Sign the Petition

NYC's Schools Should Use Fair and Accurate Measures 
for Admissions Screening, 
NOT the 2013 NYS Exams

   October 22, 2013  

Many selective High Schools and Middle Schools in NYC are still planning to use students' scores on the 2013 New York State exams to screen students for admissions for the 2014/2015 school year.

The signers of this petition are students and their families who would like their applications to NYC's selective schools to be judged by
fair and accurate measures, and therefore NOT by the 2013 NYS exams. 

In the Spring of 2013, news media, blogs and on-line communities were
buzzing with discussions, complaints and reports about problems with the new 2013 NYS Math and ELA exams. These complaints came from all levels: students, parents, teachers, principals, and local officials. 

Apparently, in 2010, the New York State Department of Education had decided and announced that the 2013 NYS exams would change significantly in scope and content from those of prior years.
The NYS and NYC Departments of Education had THREE YEARS to prepare students for the new tests. 

...but that's not what happened!

In response to escalating pressure to maximize student performance on NYS tests, schools continued to teach exclusively to the old test through the 2012 testing season: students (and their families) feared being held back and poor school placement, teachers were threatened with severe professional consequences for poor student performance, and schools were threatened with 
cuts and closures.

Although NYS had announced the new tests in 2010, teachers were not trained by the NYC Department of Education until January 2013 and materials were first distributed to teachers and students in February for the tests in April. Instead of three YEARS to prepare for the new tests, teachers and student had fewer than three MONTHS!!

The tests themselves were not pedagogically sound: they were fraught with issues related to poor test design, unvetted questions, typos and graphical errors, questions and answers taken directly from test-prep materials, and a myriad of other issues that can all be attributed to NYS having created the exams at the last minute. 

The whole experience of the 2013 NYS exams was an unforgivable burden on our students, and a prolonged distraction from their education. Let's not perpetuate this offense by measuring each students' academic potential based upon their performance on these pedagogically and statistically invalid assessments.

In recognition of the problems with the 2013 exams, the undersigned, would like each of NYC's selective high schools and middle schools to make a formal statement that they will
omit the 2013 NYS standardized tests from their admissions screening this year

We also thank the schools, listed below, that have already made such a statement. 

Thank you, 

Lisa Bowstead
mom, teacher, tutor, citizen 
The Cobble Hill Think Tank   
Brooklyn, NY

Thank you! 

We would like to acknowledge and thank the following schools for doing the right thing by omitting the 2013 New York State standardized tests from their admissions screening process for the 2014/2015 school year:

School Name 
borough, code

School Name 
borough, code

School Name 
borough, code

If you know of a school that is not yet on our list, please let us know: