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EXCLUSIVE: L.I. Students Perplexed By Written Exams In Gym And Art Classes

Teachers Say Tests Are Given To Evaluate Them, And Their Students
(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A new type of exam is making the rounds in subjects where students aren’t used to being put to the test — subjects like gym.

Students may call it silly, but educators are defending the testing.

Third graders at the Smith Street School in Uniondale had a surprise in gym class on Wednesday — a written test.

“It’s not a pressure for the children, it’s accountability for the teachers,” physical education teacher Colin Verpault told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Not only are kids being tested in gym class, but in art and music class and even in library.

It’s not only happening in Uniondale.

As part of the new New York State teacher evaluations, many districts are testing this year in non-core subjects.

A test at the start of the year and another at year’s end are being done to not only evaluate teachers, but kids too.

“It’s a wonderful way to measure how far a student has come from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, so we are looking forward to using the data to drive future instruction,” said assistant principal Brenda Triplett.

“I think we’ve always assessed. It’s just a more formal way,” said art teacher Danielle Liotta-Donovan.

But High School kids across Long Island are less enthusiastic. They said at their age, there is enough academic pressure without written tests in phys ed.

“The only thing you should be doing in gym is physical education not written stuff,” one student said.

“I think its pretty silly to be taking a test in gym they asked some of the most ridiculous questions,” said another student.

Different concerns also came from the Nassau Suffolk School Boards Association.

President Jim March said “I’m all for a well-rounded education, but to equate health and fitness with academic courses could impact a student’s GPA or class ranking.”

Administrators said they don’t want kids to think of the tests as punishment, but as measure of growth in subjects that are just as important in life.

Gym tests are not used to determine students grades in the Uniondale school district, but other districts may chose to use the tests for course grading.

What are your thoughts on written tests in gym, art and library classes? Share them in the comments section…