State teachers' group calls for end to all 'high-stakes' testing

State teachers' group calls for end to all 'high-stakes' testing

PROVIDENCE - Leaders of the National Education Association Rhode Island voted unanimously March 20, according to a press release, to take "a firm stance on the use of high-stakes testing and the corresponding national Common Core curriculum."

More than 100 representatives were present for the vote at the organization's triannual meeting of the NEARI Delegate Assembly.

Specifically, they called for the following three actions:

* The immediate end to the use of NECAP testing.

Delegates agreed that Rhode Island Education Department is "contradicting its own emphasis on rigorous standards to spend money on three different NECAP tests, allowed the use of 10 alternative tests, and allowed districts to develop waivers for students to meet their graduation requirements."

Additionally, the teachers' group questioned the "education value in giving a test while instructing students using a different set of criteria."

* NEARI also called for a moratorium on the use of PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing as a graduation requirement and teacher evaluation tool.

The group said there's concern there will not be enough time to prepare for PARCC testing prior to using it as a basis for evaluation of both students and teachers.

* The group also called for "A thoughtful, collaborative approach to the development of curriculum to meet CCSS (Common Core State Standards)."

Educators said they fear that resources are not yet in place to ensure that the needs of all students can be met, that schools are not ready with the technology to administer the test, and that "CCSS doesn't become the only focus of our education system at the expense of all other opportunities."

NEARI represents more than 11,000 teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, state workers, librarians and other municipal employees, and retirees in Rhode Island.