Back in November, when the Nashua Board of Education voted down David Murotake’s resolution to replace Smarter Balanced with another test, he took his proposal to the Legislature as HB 1432. Now the Nashua Teachers’ Union and Nashua Board of Education members individually have gone around the Board of Education to provide support for Rep. Murotake’s bill, asking NHDOE to allow Nashua to use a different test.
The American Federation of Teachers affiliate Nashua Teachers’ Union is alone among unions in its quest for an alternative test. Nationally, the AFT has long called for a moratorium on linking high-stakes consequences to the test, but the AFT has never proposed to choose which test to give or to change the federal law requiring annual testing.
And in today’s Nashua Telegraph, NEA-NH president Scott McGilvary took a position consistent with that of the NEA nationally when he said his union favored a grace period before the tests were used for evaluations but does not favor postponing the tests themselves:
The New Hampshire branch of the National Education Association – which represents a larger group of roughly 16,000 teachers – wants the state to move forward with the test, but limit how the results are used. NEA has proposed instituting a grace period before the test is used to evaluate student or teacher performance.
“Future students, who will have had more years of instruction in the new curriculum, will undoubtedly perform better than students who have had less time to learn,” NEA-NH President Scott McGilvray wrote in an op-ed piece released Thursday.
The 2 year “grace period” is already in place in New Hampshire. However, NHDOE does not have the authority to allow each school district to choose its own annual assessment – statewide performance comparison is the whole point, after all, as well as a federal requirement – so the proposal that Nashua go its own way on testing makes no sense from an educational perspective.
But, in circulating these letters widely, Rep. Murotake clearly thinks they help his troubled bill politically.