Albany (WSYR-TV) -- Members of the Fulton Teachers Association sent a strong message to lawmakers in Albany on Thursday. Almost every teacher in the school district wore T-shirts to school, showing their frustration with spending more time testing students than teaching them.
Their message was loud and clear: “Just let us teach.” The teachers say about a third of their year is taken up by state testing and assessments, leaving little time to teach their regular lessons.
Teachers say even though testing usually begins in March and lasts until June, their normal curriculum throughout the year is cut short because of mandated testing. To add to their frustrations, starting next year, every student will take a pre and post-test in each class to measure student growth. Those tests will also be used toward teacher evaluations.
Union members say the state is doing too much too fast and teachers simply need more time to invest in teaching their students.
“There are a lot of things that are really interesting in the field of science that I want to share with my students, but I can't do that because I'm preparing kids for a test,” said one teacher.
“We're just doing this to educate the community and we want the community to be aware of the ridiculous assessments going on in the schools and we want them to reach out to their local representatives and bring that message back to Albany,” explained another.
The teachers say their fight won’t end until they get more time back in the classroom.