Local News

February 24, 2013

Forum on standardized tests set

SARANAC LAKE — Standardized tests have become as much a part of elementary school as recess and reading.

But questions have been raised about how the widespread, state-administered tests affect children and the way they’re taught.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Petrova Parents Club will sponsor an informational forum to help people understand the impact standardized testing has on the educational experience.

The forum will be held in the Petrova Elementary School auditorium.

“Mandatory testing has reshaped the educational landscape,” Petrova Parents Club President Zoe Smith said in a news release. “Every spring, students and teachers spend hours and hours preparing for them. Student scores are a fundamental part of teacher evaluations, and the testing represents a significant expense to districts. But we find parents are generally in the dark about what it all means, which is why we’re hosting this event.”

Get answers to questions, such as: What are children being tested for? How are the results used by the state, the Saranac Lake School District and the federal government? What testing is mandatory — and who requires what?

The forum will feature a panel discussion with two elementary-school principals, a pair of fifth-grade teachers and representatives from BOCES, the Saranac Lake Teachers Association and Saranac Lake Central School District Superintendent Gerald Goldman.

Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio will moderate the discussion and audience questions.

The forum is free and open to the public.

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