I  received this statement from Dr. Kathleen Cashin, a member of the New York State Board of Regents, representing Brooklyn. Dr. Cashin has had a long professional career in education as a teacher, a principal, and a superintendent in the New York City public schools. She has taken a principled stand against the misuse of standardized tests.  I add her to the blog’s honor roll for standing up for what is right for children, for teachers, for principals, and for education.


She writes:


“As a Regent of the State of New York, I cannot endorse the use of the current state tests for teacher/principal evaluation since that was not the purpose for which they were developed. It is axiomatic in the field of testing that tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were designed. They were designed to measure student performance, not teacher effectiveness. The American Statistical Association, the National Academy of Education, and the American Educational Research Association have cautioned that student tests should not be used to evaluate individual teachers. Nor should these tests be used for student growth measures until there is clear evidence that they are valid and reliable. The Board of Regents should commission an independent evaluation of these tests to verify their reliability and validity before they are used for high-stakes purposes for students, teachers, principals, and schools. How can we criticize people for opting out when the tests have not been verified? We need to cease and desist in the use of these tests until such time as we can be confident of their reliability and validity. If tests do meet those criteria, the tests must be released to teachers and to the public after they are given, in the spirit of transparency and accountability.”


Dr. Kathleen Cashin