NYSED Prohibits Standarized Testing PreK-2


During the week of tense Common Core forums on Long Island and a call from NYSUT and UFT, Commissioner John B. King, Jr. released a statement Thursday, November 14 to the media here  calling for a ban on standardized testing for PreK-2 grades and throwing the responsibility back to districts to make the decision on how to assess students in PreK-2 grades.  They do not recommend giving “bubble” tests such as what has happened is some districts using Pearson tests in first grade as attested by Carol Burris here.  Luckily, our district chose not to go this way with standardized testing at the PreK-2 level.  We even made the decision to “cut back” on giving so many checkpoints and “probes” to our younger students via AIMSweb testing because it is taking too much time away from instruction.

We still need to be cognizant of how we are approaching assessments, not only PreK-2 but throughout all grade levels.  Good teaching is good teaching, including giving assessments. Our staff embeds assessments and we include “checkpoints” to see how students are achieving what is being taught. What we need to be careful with is “test prep”, how we are doing it and how we expose our kids to testing. Unfortunately, we are in an era where the standardized tests count, something that is being pushed back from parents, educators, students, staff and citizens around New York State.  Just look at the Long Island forums about Common Core.  “The mommies are awake!”

It should be interesting to see what happens in the months ahead.  NYSUT, UFT and  SAANYS have asked for a three year moratorium on  high stakes consequences for teachers and principals and using the NYS 3-8 exams.  This is due to the  ineffective manner of how the CCLS and curricula have been rolled out in school districts.  And unfortunately, the answer should not be “go to EngageNY for professional development”.  It sure is an interesting time in education.  Have a great week!


  • Bus Duty for Nov. 18 – Dec. 6 Team 6:  Connie Tubbs, Kelly Ayen, Bev PhelpsUpcoming bus duty Dec 9 – Dec 20 Team 7: Paula Bates, Marcie Tyler, Sarah Pawananon
  • I had to change our staff meeting date to Nov. 19th.  Please make sure that you sign-up on MLP before it goes off.  The topic of this meeting will be dedicated to watching and having a discussion about the movie, Including Samuel, and inclusive classrooms.  Kim Hayes will join us.
  • Please make sure you are enrolling for the Fall offerings of Professional Development on MLP soon!
Other News:
  • Please check the East Side Announcement page for updated dates, announcements etc.  Lisa is updating this continually!  http://gouverneurcentralschool.org/esannounce/
  • What are the five things you are grateful for?  Make a list daily.  It does wonders!
  • Be the change agent for kids!  Be a champion for kids.  Every kid deserves a champion!

Other Items of Interest

Enterprise America is ready to launch! A special Open House for Middle-Level Educators(administrators and teachers) with an informational presentation and guided tours has been scheduled for December 11th at 4:00pm at the new WCNY headquarters and Education Center. Come see how the space has been transformed and learn details about the experience.


Students with disabilities don’t all need extra time on tests and sometimes general education students benefit from extra time. Let the purpose of the assessment determine how time should matter. If assessing efficiency, then a fixed amount of time makes sense. If demonstration of understanding is the goal, however, time should not matter.

Here is some good advice for responding when students say “I can’t do this.” We want all of our students to have the habit of perseverance, or, as it is popularly called these days, grit.


It is important to teach students how to study. This research explains what works and what doesn’t. Reading, re-reading, and highlighting are not very effective ways to study. Distributed practice is much more effective.
This board has lots of suggestions to help with writing: organizers, prompts, infographics, videos, lessons, and more.


We all make lots of presentations. This short post reminds us that every presentation we give is about making change. We should keep that in mind and use this acknowledgement to evaluate every slide we show in every presentation.

This RSAanimate about The Power of Time has many connections to education and schooling.

Here are some clever ways to display the lesson objectives, goals, or I can statements (with a little help from technology).
The history of the principalship is fascinating and helps us understandthe complexity of the position (but it doesn’t make the job any easier to do).

Here’s a compelling argument for why very busy educators should find fifteen minutes every day for social media. By the way, November is “connected educators month.”
LogoThe Opportunity Nation site describes the economic, education, and community factors by state or even by county.


Thinking about a 1:1 initiative? Watch this recording of Patrick Larkin from the recent TALKS session. He did it!

Pre-K | ELA | Comprehension
First we take you to a classroom where Ms. Davis uses repetition through an interactive read-aloud to help students practice and develop their vocabulary. 
Pre-K | ELA | Art
Let’s stay with Ms. Davis for another inspired lesson where she helps students connect the pictures they’ve drawn to words on the page.
Pre-K | ELA | Empathy
Ms. Hawkins uses a read aloud to get students identifying and describing feelings. Students continue to develop emotional literacy by creating images and magnet boards to build faces that show different emotions.
A Touch of Humor
Close to Home

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