State exams test patience of parents, teachers
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The Lynbrook Council of PTA’s co-presidents Suzanne DiBenedetto and Lois Kemp also said they strongly supported the board adopting a resolution. The boards that have adopted similar resolutions include Rockville Centre, North Bellmore and Valley Stream District 24.
Kirchenberg and parents in the district echoed a portion of the resolution already adopted elsewhere. An excerpt from North Bellmore’s resolution reads, “We do not oppose accountability in public schools, but believe that standardized tests dominate instructional time and block our ability to make progress toward a world-class education system of student-centered schools and future-ready students.”
Interim Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak said the resolution came out right before the testing season and said the board would wait until the next round of exams before a decision is made. “The board is not closing the door to this,” she said, “but we will strategically plan for the utilization of something like that for the next round of testing.”
18 opt-out in Lynbrook
While many parents spoke out against the state assessments, there are also families who decided to have their children opt-out of the exams all together.
According to Burak, 18 students in the district opted-out of the ELA and math exams, including six students from Waverly Park Elementary School and five children from West End Elementary School.
Elizabeth Gaudet decided not to have her children — one in fourth and one sixth grade — take the assessments. She said her decision was made in part because she can no longer review how her children did when the scores come in the following fall.
In years past, Gaudet was able to go through her child’s exam to see what areas she needed to help with. Beginning in the fall of 2011, Gaudet said, individual results are not made available. “She can’t learn from it,” Gaudet said of the results now, “and the teacher can’t learn from it, and the mother can’t learn from it.”
Gaudet said she’s not opposed to testing, but feels the current system is “detrimental to education” in its current state.