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Stress test

New standardized tests have parents, educators worried about effects on students

Photo by John Purcell.

— Between the ELA and Math, a third grader will spend seven hours in testing this year. In fifth through eighth grade, students will take nine hours of testing.

If the testing times remain the same, a student in third grade this year will have spent more than 50 hours in Common Core testing upon completing eighth grade.

Including the state-developed Regents tests now necessary for graduation, students taking all the required tests will by their senior year in high school have completed at least 74 hours of standardized testing, according to an October NYSUT release.

Bracing for disappointment

The state Education Department expects students overall will fare worse under the new standards, but Slentz in his March memo said parents would welcome the new standards if they understood them fully.

“Schools and districts must help parents understand more than just the fact that curricula and assessments are changing in design and rigor,” Slentz said in a statement. “When parents have a broader sense of the importance of this work, they will be more engaged as partners and better prepared to support the progress of their children.”

A Department of Education spokeswoman referred The Spotlight to Slentz’s memo for all questions relating to the Common Core Standards.

NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi said it might be hard for young students to understand exactly why their scores are lower, despite the State Education Department’s warning.

“If it is your child, or my child, you look out there and say they are going to be disappointed and they are going to feel they failed and it is not their fault,” Iannuzzi said. “Little kids don’t understand that it is not their fault, they just assume it is their fault. … It really undermines so much of what is basic to education.”

Monroe said not all students might flounder on the more difficult tests.

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