"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Teachers at International HS at Prospect Heights Refuse to Give NYC ELA Test

From Monty Neill:

 **Media Advisory**
  26 Teachers and Staff of International High School at Prospect
  Heights refuse to give NYC ELA Performance Assessment Test
  WHEN: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 7:45-8:20am,

  WHERE: International High School at Prospect Heights, 883 Classon
  Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

  WHAT: Teachers will hold a press conference to announce their
  refusal to administer the NYC ELA Performance Assessment. 26
  teachers and staff at Prospect Heights International High School are
  refusing to administer a new assessment that is part of the new
  teacher evaluation system pushed by Bloomberg’s DOE and the UFT last
  spring.  50% of parents have opted their children out of the test.
  The high school serves almost exclusively recently arrived English
  Language Learners.

  WHY: The test was constructed and formatted without any thought for
  the 14% of New York City students for whom English is not their
  first language. The level of English used in the pre-test
  administered in the Fall was so far above the level of our beginner
  ELLs that it provided little to no information about our students’
  language proficiency or the level of their academic skills.

  Furthermore, the test was a traumatic and demoralizing experience
  for students. Many students, after asking for help that teachers
  were not allowed to give, simply put their heads down for the
  duration.  Some students even cried.

  Teachers at Prospect Heights are drawing a line with this test.
    Standardized, high stakes test dominate our schools, distort our
  curriculum and make our students feel like failures.  This test
  serves no purpose for the students,  and ultimately only hurts them.

  26 Teachers have signed a letter to Chancellor Farina declaring that
  they will not give the exam.  The letter expresses gratitude for
  Farina’s immediate turn around of the DOE’s attitude toward
  teachers, and asks that the Chancellor reconsider the use of the NYC
  ELA Performance Assessment with English Language Learners.

  WHO:  Teachers and support staff from the International High School
  at Prospect Heights.

  RSVP: This event is open to press and coverage is welcome.

  The International High School at Prospect Heights is a public high
  school located in Brooklyn, NY. Read their letter to Chancellor
  Farina at www.standupoptout.wordpress.com
  <http://www.standupoptout.wordpress.com/>

  ###

Some of the International High Schools in NYC are part of the Performance Standards Consortium and are not required to give the Math Regents exam; instead, students graduate by performance tasks -see http://www.performance assessment.org.

Norm Scott from NY added: MOREista and Change the Staker Jia Lee and 2 teachers from her elementary school also refused to give the tests. The Nation reported about their -->"open letter from a group of “Teachers of Conscience” at the Earth School <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/04/04/teachers-refuse-to-administer-standardized-tests/>, an elementary school in Manhattan. Accompanied by a philosophical position paper detailing principles of a progressive education <http://teachersofconscience.wordpress.com/position-paper/>, the teachers declared their opposition to English language exams for third-to-eight graders." As did Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/04/04/teachers-refuse-to-administer-standardized-tests/>

Rosie and Emily Giles are active MOREistas. See video <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a9Gg37nC3A&feature=share&list=UU9iVb99ewF1omA6LbPUWEOg&index=1> of Rosie at the Change the Stakes rally last week where in an off the cuff interview she elucidates the thinking of more and more teachers. Much of the test flux has come from elementary schools so it is important that this is coming from high school - there is a chain of international schools here in NYC that are linked and at some point this may spread.

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