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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.5030

Support

SUBJECT:

Standardized Testing

 

DATE:

April 2, 2008

 

This bill establishes procedures under which a test subject may request and obtain information about a standardized test they took. It also establishes testing fees, imposes a testing tax and sets up a “New York State Board of Testing Integrity” within the State Education Department.

The Business Council opposes this bill because it would unnecessarily establish new requirements regarding standardized testing and set up an entirely new bureaucracy related to the state testing board it establishes. It also arbitrarily sets the fees that can be charged by testing entities. Currently testing agencies take a number of factors into consideration in establishing their fees, including how they can make tests available to students who are unable to pay. The arbitrary $10 fee set by this bill undermines testing agencies ability to determine the fees necessary for program administration and to wave fees for poor students. Yet another provision imposes a “fee,” in reality, a tax of one dollar per test administered to pay for the activities of a board which simply represents a new bureaucracy. The bill also contains unclear language that enables unwarranted intrusion into the corporate compensation decision-making process related to the determination of test agency management salaries. This provision of the legislation has nothing to do with testing and would set onerous precedents relative to the internal budgeting and governance of private entities.

Existing law already protects test takers regarding fairness and accuracy by requiring testing entities to make a copy of the test questions, the test subject's answers and a copy of the correct answers. For the many reasons stated above, we urge that this legislation not be passed.