Joseph Spector, Rochester 12:22 p.m. EST November 18, 2015
Students in grades 3-8 in New York spent double the time they’re supposed to on state math and English Language Arts exams this year, according to a SUNY New Paltz study.
The time spent isn’t just on the tests, the study released Tuesday found: It’s the time spent on setting up the classroom, student preparations, reading directions and more, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
So when it’s all added up, about 2 percent of a student’s required annual instructional hours were spent on New York state math and ELA tests — double what the state Education Department says it should be, according to study by the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz.
“Proper measurement of testing time must include both the “fixed costs” of standardized testing and time spent on the actual test itself,” the report said. “Using this common-sense standard, it becomes clear that the time (and resources) dedicated to testing are actually much greater than the tests’ duration. “This is important because when students are engaged in this testing process, they are not engaged in learning.”
On average, nearly 19 hours over six days were dedicated to the two tests, the study found.
This is despite the fact that the state legislature set a 1-percent cap on the hours that can be dedicated to state tests, in comparison to students’ required number of instructional hours each year.
Jonathan Burman, a New York State Education Department spokesman, said testing must be limited to “the minimum needed for good decision-making.
“The Department has already shortened the tests, and the Commissioner is committed to further reductions going forward,” Burman added via email. “We will continue to develop assessments that challenge students and provide their teachers and parents with important feedback — and do so within the parameters set by state and federal law.”
More from the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Time on Test – The Fixed Costs of 3-8 Standardized Testing in New York State.pdf by jspector