April 27, 2013
By Neal Tepel
New York NY – Parents, teachers and students gathered Friday afternoon April 26th in front of the Department of Education to demand an end to high-stakes testing (HST) in New York. According to parents at the rally the testing program and time spent on continual test preparation, interferes with the normal teaching and learning process.
Demonstration participants all shared concern that these tests cause school closures and student grade retention. Loretta Prisco, a retired teacher stated, “I am totally opposed to holding kids back. It doesn’t work. Think about the kid who is reading on level but has not mastered the math of his grade.”
Parent Jeff Nichols objects to the tests , “NO to the whole concept that children are to be judged by paper-pushers who have never met them!”
Martha Foote, a parent of a 5th grader at PS 321 in Brooklyn, said: “High-stakes testing is corrupting and ruining our children’s education. It’s turning our schools into test-prep factories and turning our children away from learning. . . . Parents—from Buffalo to Rockville Centre—are saying enough of this insanity. It’s time to bring real learning back into the classroom.”
The Department of education claims it has no choice but to use HST and DOE Deputy Chancellor Polakow-Suransky stated last December that “the federal government has a rule that you have to do this testing,” parent Patricia Padilla responded: “I don’t think that we have to wait for federal law to change for there to be a change in high-stakes testing—because if that were the case I would still be picking cotton or drinking from the colored water fountain."