State testing for grades 3-8 will be bumped up a few weeks for the coming school year, according to a letter sent to school superintendents by state Education Commissioner John King.
King said the state’s new teacher evaluation system, a portion of which is now based on students’ test scores, requires the change. State math tests for those grades will be given on April 16 and 17; English and language arts tests will be administered on April 23 and 24.
“In order to ensure results are available in time for teacher evaluations to be completed, we must have the assessments completed, graded and the results distributed by June 15,” King wrote to superintendents.
Also, because of concerns that have been raised in the wake of cheating scandals, school districts across the state will be required to give the tests on those specific dates. Previously, districts were given a window of a few days to choose when to administer them.
“Establishing uniform testing dates is an important step toward ensuring that testing scandals that have arisen in other states are not repeated in New York,” King wrote. “Tainted testing only damages the very students we’re trying to educate.”
Here’s King’s full letter, which was sent yesterday: