Basic Summary of Benchmark: NYS response to NCLB Federal Legislation with ELA testing


No Child Left Behind was passed in 1999 basically as a way to hold each state accountable for maintaining quality educational standards. In 2005 New York State responded to NCLB with mandatory English Language Arts Tests (ELA) for grades 3-8 and high school. Prior to this there were other tests, such as CAT tests and PEP tests, but the ELA tests hold each individual school accountable for every student. The students can get a grade between 1 and 4. There are goals set each year and a school must reach these goals otherwise face consequences such as losing grant money for the school.

Key Manifestations
People were concerned about the accuracy of the tests when they were first issued. When the test was first issued, it was a huge success and many people were concerned that what they were seeing was not actually true. Robert J. Tobias issued a letter addressing the concerns of many parents and teachers. Do this day many are still questioning the accuracy and validity of such tests, creating a large amount of tension over the subject of standardizes testing.


Key Personnel
Some other the important figures are Richard Mills (the Commissioner of the Education Department in NYS), David Abrams (Assistant Commissioner for Standards, Assessments and Reporting), Dr. Martha Musser (Coordinator Information Reporting Services), and Ira Schwartz (Coordinator NYSED Office of School Improvement and Community Services). These people make sure all schools in NYS are in compliance with Federal Laws and help/helped make ELA testing a reality.

Why this is a Benchmark
This can be considered a benchmark because the creation of the ELA test only furthered the reliance upon standardized testing as a way to evaluate the children of New York State. This can be considered either good or bad. There are many who think standardized testing works and instituting this test proves that. There are still others who think standardized testing is worthless and thus the creation of such a test for grades 3-8 is huge in the world of standardized testing

Links
http://www.nychold.com/testim-tobias-050627.html
www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts
www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa (This one is interesting if you
scroll to the bottom and click on School Report Cards
under Resources/Publications. You can find all sorts
of data like average test scores, demographics, and
graduation rates for the high school you graduated
from.Also, you can see what you're getting yourself
into by checking up on a school you may work in.)