SED to Mandate PARCC Field Tests in Schools in Spring 2015



I have confirmed that NYSED will be “field testing”  common core PARCC exams in our schools this Spring 2015. There have been some conflicting reports in the press about this issue. Therefore, I took the liberty of contacting Regent Research Fellow Kristin Huff to inquire. She was kind enough to reply advising that indeed,  SED will begin field testing common core PARCC tests in schools in Spring 2015.

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As you may be aware, PARCC is working on computer-based tests tied to the new Common Core learning standards. New York state plans to review the new tests to decide whether to adopt them to replace our existing tests.

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Although it’s widely assumed that New York will adopt the PARCC tests at some point, as NYS Education Commissioner John King is on the group’s governing board, the Regents have expressed some difference of opinion on whether or not to adopt the PARCC common core tests. Many states have pulled out of the consortium. Whether or not the Regents will adopt PARCC remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, all evdeince suggests PARCC will get the greenlight. SED has been warning school districts to start making technical preparations for on-line testing, although many critics (myself included) do not believe this is a realistic goal. The SMART Bond passage will help districts achieve this goal which is precisely one of the reasons it was passed.

NYS has seen growing numbers of parents boycott field tests the past couple of years. No telling at this point  exactly where the PARCC tests will be tried out or whether parents will have any kind of notice. Regent Research Fellow Kristin Huff advised me that schools will be notified shortly about wether they are being called upon to participate. So, you should be contacting your local districts to stay on top of this.
As you may be aware by now, SED is seeking to change NYS Ed Laws to give the Commissioner of Education authority, force and power to mandate field tests in schools. This proposal goes to the Regents to vote on in February 2015. If it passes, SED will be able to dictate and mandate that schools  administer the PARCC field tests to students over their objections to the same.
This is why its important to oppose the proposal. From 12/3/14 to 1/20/15 please  contact SEDs Ken Wagner, cc Regents, your legislators and your local BOE members to object to SEDs proposal seeking to amend NYS Ed laws in order to give Commissioner King force, authority and power to MANDATE field tests in our schools. To clarify, the proposal is to amend the existing regulation to give the Commissioner of Ed authority to mandate field tests. They are seeking to add verbiage to the law that specifically provides Commissioner of Ed with that force and power because as advocates so aptly pointed out last year, no such power presently exists! See here:
Here are  some of the proposed language changes SED is seeking to give Commissioner of Education authority, force and power to mandated  field testing in relevant part:

 Public schools, including charter schools, and nonpublic schools that administer State assessments, 

“shall administer those related field tests as may be prescribed by the Commissioner for which the school has been assigned to those students enrolled in the applicable courses of study.”

“and shall be administered the related field tests essential to the development of such alternate assessment as may be prescribed by the commissioner;”

“and the related field tests essential to their development as may be prescribed by the commissioner”

“and shall be administered the related field tests essential to the development of such alternate assessment as may be prescribed by the commissioner;”
” and the related field tests essential to their development as may be prescribed by the commissioner “

“and the related field tests essential to its development as may be prescribed by the commissioner”


SED is accepting public comment. However, in my experience, these public comment periods are pro forma. Unless there is wide and legit push back, SED and Regents are likely to summarily dismiss and ignore objections and forage ahead with the proposal regardless of anyones opinoin. That, in my experience, is how they have been doing things thus far.


Now, mind you, SED is required to accept public comment, post the public comments and REPLY to the public comments which should all be provided in their memo to the Regents dated Fenruary 2015 when the matter goes up for final adoption. This is why its so important to get heavy push back from the public. We also need to monitor future prospective rule making as SED basically changes the rules to fit their needs instead of addressing legit issues. But, I digress.
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The window to oppose SEDs plan is December 3, 2014 and ends January 20, 2015. You may send your objections within that time frame.

Send comments and objections to: Ken Wagner, Deputy Commissioner, State Education Department, Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Educational Technology, EBA Room 875, 89 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12234 (e-mail: Comments must be received by the State Education Department on or before January 20, 2015.


Please pursue this matter vigorously, but keep this time frame in mind and organize and encourage others to issue objections as well. Dont forget to cc Regents, cc and contact your legislators and get your BOEs involved in issuing objections.


Copies of Resolutions against testing issued by your BOE can be sent into SED as well. BOEs can pass a Res against standalone field testing between now and then to serve as their position statement and sent in as well to help end this draconian practice! Parents should object as well.


There are many reasons why SED should not mandatorize field tests in our schools. First and formost, our children should not be used as Pearson shills or guinea pigs.

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Beyond that, Commissioner King admits, stand alone field tests do not comport to best practices.

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SEDs plan to subject our students to unncessary, abusive testing is unconscionable in this climate of excessive, draconian testing.


