Assemblyman Santabarbara: Assembly Approves Bill to Bring Transparency in Testing

The state Assembly overwhelming approved legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) that would end the confidentially agreements that have prohibited educators from providing feedback on tests in our public schools (A.7402).

“Public school teachers are on the front lines of educating our children and it’s critical that they have a voice in the tests being administered to students. This legislation is an important part in our ongoing efforts to ensure appropriate testing for students across New York,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “The fight for public education is not over and I remain committed to passing common-sense measures that strengthen our local schools, empower teachers and help our children learn.”

Prohibiting teachers, principals and administrators from discussing the ELA and math assessments given to students in grades 3 through 8 has stopped educators from being able to identify problems with the tests, in order to help students improve or make meaningful suggestions, noted Santabarbara.

Under existing law, school employees that grade certain federally required standardized tests are required to signed confidentiality agreements with the state Education Department. Allowing teachers to discuss the tests would allow them to address flaws in the questions, such as the infamous "talking pineapple" question that didn’t have an answer.

A same-as version of the legislation was introduced earlier this month by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (S.5139).