of our schools. All that money and look at what the results are. It’s so easy to just give our kids over to the government, but they do not have our childrens bet inetreests at heart for a free civil society. Let know if you want to fight this. I will volunteer to help.

  141. lydia b

    Let the teachers teach, let the children use thier imaginations to learn, and make the lawmakers listen to what the parents want.

  142. Katherine Keeney

    I don’t think this system accomplishes anything productive. Let teachers teach and let kids learn and be creative and let them fail and learn from failure not fear it.

  143. Isabel Donoso

    Education is in constant motion. We try very hard to improve and change. The problem is the people making these decisions haven’t been around little children. Children are still the same, they learn the same way they did when we were kids and at their own pace. Five year olds still need to play and color, but with these test in their future, (I have been told) we don’t have time for that. The reform has gone too far, we are only teaching failure.

  144. Dale Tyminski

    These tests damage my son’s self esteem. Increase his anxiety. And have done nothing to improve his education.

  145. Dana Kelly

    As a professional working witin the field of speciaI ed I see the negative impact on the students….this has to stop for the sake of the kids!

  146. portjeffchange

    You probably want to focus not on GUV or LEG, but State Ed. Department and local Regents. State LEG has nothing to do with common core or testing. Your local regent does as well as the STATE SED.

    Targeting legislators at this stage is a waste.

    • carolcorbettburris

      They fund the tests and they can pressure state ed. And they like to be on the right side of issues. SED does not care. Been there, tried that.

  147. portjeffchange

    If you are going to “lobby” for change, start with the right folks.

    The Governor and Legislature should come later.

    Your local representative for your education related concerns is your local Regent … and of course the State Ed. Department. They should be the focus of your efforts, first.

    Also, be careful. While many teacher’s concerns are forthright, there’s a union undercurrent here.

    Do some research. Common Core has been in NYS since 2010 ….

    Everything is not always what it seems.

    Don not get caught in the teachers’ battle over APPR. You will dismissed.

    You have a good fight, if you focus your attention to what concerns you most.

    • Eyes Wide Open

      Let’s also look at how Pearson, the company supplying the tests, got this lucrative contract. The more testing, the more they make. Their incentive is for the kids to fail, take the child’s private information, then contact the families to provide online tutoring thru their portal for a fee.

  148. Chris Mannino

    State testing is a waste of time for our children to actually learn and teachers to enjoy what they teach!!!!!!!!!!

  149. Estrea Janoson

    My district (Herricks) has taken the bold step to declare in a proclamation they are against testing!! 😀

  150. Danielle and Tom Ricciardi

    Enough is enough. You are destroying our children. Do what is right for the kids NOT for money and corporations.

  151. Amy

    This needs to stop..We will not sit on our hands and let you bully our children into taking these tests! Let the teachers teach!!

  152. Robin

    As a recently retired teacher, I do know that my students would be much less empowered in their learning and being forced fed information completely outside of the learning process. This is cruel and wrong and you know it!! We all know that “Drill and Kill” is a ridiculous method with no internalizing of what the students are learning. Lets not embarrass ourselves again with this being the worst methods of all. Get it right and be proud. Don’t make believe that this is a smart process. This is a disgrace. Stop ignoring the voices of truth with “Bully Tactics”.


    I once hear that the great American poet RobertFrost said he was
    not a teacher, but instead an awakener. In my view this blog is precisely the same because
    it awakens me, and others I guess, and makes me think.


    Confucius wrote that people can’t open a book without learning something.
    If you change the word “book” with “post”, then this blog is the same – each time I open it I learn something..


    Greetings! I’ve been viewing this blog for some time and I think it truly is very well-written.

    I’m constantly getting excited about seeing a brand new post.

  156. Nicole Walker

    Children need to experience the joys of learning, not the fear and stress of all of this testing. Let the experts (teachers) have a say. They are the ones who have dedicated there lives to learning and researching pedagogical theories and developmental psychology.

    Too much time and money are being wasted on something that is detrimental to our kids and their future.


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