By HOWARD BALABAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — The Medina School Board of Education passed a resolution on Tuesday calling for New York State to stop its seemingly non-stop standardized testing of students and teachers.
The resolution said the state should not use its standardized tests as a “measure of student performance and principal/teacher effectiveness.” Using the tests is unreliable, according to the resolution, because, it stated, “The decline in state support for public schools has forced our district to reduce programs and limited our ability to implement the new programs mandated by the state such as the Common Core standards creating an uneven rollout of the standards among school districts around the state.”
The board did include language in the resolution that said the Common Core standards will “ultimately help students,” but it should not do so at the expense of teacher and student creativity.
“The growing reliance on and misalignment of standardized testing is eroding student learning time, and narrowing the curriculum and jeopardizing the rich, meaningful education our students need and deserve,” read the resolution. “Despite the fact that research recommends the use of multiple measures to gauge student performance and teacher effectiveness, the state’s growing reliance on standardized testing is adversely affecting students across all spectrums, the morale of our educators and further draining already scarce resources,” it continued.
The measure also pointed out that standardized tests do not account for students with disabilities nor students who have learned English as a second language.
In other board news, at a meeting held earlier in October, a Monsanto grant in the amount of $25,000 was approved for use by the district’s FFA instructor Todd Eick. The vote was five to three in favor of the proposed use of funds, with Wendi Pencille, Ann Webster Bunch, and Lori Draper casting dissenting votes.
According to school officials, the trio shared a concern over the size fence Eick proposed to install on school property, within which the agriculture students would work with animals. Eick has proposed an aesthetically pleasing fence to enclose llamas that he would provide. When he spoke to the board about his original plan for the grant, he said he would not put animals in harm’s way.
The board members who voted against his idea have expressed concern over the size of the fence and whether it provides enough protection both for the animals it would enclose and the onlookers who would go near it.
Another concern raised by the board was what Eick would do if student participation did not lend itself to continuing an agriculture class with live animals. Eick said he would discontinue that part of the class if that needed to happen, school officials noted.