LETTER: DCS Board states concern over standardized testing

The Chronicle Express

The fact that standardized testing was even considered, let alone mandated this year, confirms what many already suspect – that our federal and state governments are completely out of touch with the reality of what their constituents are facing.

This reality for students, parents, and teachers includes mental and emotional stress, depression and anxiety, unemployment and underemployment, food stress, the tremendous challenge of remote work environments, limited or non-existent child care, health challenges and illness, and social isolation due to lack of connectivity with family and friends due to the pandemic.

This reality for our school district means all of the above plus the constant juggling act of running a school in the midst of a global pandemic. For the past year, our school districts have been left hanging, for lack of a better word, due to the sheer lack of leadership at the state and federal level. Funding to schools was at one point in jeopardy and since word arrived that we would get funding, it has been seriously delayed. Nothing like wondering if you’ll get the aid you’ve been promised to add to the stress of your day. By the way, I’d like auditors to take note – this is why we maintain the reserve funds we do. Because we can rely on nothing these days, it seems.

Despite these challenges, our school, under Superintendent Kelly Houck’s talent and tenacity, has adapted and overcome at every turn. As the board vice president I am extremely proud of our staff, our students, our parents, and our school administrators – thanks to your hard work, dedication, and vigilance, we maintained in person learning for almost the entire year thus far.

On reflection, it seems our students and schools have enough to contend with, one would wonder what else could possibly be heaped on. Then the news came that standardized tests would be required this spring. This is outrageous. We, as the Board of Education of the Dundee Central School District are vehemently opposed to the requirement of standardized testing and stand in solidarity with our teachers, our staff, our students, and parents. To the powers that be that make these decisions, we beg you to reconsider. 

Written on behalf of the Dundee Central School District Board of Education: President Robert Neu, Board Members Kevin Crofoot, John Frederick, Douglas Hammond, Jessica Shepardson-Wood, and Jared Webster.