Yes, you read that right. According to the New York Times, the “testing-craze” has nothing to do with the implementation of Common Core State Standards.
On Friday, the New York Times featured an editorial which explained, contrary to popular belief, that the increase in testing in some New York school districts has little to do with the Common Core and more to do with provisions in union collective bargaining agreements:
And despite widespread misconceptions, the regents again explained that the new standards do not require school districts to increase the number of tests. (The scheduled time for the federally required tests in grades three through eight, the Common Core report said, accounted for less than 1 percent of instructional time.)
However, local districts themselves have increased testing to comply with a provision of state law created at the request of the unions. The law requires that tests measuring growth in student learning make up 40 percent of an individual teacher’s rating — but half of that must be derived from local measures agreed upon in collective bargaining. To comply, districts have piled on tests, many of which serve only to eat up valuable instructional time. The regents have rightly instructed the districts to cut back on these exams.
[New York Times, 2/14/2014]
Here in Connecticut, it’s no different.
“Student Growth” testing makes up 45 percent of Connecticut’s new teacher evaluation system. Of that, only half (22.5 percent) comes from the new Common Core aligned Smarter-Balance Test. [Connecticut SEED, 11/2012]
The other half may be made up of one other standardized test at the discretion of the district in agreement with teachers and their collective bargaining agreement.
Notice the word “may.” Another standardize test “may” be used; it’s not a requirement
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