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Educator opposition to standardized testing on the rise

New state standardized tests are underway in New York’s elementary and middle schools this week. While students focus on the questions in front of them, educators are launching an effort to scale back data-driven teaching.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - New state standardized tests are underway in New York’s elementary and middle schools this week.

While students focus on the questions in front of them, educators are launching an effort to scale back data-driven teaching.

Cicero-North Syracuse English teacher Patricia Farrington says she doesn’t like the direction education is going in.

She says one size does not fit all when it comes to education.

"Everyone is developmentally different with skills and abilities, and we need to validate and honor those skills and abilities and I don't see Common Core achieving that end at this particular point,” Farrington said.

A resignation letter by Westhill social studies teacher Jerry Conti recently put a local spotlight on the issue.

“Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation, and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education,” Conti wrote.

Farrington agrees with Conti. She says an obsessive focus on testing leaves less time for creative learning and that’s when students are truly able to connect with their subject.

Time consuming teacher evaluations are also a concern. Farrington took nearly an entire day to prepare for her last evaluation.

She says that time could have been better spent on her students.

"That one, 80-minute lesson took me 23 hours of paperwork. That is not hyperbole. That's no exaggeration,” she said.

Still, there are no indications that Common Core will be uncommon any time soon.

"I think there's this sense that this train's coming down the track and we're just going to have to get out of the way,” Farrington said.
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