During the two weeks of state tests, the rules of behavior are so strict it can make a classroom feel like it is on lockdown. To combat test stress, one teacher says we all should cheer on the students and teachers with support — and ice cream.
Last year just over one hundred New York City students opted out of taking state tests. Parents behind the effort this year say their ranks are growing as frustration mounts over testing.
The Department of Education said it changed the way it tests children for gifted and talented programs to make the process more equitable, and harder to prepare for ahead of time. But that hasn’t deterred test-prep companies and some parents eager to get their children into the highly competitive programs.
School Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Sept. 6 is a day to focus on the anticipation and opportunity implicit in a new school year. Any policy debates or disputes will have to wait until another day.
Summer school started Monday for New York City students needing the extra instruction to advance to the next grade. City officials acknowledge that summer school has a negative connotation, and they are hoping to change aspects of the program starting next summer, officials said.
Laura Klein, a middle-school teacher in the Bronx, writes that test prep is in full swing at her school — as it must be, given all that rides on the results. But the problem is not in using precious school time to teach to a test. “Our failure is that we struggle to inspire them beyond the test,” she writes — and students have to be reminded why learning must continue in the sunny months of May and June.
When a fourth-grade student came home with test preparation work, the task of finding the answer to an apparently unanswerable question became a family affair, a WNYC reporter writes.
Many social studies teachers learning how to put the Common Core curriculum standards into their teaching welcome the chance to help students learn how to think critically and analyze, but they worry how this will affect their ability to prep students for the Regents.
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