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State teachers union rallies against standardized testing

Matt Ryan
Andrew Pallotta, president of NYSUT, speaks at Monday's rally in Albany.

New York schoolteachers and their supporters rallied Monday in front of the New York Department of Education building in Albany.

They said not only were the recent state computer tests broken — standardized testing in New York is broken, period.

"These state tests go against everything we know to be best practice in assessment," said Laura Franz, president of the Albany Public School Teachers Association. "In fact, they’re causing harm."

Franz said that assessing students’ progress is obviously one of the most important functions a teacher serves. It’s just that the current standardized test system doesn’t do that.

The statewide teachers union is calling on the Education Department to change the English and math tests for third- through eighth-graders wholesale, saying the tests are too long, too advanced, and that the scoring benchmarks don’t reflect students’ real ability.

Department of Education spokesperson Emily DeSantis said the exams have improved significantly over the past four years, and that New York state teachers themselves review every exam question.