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Standardized tests hamper pupil learning

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In Bob Friedrich’s March 1-7 On Point column “Underperforming Queens schools should be shuttered,” the author misses the point about the objections to the extreme emphasis on standardized test preparation in our local public schools.

As parents like me are aware, the city Department of Education’s continual focus on test scores, to the exclusion of all that is meaningful in education, has been a disaster for the students of eastern Queens. Incessant test preparation drills have deadened the curriculum and made standardized tests a ceiling rather than a floor for what goes on in too many classrooms.

Friedrich says complaints of this nature stem from the United Federation of Teachers, but as a father who is in our public schools all the time, I know it is local parents who have deep concerns about how constant test preparation detracts from the real learning children should be doing.

I have spoken to hundreds of parents about this issue, and I have yet to find one who supports the test preparation obsession.

Using tests to evaluate student achievement is reasonable, but allowing the tests to drive instruction and dominate classroom activity is not.

Mark Wperin

Citu Councilman

(D-Oakland Gardens)

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Michaela from Whitestone says:
I could not agree with you more. As a parent who's children are now in MS and HS I am seeing the damage done by 10 years of non stop testing. Our children are tuning out because they are bored, many are going into HS lacking basic skills like spelling and grammar (not on multiple choice tests). Test prep takes over most schools in the months before the state tests. Many parents feel helpless because politicians on both sides push for more reform which is code for more tests. Now with almost half a teachers evaluation in NY being based on test scores and there will be even more pressure for the kids to pass them. That means even more teset prep. They already use test scores to close schools, now teachers jobs will be on the line. Parents need to unite on this issue and be vocal. Check out organizations like Parents Across America and Class Size Matters and get involved.
March 25, 2012, 3:05 pm

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