Impact of High-Stakes Testing to be Explored in Public Lecture

As New York State’s high-stakes testing practices are hotly debated in the state senate and by the general public, that issue and others will be the topics of two presentations on Nov. 13 by educational expert and researcher Angela Valenzuela.

The first talk, “The Adverse Impacts of High-Stakes Testing: Urgent Lessons from Texas for New York,” will be held at the School Without Walls, 480 Broadway, at 4 p.m. The second talk, “Privatizing Education in Texas: Neo-liberalism, Accountability, Latinos, and the Market,” will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development on University of Rochester’s River Campus, Dewey Hall, Room 2-162.

Both talks are sponsored by the Coalition for Common Sense in Education, the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester, and the University of Rochester’s Department of Anthropology. Both are free and open to the public.

Valenzuela, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss how the current U.S. presidential administration has used Texas as a model for school reform nationwide. Specifically, Valenzuela will present her research regarding the negative effect the Texas education model and practices adopted under “No Child Left Behind” have had on graduation rates, particularly for minority and underprivileged students.

Valenzuela is active in Texas education policy and researches the implications of high-stakes testing, with special attention to the results regarding Latinos and students of color and those from low-income families. She has worked with the Texas legislature and appears regularly before education hearings. Valenzuela authored Leaving Children Behind: Why Texas-Style Accountability Fails Latino Youth (State University of New York Press, in press) and Subtractive Schooling: U.S.-Mexican Youth and the Politics of Schooling (State University of New York Press, 1999).

New York State currently ranks sixth worst among state graduation rates, according to research by Walter Haney, education professor at Boston College, who presented at the recent New York State Standing Committee hearings on education. In addition to assessment tests for elementary and middle school children, New York requires students to pass five Regents exams to graduate from high school.

For more information on Valenzuela’s visit, contact David Hursh at (585) 275-3947.

Tags: Angela Valenzuela, Coalition for Common Sense in Education, David Hursh, high-stakes testing, No Child Left Behind