State flip-flopping on 2012 school tests – again

The State Education Department has flip-flopped at least twice now on the plan for this spring’s state 3-8 Math and English tests, sending out memos to administrators statewide – only to retract them.

On Monday, the state sent a memo to districts with changes and a guide to the testing program. Deputy Commissioner Ken Slenz wrote another email just two hours later retracting the previous memo, saying the department was still seeking field input prior to release. This came after some superintendents had already forwarded the guidance to staff in their district.

As the Daily News reported, educators in New York City objected to the initially released guide which includes four-hours of testing for elementary school students.  Spokesman Dennis Tompkins told the Daily News that the guides were posted in error and have not been approved.

This wasn’t State Ed.’s first fumble this year as it tries to implement deeper tests and link them to teacher evaluations. In August, State Ed. released the new testing schedule, which moved up test dates in order to get data in time for teacher evaluations.

Districts reacted strongly to the initial release, because the state chose a week when many were planning spring break. The state retracted that schedule.


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