Doria: Time To Reexamine State Testing

TRENTON – Senator Joseph Doria, D-Hudson, today urged Acting Education Commissioner Lucille Davy to reexamine the State’s standardized tests while the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee asked questions about the Department of Education’s FY07 Budget. Following the hearing he made the following statement:

“I think it’s really questionable that the State spends so much time and money on developing its own statewide standardized tests. When there are so many tests already available to us like the TerraNova and CATs, why must we reinvent the wheel? At up to $6.5 million for each individual test, we must explore ways to adapt existing tests to our needs rather than starting from scratch.

“Regardless of what tests we use, we must make sure that they are as useful to educators as possible. The more information these tests can provide us in identifying where individual students need additional help, the more long-term value they will provide our children.

“In the end, the ultimate goal of our testing system is to ensure that as our students progress through the grades, they are prepared to meet the challenges of the world after graduation. I am glad that the Department is striving to eliminate the use of the Special Review Assessment (SRA) as an alternate to the High School Proficiency Assessment, to eliminate the potential for districts to use the SRA as a means of getting around the graduation test.”