This has been a good week in the growing movement to demand changes to New York’s broken high stakes testing system. In Albany, the Senate Education Committee held hearings on state assessments with major groups like the superintendents association and NYSUT, the state teachers union, offering blistering testimony as to the fecklessness of the current assessment regime, a system which does little to nothing to improve instruction and which focuses the work of too many classrooms on test preparation rather than learning. Of special interest to us in Plainview-Old Bethpage is that fact that the superintendents position was presented by our incoming superintendent, Dr. Lorna Lewis.
Locally, my union hosted a newly formed school district group made up of representatives of our union, members of our Board of Education, the administrators union and central office who all agreed to work cooperatively to create the kind of political pressure necessary to get the state to change what it is doing. Our group agreed to a joint lobbying day in the fall when our coalition will meet with our state representatives to demand their help in rescuing the children of this state from the menacing testocracy that has gradually usurped our power to educate children appropriately.