Standardized tests have their place. Where that place is needs to be revisited and revised. The tests are coming! The tests are coming! This is the battle cry this time of year at most schools. In just a few short months, students across New York State in grades three through eight will spend a few… Continue reading It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!
Last Monday, September 11, 2017, New York State submitted its revised Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan to the federal government for approval. The document includes slight tweaks to the standards for Math and English and shorter tests, a change to the way teachers are assessed and certified, and more emphasis on “student growth.” It’s full… Continue reading New York State Has a New Education Plan: What Will It Mean For You and Your Kids?
The climate of our country and our world right now is a mixture of anger and divisiveness juxtaposed with empathy and support. The classroom is often a microcosm of trends taking place within the larger national and global communities. With that being said, as I plan for the upcoming school year, fostering a nurturing and… Continue reading Creating A Warm Classroom Climate and Culture: The Real Key to Every Student Succeeding
It’s back-to-school time and those two “dirty words” have already come up on both my teacher and parent radar: standardized testing. On a holistic level, I am not against standardized tests. When created correctly (an oxymoron to some), standardized tests are one way to assess how well a student has grasped the material covered within… Continue reading I Won’t Teach To The Test: Never Have, Never Will.
The New York State Department of Education is in the final throes of tweaking its plan for complying with America’s new school education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In this brave new world of bloated state control and anorexic federal oversight, parents are increasingly dependent on their state’s commitment to honest and… Continue reading How Honest Is New York State’s Public Education Plan?
“If you’re giving a kid a diploma based on a Regents score, does that pass mean that the kid has sufficient math skills?” asked Kim Nauer, education research director at The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs. Not in New York. Although, of course, students and their parents have no way of discerning… Continue reading What Do You Need to Pass the Algebra 1 Test In NYS? Not Much.
(Damian Gaillard is the parent of a fifth-grader who attends public school in Harlem, N.Y. This piece was originally posted at The 74.) I think we all remember what it was like to be in school and wanting to be with the “cool kids.” It used to be that meant wearing the latest sneakers or… Continue reading Harlem Dad: Parents Who “Opt-Out” Their Kids Let The System Off the Hook
We went on a field trip to Hayden Planetarium today (so amazing!) and when we arrived back at the school, there was only a little bit of time left before the final bell of the day rang. The other teachers who chaperoned the field trip and I decided to let the kids run up and… Continue reading Bring Back Recess!
My post last week urging New York parents to say “yes” to the state standardized tests generated many comments, mostly from angry suburban parents. I thank all of you — after all, the primary purpose of New York School Talk is to elevate authentic voices in this ongoing conversation about how to improve the quality… Continue reading Where I Respond To Comments From My Last Post on the “Opt-Out Movement”
New York City kids have just finished sitting for the 2017 English Language Arts state tests and so this seems like a good time to talk about the tutoring epidemic that goes beyond four-year-olds prepping to ace Gifted & Talented screenings, and teens cramming for the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Those exams are for… Continue reading Test Prep Comes Out of the Closet: What’s Really Behind Some of NYC’s High Test Scores?