[Bkn-school-of-education-csp-mhc] NYASP Test Anxiety Report

Zalika Taylor Zalika.Taylor at liu.edu
Tue Nov 24 13:06:51 EST 2015

Dear Students,

The New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) and the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) recently released a joint report related to levels of anxiety that students experience related to New York's state testing program (Anxious for Success<http://www.nyasp.biz/pdf_files/TestAnxietyReportFINAL.pdf>). We are pleased with the attention that this report has garnered and hope that it generates conversations among parents, educators, and policy makers regarding the use of high stakes testing and methods to help children cope with adverse reactions to these tests.

The report clearly indicates concern for the level of anxiety that children are experiencing related to state testing. In fact, school psychologists have noted increased levels of test anxiety over the past few years.

However, the causes of increased anxiety are multifaceted. While some may want to make a direct connection with Common Core standards, the data from the survey does not support this conclusion. This study does not address the Common Core standards themselves. It addresses test anxiety associated with high stakes tests (e.g., state level exams). It is the overuse and misapplication of standardized testing that appears to be associated with increased anxiety, not the standards or content on which students are being tested.

NYSSBA and NYASP want the report to stimulate conversation about how New York and our nation use high stakes testing and how parents, educators, and mental health professionals can work together to support children.

NYASP has generated some tools to help educators and parents deal with test anxiety.  Our test anxiety FAQ sheet can be helpful in identifying some of the symptoms and causes of test anxiety in children (http://www.nyasp.org/pdf/test_anxiety_faq.pdf). In addition NYASP has generated some handouts to provide practical strategies for educators (http://www.nyasp.org/pdf/help_test_anxiety_teacher.pdf) and parents (http://www.nyasp.org/pdf/help_test_anxiety_parents.pdf) to help children experiencing test anxiety.

With the start of the 2016 legislative session upon us in January, NYASP stands committed to continue work with our statewide partners to ensure viable and broad policy solutions designed to improve the mental and behavioral health of children.

Andrew Livanis, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Associate Professor,
School Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis programs
LIU- Brooklyn

President-Elect, New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP)

More information about the BKN-SCHOOL-OF-EDUCATION-CSP-MHC mailing list