After the 2014 ELA exams were administered Principal Liz Phillips wrote an Op-Ed explaining the flaws she sees in current standardized testing in New York City. You may read it here: We Need To Talk About the Test, published on April 9, 2014.
The PS 321 Testing Task Force held a Forum, Teachers Talk Testing, on December 3, 2013.
Teachers and administrators spoke out against high-stakes testing. Their stories were powerful expressions of the high cost of high-stakes testing.
For more information about Teacher Talk Testing, including press coverage of the event, please go to teacherstalktesting.org. You can also see all the panelists complete speeches on the Teacher Talk Testing You Tube Channel.
On March 3, 2014 after completing the final day of ELA testing, PS 321 sent a letter home (below) to all families. Over 500 people gathered in front of PS 321 the next day in solidarity.
PS 321 PARENTS–Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have just completed three days of the New York State English Language Arts Exam. Your children were wonderful and worked incredibly hard. On the whole, we think that we were able to protect them from the worst stresses of the test, and most seemed fine during most of the exam. However, the teachers and administration are truly devastated by what a terrible test it was and how little it will tell us about our students. Because we are bound by test security, we cannot reveal details but we can tell you that we have never seen an ELA exam that does a worse job of testing reading comprehension. There was inappropriate content, many highly ambiguous questions, and a focus on structure rather than meaning of passages. Our teachers and administrators feel that this test is an insult to the profession of teaching and that students’ scores on it will not correlate with their reading ability. Because of this, the staff has decided to hold a protest outside of school TOMORROW, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, FROM 8:15-8:35 to express their extreme dissatisfaction with the ELA exam. Parents are invited to join the staff before going into classrooms for Family Friday.