Teachers Refuse to Administer Test

Teachers at International High School in Prospect Park opposing the English language assessment (Photo by Madeleine Cummings via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Teachers at International High School in Prospect Park opposing the English language assessment test (Photo by Madeleine Cummings via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

A group of teachers at International High School in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, a school with a large population of immigrant students, on May 1 said they would not administer an English language assessment to their students, even though the test is mandated as part of the city’s teacher evaluation program, Madeleine Cummings of Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports.

About 30 teachers and staff members wrote to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña objecting to the test, which is essay-based and aligns with Common Core standards. They requested that teacher-designed assessments be given to the students instead. A similar test was given students last fall, and was both inappropriate and damaging to students, the teachers said.

They also said that the test was not created with English language learners in mind, lacking translations and instructions for reading aloud that their students are used to seeing on other tests.

Put simply, the teachers say the test was too hard, the vast majority of students received zero points, and the whole experience was “traumatic” for everyone involved.

“Some of them put their heads down, some of them cried, some of them threw papers,” recalled Rosie Frascella, a 12th grade English teacher at the school.

Despite teacher objections, the test was administered to some students at the school on May 1. For more on the teachers’ views, go to the original article.

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