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New York Education Commissioner Asks for Parents’ Trust Before State Exams Begin

New York Education Commissioner Asks for Parents’ Trust Before State Exams Begin

New York’s education commissioner MaryEllen Elia is asking for parents’ trust in this year’s state exams in hopes of reducing the number of opt-outs when exams are distributed next week.

“I’m asking New Yorkers to trust in the adjustments we’ve made so far and the purposeful changes we’re going to make,” Elia said to The Buffalo News.

Elia will also be visiting schools in districts throughout the state- particularly districts that had high numbers of opt-outs last year- to establish last-minute trust in the coming days.

Elia’s efforts come just a week after the state’s newly elected Regents Chancellor, Betty A. Rosa, said she would opt her children out of the state exams if she was not in her position.

Although trust in state exams reached an all-time low last year, with unprecedented numbers of opt-outs that resulted in 20 percent of New York students sitting out, Elia says that this year’s exams are significantly improved. 

"Elia said the changes made to the tests are a start, and she vowed that the tests will continue to get better. She said the tests help educators plan for the coming school year, and are the only objective measure to compare student progress between schools and districts,” according to The Buffalo News.

"Future tests will have more teacher involvement, she said, and results will be available earlier. 'I know the need to correct our course is urgent, but we can’t get there overnight,' she said in the letter.”

Only time will tell if Elia’s efforts will win back skeptical parents this time around.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor 

3/30/2016

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