Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The New York State Chapter of The Badass Teachers Association Responds to Release of Test Scores

MARLA KILFOYLE, Executive Director BATs
MELISSA TOMLINSON, Asst. Executive Director BATs

The New York State chapter of The Badass Teachers Association, a network of over 3,600 teachers and education activists throughout New York State, responds to the release of student test scores today.  Does NYSED expect parents and educators to believe that 60% of the state is NOT proficient in Math and ELA?  The New York State Department of Education continues to refuse to work with New York parents and educators to set the ship on course.  NYSEDs experiment with greedy corporate education reform models is a big FAILURE!  New York State children and educators are still subject to developmentally inappropriate testing, developmentally inappropriate standards, inequitable funding, a test-and-punish accountability system, increasing class sizes, and disregard for student privacy.  

“NYSED, like any government organization, works at a snail's pace to make necessary changes in curriculum and evaluation practices. Unfortunately, that is unacceptable when dealing with the lives and education of our children. If there are any positives from the newly released scores, it is only because of the constant push back from educators and parents alike. The current exams for grades 3-8 are invalid, inaccurate, and inappropriate for our students. Cutting them back from 3 days to 2 will not change that fact. We need to start from scratch, and that includes the real possibility of no standardized tests at these grades.” Robert Matorana, NY BAT

“NYSED continues to ignore best practices for children and New York State Schools.  The test scores today only shine a light on the fact that NYSED continues to try and dupe parents and teachers.   NYSED has a long way to go to regain the trust of parents and educators in New York State. Opt Out is remaining steady and is adding thousands of  new parents each year! “  Marla Kilfoyle, NY BAT

"Standardized test scores turn children into weapons to be used against their teachers. When we are forced to teach to the test we no longer teach students. We are there to educate, not to build data." ~Michael Flanagan, NY BAT

NYSEDs “Think Tanks”, surveys, and regional meetings have been deceptive and exclusionary of stakeholder ideas.  NYSED continues to invite to the table organizations and people who favor the corporate greed model of education instead of strong research based practices.  We need  NYSED to value research-based practices that are proven to benefit students and close the opportunity/achievement gap.  Until NYSED stops admiring the corporate education reform model and begins to value true education practices parents, and teachers will continue to fight a system that favors corporate greed over our children.



  1. Let's clearly look at the results and realize once again that over half (actually 60%) of the students do not meet proficiency. One can easily see that five years of Common Core Standards and high stakes testing, along with daily test prep, show no justification to what NY State Students can really do. The Opt-Out Movement continues to show a definite impact on knowing what is best for our students. It's time for the Board of Regents and Commissioner Elia to say enough is enough...or perhaps our Governor who has said the tests are meaningless can step up and make the necessary changes. The standards continue to be developmentally inappropriate. Even NYSUT President Andy Pallotta has been quoted as saying the tests are wrong, but NYSUT must do more. End this Common Core nonsense now. Before another five years is wasted for our NY State Children. Do NOT just change the standard's name, get rid of all of it! This can be done! Look how David Coleman influenced everyone and made such a mockery of education. He did so just to try and privatize it. Our public education is strong. Our teachers are strong. Our parents are even stronger. No worries, parents will continue to speak out and we teachers who know this is all one big failure.
    ~Debbie Dermady, NYS Retired Teacher and NYS BAT.

  2. “New York State children and educators are still subject to … developmentally inappropriate standards…”

    Just to be clear, our PreK – 2nd grade students do not need developmentally appropriate standards. They need a continuum of learning where every child learns at their own rate. The phrase "developmentally appropriate standards" is an oxymoron. bit.ly/ibichildhood

    1. I say the same. I have seen intelligent children begin to read at 4, and other similarly intelligent children start reading at 7. We need to meet them where they are and create a fluid learning structure (like I remember from my own childhood. Just a shame to claim there is a Kindergarten reading standard at all. AND this is well known to be true, there isn't even a real argument about this fact, yet here we are.


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