220 West 58th Street New York, N.Y. 10019 Tel.(212)247-3414 Fax:(212)247-3602 Wednesday Oct 08 8:56 am

Senators Receive an Earful During Hearing on High Stakes Testing

Written by Karla Ovalle on 09-24-2003

Today, Tuesday September 23rd, Vivian and three Landmark seniors attended the legislative hearing on high stakes testing, namely, the dreaded Regents exams. In attendance were teachers, principals, students, members of the press and a panel of six Senators. Although neither the Landmark students nor Vivian spoke, they did observe and listen to those who testified against and for the Regents exams.

Among those who testified, some were against the regents and brought up convincing and thought provoking points. Dr. Haney, a professor for the University of Boston, stated that the new Regents are "ill-conceived and flawed in conception and execution." He also stated that recent research shows that the way the test was constructed, the expected score for the Math A Regents exam was less than fifty-five. He argued that New York would be the first state to have less than fifty percent of their students not graduate in time as a result of "ill-conceived" high stakes test. Another point made was that a "low-tech test" such as the Regents where the students must write in pencil and long hand, underestimates the skills of students. The vast majority of students today are used to typing with keyboards and very rarely are required to complete handwritten essays and reports. Dr. Sobel stated, "Tests don't teach children, teachers do." This is a thought that resonated in the voices of those who testified against the regents.

Questions about graduation standards and drop out rates were also discussed. The graduation rate in New York has dropped sharply in the last decade and has become one of the worst in the country with a drop-out rate of about thirty percent. An important question is what kind of standards should we have? We do know that too much weight is being placed on high stakes standardized test results which only show a student's performance within two hours. They don't show how much the student has grown academically and learned throughout his/her four years in high school.

You are visitor number 80899 to our webpage.

Tech Coordinator: Richard Stohlman

Network Administrator: Erik Torres

Web Designer: Raul Santos