News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
January 19, 2021
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News + Views

Anti-Test Movement

By Lisa M. Collins

The citywide movement against the statewide English Language Arts exams, given to to kids in 3rd to 8th grade in public school, just got an outspoken ally – the principal of the tony, popular P.S. 321 elementary school in Park Slope. 

The principal, Liz Phillips, called the three-day test, “an insult to the profession of teaching.” Phillips called for a protest by school staff in front of the school for Friday morning. Some parents and teachers at Cobble Hill’s P.S. 29 Elementary School, on Henry Street, also held a protest.

“Because we are bound by test security, we cannot reveal details but we can tell you that we have never seen an ELA exam that does a worse job of testing reading comprehension. There was inappropriate content, many highly ambiguous questions, and a focus on structure rather than meaning of passages…. students’ scores on it will not correlate with their reading ability,” Phillips said in a letter that was sent out on Park Slope Parents. 

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Meanwhile, another group is tracking complaints by parents who say that they are being “bullied” by school administrators when they choose to opt out so that their kids do not have to take the tests. The group, Change the Stakes, claims that nearly 30,000 kids statewide were opted-out of the tests by their parents. 


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