NYSUT talks state assessment and accountability waivers

Regional News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Throughout the pandemic students, teachers and parents have had to adapt to a new-normal for learning whether it be online, in-class or hybrid instruction. And, with districts across the state using different methods, some say it’s been anything but standard.

The New York State Education Department has drafted federal waiver requests for student testing requirements and accountability this spring. 

“One is to wave the actual assessments themselves. And then the second is on accountability and having any kind of punishment or any kind of identification of a school in need based off this year’s data,” said NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango.

If the state received the requested waivers from the United States Department of Education there would be no impact on federal funding. 

New York State United Teachers says the move would benefit students given the varying schooling experiences they’ve have had this year. “It wouldn’t be fair or equitable to use one standardized test to see how much these students know and are able to do,” DiBrango says. 

The waivers would impact high school and 3rd through 8th grade testing requirements. While some may argue that state assessments are necessary to make sure students are ready for the next grade, DiBrango doesn’t believe they would provide reliable data this year.

“We know that our teachers can work in concert with the teachers that are a grade above them and a grade below them to really create assessments that will allow them to have accurate, valid data to see where the students are, and where they need to go the following year,” DiBrango said. 

NYSED is accepting public comments on the drafted waiver requests through Friday.  

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