An Urgent Letter from Robin re: High Stakes Testing

Just want to make sure everyone got to see this important email from Robin:

April 26, 2012

Dear Families,

In light of the on-going administration of high stakes tests to our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, and to other children throughout New York State, I urge parents to read the attachments enclosed and to become informed and vigilant in opposing the high stakes testing that continues to negatively impact our lives. I’ve signed and submitted my name to the attached open letter, adding to the list of educators who consider the letter to be an accurate portrayal of the incompetence and mayhem that is filtering down from the offices of decision-makers who are making poor choices that affect children, teachers and administrators.

These tests are being used to assess students in ways that simply don’t work, and they are also being used as a weighted measure against teacher performance as well as the school performance. Aside from their questionable validity and the egregious errors that have received public outcry (and some errors that have not yet been made public!), these tests ignore the impact of social inequities that create an unbalanced platform comparing children who have resources with those who don’t. There are better ways to fairly assess children and there are more reasonable ways to evaluate teacher and school performance.

It’s not a perfect world, and a simplistic and imperfect tool should not yield so much power as to be used as the NYS Department of Education suggests. I urge parents to become active in groups that are pushing back against the barrage of testing that is affecting our communities.


Robin Williams, Principal