Statement from Borough President Diaz
RE: Common Core Testing Results
"The dramatic decline in test scores by New York City school children raises a number of issues, questions and concerns. Standardized testing is inherently imperfect. We’ve seen this before, as a myriad of objections have been raised regarding the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. In fact, in the complaint filed by the NAACP, LatinoJustice, AALDEF and others, it is noted that this test has yet to be properly validated.
"In this case, the alarmingly low passage rates seem to validate all along, that for 12 years, the DOE has been promoting a policy of teaching to the test. If real learning and skill development were happening in our schools, wouldn’t more of that educational attainment have been reflected in the new tests?
"Our school system is overly reliant on standardized tests, and the debate on which tests to use only distracts us from the larger challenges facing our children. In the mean time, testing companies are signing lucrative contracts and profiting from our children’s misfortune. Who does Common Core really benefit, the testing companies or our children?
"The other questions we need addressed include: What have we done in 12 years to reduce class size? What have we done to ensure that our teachers are receiving the necessary professional development to succeed and stay in the profession? What have we done to adequately fund after-school programs, so that kids in economically disadvantaged communities have equal access to growth opportunities outside the class room? Why haven’t we moved to extend the class day and the school year?
"What are we doing to mitigate the correlations between poverty and scholastic underperformance? If we want to raise academic standards, that’s fine. However, we must also look at which school districts had the biggest drops, study why those drops occurred and support those schools with the critical funding and resources they need to succeed.
"We should incorporate, and place greater emphasis, on other and better pedagogical metrics to ascertain academic growth and achievement. It’s inconsistent to celebrate Common Core for implementing critical thinking testing on students, when we as educators invest such incredible blind faith in the infallibility of standardized test,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.