All this week, students in grades three through eight at the Montauk School will be taking part in the newly controversial state assessment tests. In his weekly newsletter, Jack Perna, the district superintendent, asked teachers to go easy on homework assignments. “Please!” he wrote.
The school board has been considering becoming part of a larger, statewide effort by teachers, other schools, and parents to boycott the testing, saying it was too much for the students and not a good gauge of their knowledge.
Although they decided it was too late to do so for this year, board members will consider eliminating the tests next year. Recently at school board meetings, when they were preoccupied with the budget proposal, the board, Mr. Perna, and Brigid Collins, the assistant principal and chief information officer of the school’s state data, who also coordinates the school’s curriculum committee, seemed to agree that the exams are not necessary for the students.
But, it was noted, if the testing comes to an end, so would a portion of the state’s financial aid. Moreover, the students’ failure to take the tests would reflect on the teachers’ state-mandated evaluation scores.
The school board will next meet on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the school library.