Assemblymen Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square), Al Graf (R,C,I-Holbrook), Dave McDonough (R,C,I-Merrick) and Dean Murray (R,C,I-East Patchogue) recently introduced a Legislative Resolution urging support for efforts to reduce the annual testing mandate imposed by “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.”
The sponsors of the Resolution are requesting that members of the state Legislature urge their Congressional representatives to support the Student Testing Improvement & Accountability Act (H.R. 452). This legislation, introduced by Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19), would empower state and local school districts by reducing the annual, federally-mandated standardized tests in schools across the U.S.
All four sponsors of the resolution are members of the Assembly Committee on Education.
“It is critical that we take appropriate action at all levels of government in order to modify and improve New York’s education system,” said Ra, Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Committee on Education. “My colleagues and I applaud Congressmen Gibson and Zeldin for sponsoring this meaningful legislation to reduce federally-mandated tests, and encourage the rest of the New York State Congressional delegation to do the same. Our message at the state and federal levels remain consistent. For the sake of our children and educators, the time to put an end to the over-reliance of high stakes testing is now.”
“We are partnering with families, educators, and elected officials across New York in our fight to empower state and local school systems,” said Congressman Gibson. “The federal government’s testing regime is onerous and unfair, shifting classroom focus away from teaching and learning to testing. As the father of three public school students and as a former educator, fixing this problem has been a major priority of mine since I retired from the Army. I deeply appreciate the support and advocacy of Assemblymen Ra, Murray, McDonough, and Graf on this important issue, and I will keep working at a state and federal level to reform our education system.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1) said, “As a co-sponsor and strong advocate for The Student Testing Improvement & Accountability Act in the United States Congress, I want to thank New York State Assemblymen Ra, Graf, Murray, and McDonough, for urging a vote on this key legislation in Congress. I am passionate about this legislation because it will roll back federally mandated testing in our Long Island schools. I believe in higher standards, but we need to stop the over testing. This is an important next step to shift the focus in our classrooms from testing to teaching, ensuring our children never lose their love of learning. I will continue my fight in Congress, working across different levels of government, to improve our education system for my children and yours.”
The Student Testing Improvement & Accountability Act currently has 33 bipartisan co-sponsors who represent 19 different states across the country.
"I applaud Congressmen Gibson and Zeldin for drafting legislation that will empower teachers and enrich educational opportunities for our kids. We should be focused on teaching young people the skills they need to lead fulfilling, successful lives instead of obsessing over arbitrary benchmarks from government bureaucrats," said McDonough.
“The over-reliance on standardized testing goes far beyond the state level; our federal government is also culpable,” said Murray. “That's why I'm proud to join Assemblyman Ra and several of my colleagues in urging the federal government to scale back these ill-conceived high stakes tests that are wrecking our education system.”
“Assemblymen Ra, Murray, McDonough and I have recently co-authored a resolution to urge New York State members of Congress to stand with us and support efforts to reduce the oppressive amount of standardized tests forced on our children. These annual tests, imposed by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, combined with Common Core-related testing, have proven to be the cause of increased anxiety in our children while providing no fruitful results. We must halt this testing so we can properly review the process and put a more effective model in place that will foster true learning and growth in our children. I encourage our congressmen and women to support our efforts on the federal level and do what is right for our children,” said Graf.
Assemblyman Ra represents the 19th Assembly District.
For more information, visit Assemblyman Ra’s website.