Southampton Schools Seek To Avoid Field Tests

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The Southampton School Board is looking for a way to opt out of field testing.

In field tests, students are given a standardized test to evaluate specific questions for future state exams. Typically field tests are used for the high school English, mathematics and physics Regents exams, as well as for either English or math for some grades between three and eight.

District Superintendent Dr. Scott Farina has said the tests have no benefit for the district, as it never sees the results of the exams. The scheduling of the exams is also inconvenient, falling right after state ELA and math tests for the lower grades, and right before the Regents exams at the high schools. Dr. Farina said the field test exams hinder the students’ ability to prepare for the tests they are actually being graded on, because they have to be pulled out of class.

“The state is asking the districts across the states to do these field tests, which is an actual separate assessment our students would have to sit for in various levels and curriculum areas,” Dr. Farina said. “I think this is something that puts an undue burden on us as a school district.”

The district was originally notified about the field tests earlier this year, but Dr. Farina wrote the State Education Department declining to participate in the extra testing. The state has not said whether it will allow the district to opt out of the exams in May, but Dr. Farina, with the support of the Southampton Board of Education, said he will continue to petition the state about the exams slated for this year as well as in the future.

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