NY Education Officials Hear Concerns on Over-Testing

Wall Street Journal // October 18, 2013

New York State education officials have acknowledged concerns from parents, teachers, and principals that students not be over-tested.

The tests are a key measure for New York state’s teacher evaluation law, which New York City is implementing this year.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent statement from New York Education Commissioner John King Jr:

State Education Commissioner John King Jr. told superintendents, parents and teachers Tuesday at a meeting in Oyster Bay that the state had tried over the summer to make sure districts knew that pretests weren't required.

"We are worried about the climate of potential over-testing and too much test prep," he said. He said districts should try to do the minimum amount of testing necessary to figure out whether students are learning. "To the extent that we have assessments that are not contributing, we should try to eliminate them," he said.

In New York, the law says about 40% of the teacher-grading systems must be based on various test scores or other measures of gauging whether students learned in class, and the remaining 60% based on more subjective measures, such as classroom visits by principals.