Poll: School boards urge caution with online testing

Board members eye bond act for computer hardware, web connectivity

FOR RELEASE:  June 17, 2014

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

Less than one-third of school board members responding to a recent poll say their districts currently have the capacity to give computer-based Common Core assessments next year.

Only 28 percent of board members believe their districts are ready to give online math and English assessments in grades 3-11 during the 2014-15 school year, while 45 percent say their districts are not ready. Another 27 percent are not sure.

“School board members are waving a red flag over full implementation of online testing,” says NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “While some schools were able to handle the lower bandwidth and hardware requirements for field testing, they are not yet ready for full scale implementation.”

Although New York is a member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which is helping to develop assessments to measure college readiness, state officials have not yet committed to a specific date for adopting online assessments.

The poll also found that more than half (56 percent) of school board members say that, if voters pass the proposed $2 billion “Smart Schools” Bond Act in November, the best use of that money in their districts would be to purchase technology hardware, such as laptops and hand-held devices. Twenty percent would expand high-speed Internet capability, 12 percent would invest in school security technology, 6 percent would construct pre-K classroom space, 4 percent would replace classroom trailers with permanent classrooms, and 2 percent would add space for after-school programs. 

“Funding from the state’s Smart Schools Bond Act could help schools ramp up bandwidth and hardware before we give the green light to online testing,” adds Kremer.

Results are based on approximately 550 responses to an informal poll of school board members conducted in June 2014.


About NYSSBA: The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 650 school boards and more than 5,000 school board members in New York. NYSSBA provides advocacy, training, and information to school boards in support of their mission to govern the state's public schools.

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