The quality of the data is compromised bc the results of stand alone field testing are simply not reliable or statistically valid as embedded FT questions as SEDs Wagner AND Commish king admits. This completely obviates the point and purpose of this practice. the fact that SED print presses and packs their own tests and is incapable of producing sufficient test forms to meet the testing burden is of no moment. The cost saved is passed across the backs of our students and this is an egregious abuse of the testing program and abusive to students and schools. They take away valuable instruction and time for other activities.


To further augment objections to SEDs proposal to give Commissioner King the authority to mandate stand alone field testing in our schools, please be advised that NYSSBA passed a resolution to eliminate standalone field testing in 2012. You should send this info to your BOE members and encourage them to send in comments against and vigorously oppose SEDs mandatorizing field test plan In the spirit and intent of NYSSBA’s resolution against field testing.…/nyssba…/GR-Resolutions-Adopted12.pdf


Many officials are speaking out against  SEDs proposal to mandate field testing.
For example, Assemblyman Tom Abinanti opposes the measure and had this to say:
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NYSUT opposes mandatorizing field testing as well.
I could go on and on. Please check back periodically, myself and a committee of advocates are poised to address  and challenge SEDs proposal to mandate field testing further.


In the meantime, please also contact your member of the Néw York Board of Regents and urge them to vote NO to the proposal to amend the NYS Ed laws to give the Commissioner of Education authority to mandate field testing in our schools.


Here is contact info for the Regents:

2016* Tisch, Merryl H.; B.A., M.A., Ed.D.
Chancellor; At Large
Regents Office, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 474-5889 Email:

2016* Bottar, Anthony S.; B.A., J.D.
Vice Chancellor; Judicial District V — Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego
120 Madison Street, Suite 1600, AXA Tower II, Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 422-3466 Email:

2015* Bennett, Robert M.; B.A., M.S.
Chancellor Emeritus; Judicial District VIII — Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming
201 Millwood Lane, Tonawanda, NY 14150
Phone: (518) 474-5889 Email:

2015* Dawson, James C.; A.A, B.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Judicial District IV — Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington
166 U.S. Oval, Plattsburgh, NY 12903
Phone: (518) 324-2401 Email:
Judicial District XI — Queens

2015* Phillips 3rd, Harry; B.A., M.S.F.S.
Judicial District IX — Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester
71 Hawthorne Way, Hartsdale, NY 10530
Phone: (914) 948-2228 Email:

2017* Tallon, Jr., James R. ; B.A., M.A.
Judicial District VI – Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga, Tompkins
United Hospital Fund, 1411 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10018
Phone (212) 494-0777 Email:

2015* Tilles, Roger; B.A., J.D.
Judicial District X – Nassau, Suffolk
100 Crossways Park West, Suite 107, Woodbury, N.Y. 11797
Phone (516) 364-2533 Email:

2017* Bendit, Charles R.; B.A.
Judicial District I – New York
111 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1500, New York, N.Y. 10011
Phone (212) 220-9945 Email:

2018* Rosa, Betty A.; B.A., M.S. in Ed., M.S. in Ed., M.Ed., Ed.D.
Judicial District XII – Bronx
State Education Building, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234
Phone (718) 664-8052 Email:

2015* Young, Jr., Lester W.; B.S., M.S., Ed.D.
At Large
55 Hanson Place, Suite 400, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
Phone (718) 722-2796 Email:

2019* Cea, Christine D.; B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Judicial District XIII – Richmond
NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities
1050 Forest Hill Road, Staten Island, NY 10314
Phone (718) 494-5306 Email:

2019* Norwood, Wade S.; B.A.
At Large
74 Appleton Street, Rochester, NY 14611
Phone (585) 436-2944 Email:
2015* Cashin, Kathleen M.; B.S., M.S., Ed.D.
Judicial District II – Kings
Regents Office, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234
Phone (518) 474-5889 Email:
2019*Cottrell, James E.; B.S., M.D.
At Large
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 6, Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098
Phone (718) 270-2331 Email:

2017*Brown, T. Andrew; B.A., J.D.
Judicial District VII – Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Yates
925 Crossroads Building, Two State Street, Rochester, NY 14614
Phone (585) 454-3667 Email:

2019* Finn, Josephine Victoria; B.A., J.D.
Judicial District III – Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster
Regents Office, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234
Phone (518) 474-5889 Email:
* Year When Present Term Ends

For info on PARCC field tests, see test facts here:

List of schools selected by NYSED to participate in PARCC field tests in Spring 2014 (deferred, pls note that FT will move forward Spring 2015 per Regent Res. Fellow Kristin Huff. This list is subject to change for 2015 and may not be current).

School selection criteria sheet here:

See  PARCC technology requirements here:


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