Allow Teachers to Read the Tests!

NYS Department of Education

We, the parents, teachers and administrators of New York’s public school children, demand an immediate change to the New York State regulation prohibiting educators from viewing the content of the tests which they are required to administer to children.
The NYSED School Administrators Manual explicitly states that principals, teachers and other school personnel may not “read, reveal, review, or duplicate the contents of secure test material
before, during, or after a test administration.”(1)

In this age of accountability, we demand that NYSED be held responsible for content of these tests. There is a long history of op-eds, petitions and letters voicing deep concerns about these tests, which have radically changed over the past 10 years.  A rule forbidding the adults in the room from viewing the very test contents they are required to administer to children is inappropriate and unacceptable. Not only should teachers and administrators be allowed to view test contents, they should be encouraged to read the tests and to provide meaningful feedback about the educational appropriateness/value to NYSED, as they are expressly invited to do so regarding the NY
State Science tests.

The NYS Science tests do not have a no-read rule, and the content and results of these tests are fully transparent and accessible. In fact, a letter to principals dated May 2016 notes that “suggestions from teachers provide an important contribution to the test development program” (2) and expressly invites teachers to share feedback about the appropriateness of the test (3). This is in stark contrast to the NYS ELA and Math exams.

Eliminating the no-read rule is a first step of many that must be addressed, but one that can be resolved immediately. As parents once again weigh the value and appropriateness of these exams that are given to children across New York State, they deserve to have the pedagogical judgment of educators.


(pages 7-8)
Petition by

To: NYS Department of Education
From: [Your Name]

Parents and children deserve to have the pedagogical judgment of educators on educational matters. We insist upon the immediate removal of the no-read rule from the 2017 NYS ELA and Math tests.