MAR. 2, 2016 – The New York State Education Department made a number of changes to the Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics assessments for the spring of 2016 after educators and parents voiced concerns about the tests and how the scores were used.
These changes include:
- A new testing vendor
- Greater involvement of educators in the test development process
- Fewer numbers of reading passages and test questions
- A shift to untimed testing
In addition, this will be the first year that computer-based exams will be piloted in some districts. State leaders believe this will help reduce the time spent on testing and provide faster test results to schools and parents. HFM BOCES component school district superintendents agreed to use computer-based testing for specific grades levels as part of the pilot program.
In Dec. 2015, the New York Board of Regents voted to put a hold on the use of the grades 3-8 ELA/math test scores in teacher/principal performance evaluations.
The spring 2016 testing schedule for students in grades 3-8 is:
- New York State grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) exam: April 5-7
- New York State grades 3-8 math exam: April 13-15
Educators emphasize that no single test provides a complete picture of a student’s abilities. When combined with classroom activities and grades, unit quizzes and tests, the annual assessments can provide an additional objective snapshot of a student’s progress. Statewide assessments also provide a valuable comparison of all school districts’ performance.