We want to share information we have at this time about this year’s grades 3-8 assessments. In recent days, you may have seen the news that the federal government will not be granting a waiver to suspend this testing as took place last year. While this means that the assessments will be given, the federal government has said it will be offering states flexibility in how they are administered, especially as it relates to the health and safety of students and staff.
We are awaiting more guidance as to what this will mean for New York and how our State Education Department plans to proceed. We know that this raises questions in particular about testing for remote learners. Please know that above all we are committed to ensuring that our safety protocols are observed at all times and will make the best plans possible based on the guidance we receive.
Despite the unique circumstances of this year, please be assured that Niskayuna teachers always use many different measures to gauge student learning. The state assessments are helpful in determining progress in relation to grade-level standards, but they are just one part of a more complex approach to assessing student learning in Niskayuna.
On a related note, the state Board of Regents is scheduled to meet in March to consider potential changes to current Regents exam requirements for high school students, in light of the federal government’s announcement about waivers.
Please know that when we receive more information from the state about administering assessments, we will share that information with you.
Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools