Written by Christine Sampson
Students in the Port Jefferson school district this year will experience less benchmark testing – meaning the tests given at the beginning of the school year designed to measure kids’ knowledge on certain subjects that in most cases they have not yet formally learned in classes.
Port Jefferson superintendent Ken Bossert said at Tuesday’s school board meeting that the Port Jefferson school district has received new guidance from New York State education officials saying schools can rely on historical data from previous exams rather than giving kids new tests this September.
The pre-assessments, as they were also called, won’t be necessary this year to the degree they were used last year – something for which Bossert said the district is thankful. He said it will allow for more instructional time in the classroom and will reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that students experience.
“Teachers are obligated to set targets for improvement as part of setting student learning objectives. … Last year there was a lot of benchmark testing done in September so that teachers would have a benchmark to measure growth throughout the year,” Bossert said.
This year, he said, “Rather than testing students in September, we can use the scores that they achieved in the spring to measure growth. … Using historical data is far more preferable than giving children tests that they’re ill-prepared to take.Editor's note: This article has been corrected to convey there will be some benchmark testing this year, rather than no benchmark testing this year. Patch regrets the error.