Assessment

News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

May 02, 2001 2 min read

N.Y. Requires Nontraditional Schools
To Give State Exams

New York state’s education chief has again—and more firmly—rejected a bid by about 40 nontraditional schools to substitute individually tailored projects for at least some of the examinations the state has begun to require for graduation.

The public schools, all but a few of them in New York City, say the decision threatens their success with students, which is predicated in part on individualized assessment.

Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills last year ordered the schools to give the state-devised regents’ English examination, but delayed a final decision on the tests in four other subjects pending an outside evaluation of the assessment tools used by the nontraditional schools.

Richard P. Mills

The evaluation, conducted by a panel of six national testing experts appointed by Mr. Mills, expressed doubts about certain aspects of the technical quality of the alternative assessments and about their alignment with the state’s academic standards. Overall, however, the panel cited a dearth of evidence and recommended that the schools be exempted from giving all but the English and mathematics exams for the next three years while more and better data were collected for further evaluation. Mr. Mills turned down the panel’s recommendations in his April 25 decision.

Instead, he directed the schools to begin giving regents’ exams in all the required subjects in the coming school year.

Harold O. Levy, the chancellor of the New York City schools, protested the decision, as did members of the school communities, who said they would continue to fight the high-stakes tests. “At its core,” Mr. Levy said in a statement, “this decision undermines our ability to provide a wide variety of educational options to our children.”

—Bess Keller


Texas Eyes Early Kindergarten Cutoff

A bill before the Texas Senate would require kindergarteners to have turned 5 by May 31 of the year they enter, a change that would give the state the earliest kindergarten cutoff date in the nation.

Only Indiana, with a June 1 deadline, comes close, according to the Denver-based Education Commission of the States.

Currently, children in Texas must turn 5 by Sept. 1 to qualify for public kindergarten. Sen. Ken Armbrister, a Democrat, has said he introduced the bill, which would take effect in the 2002-03 school year, after hearing from teachers that some children are not mature enough to do well in kindergarten.

But Senate opponents last week accused him of trying to save money in a fiscally tight biennium, because analysts estimate that keeping an estimated 41,000 children out of school for a year would free up almost $200 million in state school aid for 2002-03. Mr. Armbrister denied the charge.

The bill has passed the Senate education committee but is awaiting action by the full Senate.

Most other states allow children to start kindergarten either right around their fifth birthday, or several months before it.

—Bess Keller

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 02, 2001 edition of Education Week as News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela
Teaching Live Online Discussion How to Develop Powerful Project-Based Learning
How do you prepare students to be engaged, active, and empowered young adults? Creating a classroom atmosphere that encourages students to pursue critical inquiry and the many skills it requires demands artful planning on the

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Opinion Grading Has Always Been an Imperfect Exercise. COVID-19 Made It Worse
It’s hard reducing the complexity of each student’s social, emotional, and academic learning to a letter grade. Maybe we’re doing it wrong.
Lory Walker Peroff
4 min read
A student's grades are unknown
Robert Neubecker for Education Week
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Assessment Whitepaper
Facing the Future Together: Digital Innovative Solutions
Join us to discuss how digital innovative solutions can enrich the educational experience in the K-12 environment. We’ll share how these ...
Content provided by Pearson
Assessment Opinion What Federally Mandated State Tests Are Good For (And What They Aren’t)
Spring 2021 testing is happening. That can be a good thing—if the goal is about more than school accountability.
Stuart Kahl
5 min read
Two people analyze test data
Visual Generation/iStock/Getty
Assessment Opinion The National Assessment Governing Board’s Troubling Gag Order
NAGB's recently released restrictions on how its board members can communicate set a troubling precedent.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty