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South Colonie Central School District News

Update on NYS Grade 3-8 Assessment Changes

Dear Parents,

Over the past two years, in response to concerns from parents and educators, the leadership at NYSED has made some positive changes to state assessments. These changes include, more involvement of educators in the test development process, fewer test questions, un-timed testing for all students and a moratorium on using Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics assessments in teacher and principal evaluations.

The Grades 3-8 assessments are just one piece of an important puzzle of feedback we assemble on every student. These assessments allow students to show how they have progressed academically while providing a benchmark of how they perform in relation to other students in the district, regionally and across the state. The Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics assessments also provide teachers with valuable information regarding academic intervention services as well as the overall program for students. These assessments also allow the district to evaluate our overall educational programs and make necessary and informed educational decisions.

I believe that these changes to the Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics assessments will positively impact the overall educational experiences and success of our students both now and into the future. While the system may not be perfect, the leadership at NYSED is taking positive steps to address the concerns of parents and teachers to ensure students throughout New York State can be fairly assessed about the knowledge and skills they have acquired.

If you have any questions I would encourage you to contact your child’s principal. If I can be of any help please contact me at 869-3576.

Sincerely,

Tim Backus

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction