The school board in the town of Greece is sending a letter to lawmakers, the State Education Department and Board of Regents, the governor and others outlining how the current state assessment system for grades three through eight is failing students.
President of the Greece Board of Education, Sean McCabe, says the growing Opt Out movement, now at around 40 percent, is skewing the data from the English Language Arts and Math standards.
"You're not getting true, good data back to know, because you have so many kids not taking the exams, so are you really getting the best data out of it," he said.
McCabe says another major issue is the tests continually change and there has been no consistency with the exams.
And it can take months to see the results.
The letter goes on to say that there are more effective and comprehensive measures already in place to demonstrate accountability to our communities, and these measures, many of which are being used in Greece schools, are less costly and more meaningful.
The board adds the millions of dollars spent annually on testing should be reallocated to better fund schools.
“If we’re going to do a test, let’s make the test be valid, make the data useful, and it takes months and months to get our results back. So, when you take the tests in April, and you don’t get your results back until August or September, it makes it very difficult to change what you’re doing from year to year when the new school year has already started. So it’s very difficult the way it’s currently being done to be an effective tool for school districts,” McCabe said.
The board would like the teachers to form their own assessments.
The letter from the Greece Central School Board of Education members will go out this week.