Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Dear Babylon Families,
Over the past few years, the families of Babylon School District have become increasingly aware of the high stakes consequences of the 3rd grade - 8th-grade state Math and ELA exams. Last year, approximately 60% of Babylon students opted to “refuse” the grade 3-8 state exams. While it would be inappropriate for an individual teacher or organization to advise a parent on “opting out”, our goal is to provide resources so you can make your own informed decision regarding your child’s educational experience.
Here are some facts:
- Grades 3-8 students will have 6 total days of testing this year (3 for ELA and 3 for Math)
- Fourth and 8th grade students will have an additional 2 days of science testing.
- The tests are written by the same vendor as in previous years (Pearson). They will be very similar to the tests from recent years. A few questions have been removed, making them slightly shorter, and students will have unlimited time to take the tests.
- Neither your child nor the district is penalized if your child refuses to take the exams.
- State test scores (grades 3-8 ELA and Math, and 4th and 8th-grade science) are not factored into report card grades and are not shown on transcripts when applying for colleges.
The Babylon Teachers’ Association, the K-6 PTA, and the PTSA fully support a parents’ right to choose what is best for their children. It is our hope that each family will review arguments for and against “opting out” in order to make an informed decision in the best interest of their child.
The New York State Education Department’s over reliance on state tests creates unfortunate consequences for all our students, teachers, and schools. Please know that we value your children as more than a test score. For more information, we encourage you to visit the following sites and/or attend a local informational forum (flyer attached).
- New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE.org)
- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT.org)
- Long Island Opt Out Info (on Facebook)
- Babylon Parents for Common Sense Education (on Facebook)
- Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.
- Babylon Teachers’ Association
- Babylon PTSA
- Babylon K-6 PTA