Eight prominent principals in New York have written and signed a letter to parents expressing deep concerns about the new Common Core-aligned standardized tests administered to students in grades three through eight.
The group, led by Sharon Fougner, principal of E.M. Baker Elementary School in Great Neck, said that the children have reacted “viscerally” to the tests, The Washington Post first reported.
“We know that many children cried during or after testing, and others vomited or lost control of their bowels or bladders,” the letter reads. “Others simply gave up. One teacher reported that a student kept banging his head on the desk, and wrote, ‘This is too hard,’ and ‘I can’t do this,’ throughout his test booklet.”
The letter also states that overall test scores dropped 31 percent statewide and have contributed to the achievement gap.
“We know that the tests have caused the achievement gap to widen as the scores of economically disadvantaged students plummeted, and that parents are reporting that low-scoring children feel like failures,” the letter said.
The principals, who also expressed concern over how much the rigorous testing standards are costing taxpayers, concluded by blasting the state’s education officials.
“These are the individuals who chose to recklessly implement numerous major initiatives without proper dialogue, public engagement or capacity building. They are the individuals who have failed.
“Your child is so much more than a test score, and we know it,” it said.
Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the Common Core benchmarks for proficiency in English and math — and many are already expressing buyer’s remorse.
The open letter has already been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers and parents, The Post reported.