New York, New York – Council Member Ben Kallos joined students and educators of P.S. 290 and other Manhattan schools to protest this year’s New York State English Language Arts (ELA) Exam, following the conviction of educators across the City that this year’s exam was unfair, incompetent and contrary to their teaching.
"Our schools should focus on learning over testing. Sometimes, tests can be helpful in determining how much students are learning -- but when no one can pass the test, there is something seriously wrong with the test. And there is nothing wrong with our children," said Kallos.
The protest was led by Principals of School District 2 Adele Schroeter, PS59; Lisa Ripperger, PS234; Robert Bender, PS11; Tara Napoleoni, PS183; Jane Hsu, PS116; Sharon Hill, PS290; Amy Hom, PS1; Lauren Fontana, PS6; Jennifer Bonnet, PS150; Nicole Zaccardi-Yerk, PS281; Susan Felder, PS40; Kelly Shannon, PS41; Nancy Sing-Bok, PS51; Lisa Seigman, PS3; Irma Medina, PS111; Terry Ruyter, PS276; Darryl Alhadeff, PS158; Samantha Kaplan, PS151; David Bowell, PS347; and Kelly McGuire, Lower Manhattan Community MS.
The School District 2 protests follow a protest at P.S. 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, over the same test, and was attended by dozens of students and parents. The tests adopted new standards last year and only 26% of New York City students passing the exam. This year, educators and principals denounced the always controversial exams as being particularly confusing and poorly constructed.