BUFFALO, NY (WKBW)-Tougher new educational guidelines from the state and federal government are concerning some teachers and parents. Many teachers unions claim a new state standardized test is putting everyone at an unfair disadvantage. In mid April, students in grades 3 through 8 will undergo a new state standardized test to meet tougher new guidelines from the state and federal government. The performance of students will ultimately help determine school funding and teachers will be evaluated on the performance of their students. The unions believe testing is only one piece of the puzzle for the success of a student and students will simply not be prepared this year for the test.
"These tests are not diagnostic in any way to help a student. It's just something to judge," said Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore.
"These tests will determine if these schools will stay open or not and whether teachers keep their jobs or not," said Mike Deely, New York State United Teachers Regional Director.
Schools across the state and country are making drastic changes to learning curriculums under the newly set Common Core Standards. Some parents are considering opting their children out of this test around the state and here in Buffalo. A spokesperson for the Buffalo Public School District says there is no state provision for an opt-out and the action could have a negative impact on the school. Districts are mandated to have a 95 percent participation rate during testing. Parent District Coordinating Council Vice President Sam Radford says the testing should have revisions especially within big, urban districts like Buffalo that have a large number of immigrant students.
"It makes more sense for us to come together as rational adults and talk with the New York State Education Department, the United States Department of Education and tell them our concerns," said Radford. "Like why you would test a person that has been in this country for less than a year the same way you'd test someone who's lived here there whole life?"