New York State United Teachers will launch an advertising program Wednesday denouncing new standardized tests that the union claims contains material students haven’t been taught.
The state implemented new Common Core standards, a challenging curricula for math and English, this year, and students in third through eighth grade will take the more difficult exams next month. In an advertisement, NYSUT alleges that the state Education Department has failed at implementing the standards, leaving students wildly unprepared for the tests.
Education Commissioner John King has said the state expects test scores to plummet—possibly by 30 percent compared to last year—and that teachers would not be held responsible for the lower grades in their evaluations. King has argued the state is “raising the bar” in order to help more kids be college- and career-ready by high school graduation.
The ad, designed as an “open letter” from NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi, said a recent statewide survey showed two-thirds of teachers said their students don’t have books and materials aligned with the new Common Core standards.
“No experienced teacher would test students on material before it’s been taught—and yet that’s the scenario the state has created in its rush to roll out new standardized tests,” Iannuzzi wrote in the letter. “As recently as last month, the state was still rolling out materials and instructions on Common Core, while expecting students to have mastered new curriculum by April.”
The union has started a petition against the tests on its website. “Too much testing? Tell New York state to get it right,” the petition says, asking parents and educators to sign.
Here’s the ad: