NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Parents Organize Boycott To End Standardized Testing of 4-year-olds


    New York School believed to be first to reject testing in grades K-2, principal and 90% of parents support boycott and hope it helps spark nationwide movement -   October 24, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook


    I support the real news because they deal with real issues, not meaningless articles and sound bites - Gary
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Elexis is the parent of Andres Pujols, 6, a first-grader and Daeja Pujols, 5, a kindergartner. She is a native New Yorker who campaigned for the Castle Bridge school to open. 

    Dao is the parent of Quyen Lamphere, 5, a first-grader. Dao is an editor at Haymarket Books and the coeditor of 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History.

    Transcript

    Parents Organize Boycott To End Standardized Testing of 4-year-oldsJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

    Parents at a New York City elementary school have taken the unprecedented move to boycott a new exam that would force students as young as four to take a multiple-choice test used to evaluate their teachers. Now 88 out of 97 parents of the kindergarten first- and second-grade students at Castle Bridge School have opted out their children from taking this test. After they notified principal Julie Zuckerman, she called off the test because with so many parents boycotting, the results would be meaningless. The Real News reached principal Zuckerman, who says she supports the parents.

    ~~~

    JULIE ZUCKERMAN, PRINCIPAL, CASTLE BRIDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: You know, I'm horrified that anyone would consider testing K through 2 kids. That's been off-limits for all these years. My colleagues and I have been adamant all along with the increase in testing that if it ever treaded into the K-2 arena, that that would be a step too far.

    ~~~

    NOOR: The passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 ushered in an era of standardized testing and test prep in schools across the country as students and schools became accountable to high-stakes tests. And President Obama's Race to the Top and Common Core education initiatives have increased funding for schools that expand testing and link student test scores to teacher evaluations. However, over the past several years, opposition to such high-stakes standardized tests has grown to unprecedented levels.

    Well, now joining us to discuss this latest test boycott at Castle Bridge School are the school's PTA cochairs. Elexis Loubriel-Pujols is the parent of Andres and DeiJa Pujols, and Dao Tran is the parent of Guinn Lamphere.

    Thank you both for joining us.

    DAO TRAN, COCHAIRWOMAN, CASTLE BRIDGE PTA: Thank you for having us.

    NOOR: So I want to start with you, Elexis. Talk about why you and the other parents at your school, the vast majority felt it was so important to get together and organize this boycott. Your children haven't even taken these tests yet.

    LOUBRIEL-PUJOLS: Correct. Our kids have not taken the test. We found out about the test and were immediately outraged that our kids would possibly be subjected to standardized tests. We thought there's no reason to have the kids fill out bubbles and have the stress of standardized tests when teachers can be evaluated using other measures. We prefer our kids to be playing in class, learning hands-on instead of worrying about taking tests.

    NOOR: Now, the children, just to emphasize, the children who would be taking these tests would be as young as four years old. Why is that a problem?

    TRAN: I think it's developmentally not even just unhelpful but actually destructive. If you think about a child at that young age, many have issues with sitting still for so long. Many have not learned to read. And I think the test actually acknowledges that, because it has in place underneath the numbers for each question a little image that kids were supposed to look at when the teacher's reading aloud the question to know which question she's referring to. There's all kinds of abstract thinking that would have to take place in order to take the exam.

    And the other really awful aspect was that this test is given in English only. And our school is a bilingual, dual-language school. Many of the children who enter Castle Bridge actually don't speak Spanish at home and are just learning to speak English.

    NOOR: Now, for about four years I worked in New York City at a museum, and I would go to schools across the city and teach history. And just about every teacher I worked with over the course of four years would tell me, you know, sorry my students are so far behind on the history part of our curriculum, because we've been focusing on getting ready for these math and English standardized tests, which our school and students and our teachers themselves would be evaluated on. So I know this has been a longtime problem that parents and teachers have spoken out against. So can you talk about what your children will be able to do instead of preparing for these tests and taking these tests?

    LOUBRIEL-PUJOLS: Well, our kids would be in class doing hands-on projects, learning about chicks, building with blocks, playing with sand, learning social skills, getting to just be creative individuals instead of focusing on learning how to take a test and filling in bubbles, which isn't really something that they need to be focusing on right now.

    NOOR: And finally, we reached Principal Zuckerman. And I wanted to play another comment she made about the significance of this boycott.

    ~~~

    ZUCKERMAN: You know, I think the significant lesson is that the parents are the ones who are in the control and need to take the lead. And the schools are a public servant. You know, we're public servants, and the schools are here for the parents and for the children. We're here to meet their needs. And when parents take that attitude seriously, they have a lot of power and they can speak truth to power. And there really isn't any--you know, there aren't repercussions to be brought on schools for parent involvement and parent engagement.

    ~~~

    NOOR: So, Dao, I wanted to get your response to what Principal Zuckerman said. The two big points she brought up was the fact that parents need to take leadership of their schools, and also that because the parents took this leadership, the school will not be held accountable, the school will not be punished, the teachers will not be punished for this boycott.

    TRAN: I absolutely agree with her. I mean, I think we observe that the school, we observe our children in the classroom on a daily basis, and we know and trust that the teachers have the best assessment of them. They actually write these narratives about our kids at report card time. So they don't get checkboxes. They don't get grades. We get a story of what they know and where they are at developmentally, which is much more rich and clear than any test could ever be.

    And I think for us as parents, once we got our campaign going and started talking to parents about what was happening--first of all, no one actually knew this test was coming. The district did not send home letters, did not even tell us that they were planning to give this test to our children. And then on top of that, we felt like at a certain point there's a tipping point. It's not just individual parents saying, I don't want my child to take this, but understanding that it was going to affect the whole school, if the tests would be given, that there would have to be time, you know, devoted to test prep and there would be a culture that would start creeping into the school that would place such a high value on these tests, which, you know, goes against, basically, the values and principles of our school.

    NOOR: Thank you so much for joining us. And we'll keep following this story.

    TRAN: Thank you.

    LOUBRIEL-PUJOLS: Thank you.

    NOOR: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Affirmative Action Ruling Will Further Racial Inequality
    Evidence for Russian Involvement in East Ukraine Based on Shoddy Journalism
    Ivy League Study: The General Public Has Virtually No Influence on Policy
    The Modern History of Venezuela and Popular Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (9/9)
    An Asia "Pivot" Should Mean Cooperating with China to Solve the Global Environmental Crisis
    Assessing the U.S. Environmental Movement
    Intimidation and Political Interference Goes Unpunished in UAW Case
    Exclusive Investigation Uncovers How BP Uses Bribes To Do Business
    The Modern History of Venezuela, The Protests and Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (8/9)
    Greek Politics 4 Years After The Financial Crisis
    CBO Report Confirms U.S. Deficit Back to Normal Level
    Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
    Who Will Pay for Climate Change Disaster?
    Canada Shifts to Right Under Harper, Mimicking the United States
    The Savings and Loan Crisis Demonstrates the Importance of Glass-Steagall
    South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Challenges ANC Leadership
    TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    Hundredth Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre
    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting