From the School Leadership Team in May 2016:
After careful discussion and consideration, PS 321’s School Leadership Team (SLT) has voted unanimously that PS 321 will not administer the standalone field tests scheduled for May/June 2016. Here’s why:
● Despite repeated emphasis by the New York State Department of Education that Questar Assessment, Inc has replaced Pearson as test maker, the 2016 field tests,* which are testing content for future exams, are composed exclusively of Pearson created questions.**
● We feel strongly that we must protect remaining instructional time. Field tests exams do not provide parents, teachers or administrators with any information regarding each child’s progress but are used solely for research and development purposes for a for-profit testing company. As the school year comes rapidly to a close, students will benefit far more from an uninterrupted day of teaching and learning than from the administration of another standardized test.
● In a further lack of transparency, field tests are administered to children without notifying parents, despite repeated requests that they be informed. We feel strongly that every school in New York City and New York State should have the chance to make this decision, and therefore have elected to make our decision transparent.
* http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/2016/changes2016grades38elamathtests.pdf The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is making significant changes to the 2016 Grades 38 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests. NYSED has selected Questar Assessment, Inc. as the new vendor to lead the development of the future New York State Grades 38 ELA and Mathematics Tests.
a) Who is the prior contractor that will be the source of the forms and items for Spring 2016 and the Spring 2017 administrations? Answer: The prior contractor is NCS Pearson. Under the terms of its contract with NYSED, NCS Pearson is conducting standalone field tests that will be administered in 3 representative samples of schools in June 2015. NCS Pearson will score the student responses to these items in summer 2015. NCS Pearson is also writing and reviewing items suited for populating the spring 2016 standalone field tests.
b) How many FT items will be delivered to the new contractor and when will this delivery occur? Answer: NCS Pearson is developing items for preparation of field testing in spring 2016 and operational testing in 2017