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Pearl River Admins Address State Testing

Students will have to leave all electronic devices in their lockers or at home during state testing.

State testing begins in Pearl River and schools across the state Tuesday.

English Language Arts exams are scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday with Math April 24-26. 

Pearl River Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Sue Wheeler explained that the state has tightned regulations on electronic devices during testing during last week's board of education meeting. All such devices, not just cell phones, are prohibited in the testing rooms, even if they remain in backpacks or pockets.

Teachers who proctor the exams will be reading the new rule to students, then collect and hold any devices that were not stored in lockers prior to the test. This includes cell phones, iPods, MP3 players, iPads, electronic readers, personal computing devices of any kind, digital cameraas, headphones, headsets and any toher device capable of storing pictures, audio or video.

"Throughout the process, we're encourage parents to help kids get a good night's sleep, a good breakfast and encourage them to do their best work that day," Wheeler said.

Pearl River Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Morgano restated the message he sent out to parents early last week reminding them that they may not have their children opt out of taking state standardized tests. He was asked what a teacher should do if a student says their parents told them not to take the exam. 

"Put the test in front of the child," Morgano said.

Morgano said the district does use the test results in evaluating students and planning future insturction and that they are also important for the district's standing with the state.

Testing regulations are not the only thing that has changed. The tests are also different.

"This year's tests are new," Morgano said. "We don't know what they will be until we open the packets."

Wheeler said the district will adapt to cover any gaps in the curriculum once they have seen the new exams.

Pearl River is just one of the local districts that recently sent out letters to paretns reminding them that they cannot have their child opt out of the state testing. Clarkstown and Nyack did as well. 

A group of parents in Nyack is questioning the testing and some may keep their children out of school the days of the testing. That would mean 12 days for the Math and ELA exams, six for the testing and six make-up days. 

"I wouldn't recommend it," Morgano said. "That's a lot of days."

Mike April 15, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Put the test in front of the child and force him or her to disobey the parent. Great strategy by the Malcolm Baldridge Award winning district.
Ryan Buncher (Editor) April 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM
I don't see how putting the test in front of the student is the same as forcing them to take it. The New York State Education Department sent a memo out making it very clear that students cannot opt out of the exam. The policy was set at the state level, not locally.
Mike April 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Read your own words. You wrote a child tells the teacher my parents told me not to take the test. The Supt. was asked how the teacher should respond. He said put the test in front of them. You don't think that is intimidation especially for kids in 3-8 grade. Of course it forces the child to chose between doing what the parent told them to do and now the pressure of another adult attempting to coerce them. Are you on the PRDD PR payroll?
Mike April 15, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Btw. My kids will go to school and will take the test. I just don't like the arrogance of the district which IMO has greatly deteriorated the last several years.
Ryan Buncher (Editor) April 15, 2013 at 11:52 PM
I knew that last line was coming, but I waded in anyway. Some day I will learn. Onto more valid points, what exactly do you think teachers should do in that situation?
Mike April 16, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Touché. Bit of a cheap shot on my last sentence. I think the teachers need to listen to their boss and give put the test in front of the child. My issue is not with the teacher but with the Administration that would put a teacher in such an awkward position. The If the Supt. feels that strongly about it then he should call any parent who instructs his child not to take the test.
John April 16, 2013 at 08:29 PM
I just talked to my third grader that took the first part of the ELA exam today. She actually seemed to enjoy it. Good for her. She wanted to be challenged, and she's excited to see how she did. The only complaint I have is that she said she finished in 20 minutes, and had to sit the rest of the time, presumably 70 minutes, and do nothing. That seems like a waste of time to me. Not that she hasn't ever wasted 70 minutes before, but it seems like there should have been some other option besides sitting and doing nothing at school. 70 minutes of time wasted that she will never get back. Couldn't she read a book or something? Just another example of the No Child Gets Ahead program.
Anthony Lobasso April 17, 2013 at 02:43 AM
I do not think that the Board of Education really knowns what is going on in the class room. My two daughters graduated the Pearl River School system, they received an excellent education. One went on to become a CPA,she graduated Iona college with a 3.9 average. The other had nothing but 100% or A in all her math in all her schooling. She graduated Hofstra University with A in math for four years. Both daughters are very up set with the way math is taught today. When their children come home from school & did not understand the math lesson,they teach them the way that they learned. They learned math prior to the New Math. Two grandchildren go to school in New York City. One the Robert F Wagner School,the other The International School by the UN. Two other grandchildren go to school in Rockland.Not the Pearl River system. I will not go into how upset my daughter in the City is about the way or should I say English is not taught.

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