New York today was granted a federal waiver to cut back on mathematics testing for students in 7th and 8th grades, Education Commissioner John King said.
The state in October requested the waiver amid growing criticism over the increase in student testing in New York as part of the Common Core curriculum implemented last school year.
The waiver will end the “double testing” of students who take Regents exams in mathematics when they are in seventh or eighth grade and also take a state mathematics assessment. The state will require only the Regents exam starting this spring, King said.
“USDE’s approval of New York’s waiver request means the end of double-testing for nearly 60,000 New York students,” King said. “The Regents, the Chancellor and I are committed to reducing the amount of time students spend on tests and eliminating any tests that don’t inform instruction or improve student learning.”
Students in seventh and eighth grade who take the Regents exam in Algebra I also had to take a math test to satisfy the Common Core program. The same was true for middle-school students who also took Geometry.
Now schools can administer just the Regents exams.
King has faced growing criticism for the increase in standardized testing, which is also used as part of new teacher evaluations. But he responded that other than two high school history Regents exams, all required state tests, including assessments in grades 3 through 8 — are required by federal law.
The state is also seeking flexibility from the U.S. Department of Education on Native Language Arts tests for Spanish speaking students and for students with disabilities.