On Aug. 12, State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced 31 grant awards under New York State’s “Teaching is the Core” initiative and Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES was selected as a grant recipient.
The grants, funded through New York’s federal Race to the Top grant, will support applicants in their efforts to eliminate locally adopted tests that do not contribute to teaching and learning. In addition, these funds will help districts and district consortia identify and improve high-quality assessments already in use that can be included as a component of multiple measures of student learning and school and educator effectiveness.
As a consortium, the BOCES and districts will work together on a process to review all current assessments and to ensure that all district assessments are used to inform instruction. The "Teaching is the Core"
grant will also provide professional development to districts using the expertise of Giselle Martin-Kniep, and Learner-Centered Initiatives. Targeted professional development will help local teachers and administrators identify high quality assessment practices and give them the tools needed to develop performance-based assessments to best meet district and student needs.
“High quality assessments are an integral part of teaching and learning,” King said. “They provide useful feedback to teachers, parents and students. At the state level, we haven’t increased the number of tests we administer, and virtually all of the tests we give are required by federal law. Unfortunately, due to various pressures at the federal, state and local level, testing has increased in many districts in ways that do not always support good instruction and sometimes even crowd out time for student learning. Testing should be the minimum necessary to inform effective decision-making in classrooms, schools and districts. These grants will help reduce non-essential local testing in hundreds of school districts across the state. And, more important, they’ll help teachers teach more and test less, which is exactly what our students need.”
For the full list of grant recipients and to view the NYSED release about the grants, click here
For more information on the Teaching is the Core Program and other State Education Department programs funded through Race to the Top, click here