Michael Hynes, superintendent in Patchogue, New York, has been outspoken against the current wave of test-driven reform in New York State.


He posted the following comment:


What is Best for our Children



Many parents, educators and legislators are talking about the possibility of federal and state funds being withheld from schools. The fact is, hundreds of New York State public schools fell below the 95% participation rate for the 3-8 assessments last year. Here are some facts you should know before testing season begins this spring:


1. The Commissioner believes parents have the right to opt their children out of 3-8 state assessments.
2. The Governor stated that parents have the right to opt their children out of 3-8 state assessments.
3. The Governor stated the 3-8 assessments will not count for students and teachers for the next several years.
4. The 3-8 assessments this year are still a Pearson test.
5. The “new” 3-8 assessments are now “untimed” which means our children can actually take tests that will last for several hours over several days.
6. The assessments are still fundamentally age inappropriate and aligned with the Common Core standards. The Common Core Standards will no longer be in New York State. I repeat, they will no longer be in New York State.



There is absolutely no reason for any student to take the assessments until we have some true fundamental changes. I don’t believe making the tests a few questions shorter or allowing students to have an unlimited amount of time is the answer. This is not in the best interest of our students, especially our special education and ELL students.





Fear and misinformation is being spread by Newsday and other agencies that believe public schools are failing. This is not only unfair but unethical. School districts with high opt out rates should not be sanctioned by the State Education Department or the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, the school districts with the highest opt out rates should be rewarded. They should be rewarded because it exemplifies that we value our children. It yells from the rooftops that we are free from the burden of the Pearson crafted Common Core poisoned assessments which have zero value to anyone. Well, except for Pearson.



We need true leadership in our schoolhouses.