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Changes to Common Core scoring not enough for some teachers

Albany/Spencerport, N.Y. - Legislation has passed that would take test scores are out of teacher evaluations. This to prevent teachers from facing termination or denial of tenure based only on test scores. The changes would apply for the next two school years.
Lawmakers have already voted to keep common core test scores off student transcripts through 2018.

But these changes are not enough for some educators.

It doesn't change the basics we still have tests that are given to students that we don't know what the questions are, said Dr. David Hursh, Professor of Education at the University of Rochester. They're useless to us in terms of students. This becomes not high stakes for teachers for two years but that's a very small part of the problem, I would say that solves one-percent of our problems.

Teachers in the Spencerport School District held a public forum Thursday night, saying the current state assessments arent affective.

The gag order is the big piece, and we think if that's addressed everything else will start to fall into place, said English teacher, Emmy Thevansean.

Currently, teachers must sign a confidentiality agreement making it illegal for them to discuss any part of the test. They argue this is just one thing that keeps the tests from being a useful part of instruction.

My child's time is being wasted, said Karen Costner, one of the thousands of parents across the state who opted their child out of this school years testing and one of 4,000 people to sign the "Stand with Spencerport" petition calling for change in how students are tested in New York State.

Many confidences are shattered and anxieties raised because of state testing regardless of what happens in the classroom, said Costner.

As we see in terms of the exams that are now being given in NYS, the Common Core exams, in fact the teachers don't find out what the questions are, they don't know what's being tested they really can't use the assessments in anyway which is useless, said Hursh.

Unless and a missed opportunity, because according to educators assessments are the key to a successful classroom.

Affective teaching cannot take place without assessments, said Marie Campanaro, Spanish teacher at Spencerport. Assessments are a critical piece of the learning experience for every student.

 
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