Wednesday, May 21

Taking testing into their own hands in the Bronx

Most of the 8th graders at IS 318 in the Bronx boycotted a practice social studies test last week, the Daily News reports. They complain that they've been taking tests all year, many of which are simply practice or diagnostic tests ostensibly designed to prepare them for the real thing, instead of spending time learning from their teachers. Their social studies teacher has been removed from the classroom and may lose his job over the affair, even though he and students say he never told them to hand in anti-testing petitions along with their blank tests.

From the answers the students gave to the Daily News reporter, it sounds like they've had quality instruction in civics and social studies at IS 318. I'd wager that their tests wouldn't reflect their nuanced understanding of capitalism, authoritarianism, and children's (lack of) rights:

"We've had a whole bunch of these diagnostic tests all year," Tatiana Nelson, 13, one of the protest leaders, said Tuesday outside the school. "They don't even count toward our grades. The school system's just treating us like test dummies for the companies that make the exams." ...

"They're saying Mr. Avella made us do this," said Johnny Cruz, 15, another boycott leader. "They don't think we have brains of our own, like we're robots. We students wanted to make this statement. The school is oppressing us too much with all these tests." ...

"Now they've taken away the teacher we love only a few weeks before our real state exam for social studies," Tatiana Nelson said. "How does that help us?"

1 comment:

Linda said...

If I had 2-3 wishes…. this story would spread like wildfire among two
(1) the supposedly strong teachers' unions [local, state, and national levels] and the NEA would rise up as a whole and say NO MORE to NCLB and the whole testing industry,


(2) among students through text messages, emails, facebook and word-o-mouth and the students would rise up as a whole and say NO MORE to NCLB and the whole testing industry … and

(3) once emboldened by their successful boycott the students would further boycott any military presence in their schools and would refuse to allow the predatory recruiters to harvest any more of their fellow students for their corporate protection racket.

shhhh….. spread the word… make it happen
here’s the link to the article.
Pass it around to any teachers or students - with the wishes.

As they say in the IEP world…. what’s the baseline? Currently [5/26/08],
google news shows this story is on 2 news
sites [Huffington Post & New York Daily News] and 311 blogs.

Downside? It is the very end of the school year. Of course, considering how email jokes and virus warnings work, there may be benefit to doing it now, again before school starts AND later, a couple months into the school year.

ready… set … go

[and copy save and calendar it for a future date]