Pencils down – less testing and more learning

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Mrs. Friedman, Founder of the Early Years Institute, agrees. “Children are born learning and their learning experiences before school predict their learning in school. A recent study indicated that the number of words a child knows at 18 months will indicate their reading level in grade three,” she said. “The Common Core foundation for Pre-K is a good foundation. But most learning should be child-directed. Scripts don’t work. Young children should be blowing bubbles not filling them in,” she said referring to kindergarten students taking tests. “We test what we can measure but not what’s most important,” she said, pointing to increases in ADHD when high-stakes testing is implemented. Brian Devale, a Seaford parent and the Principal of P.S. 257 in Brooklyn, added “if you are poor and come from a broken home you won’t be performing well. No one wants to address the social issues. Instead they develop these misguided policies that are effecting white middle class suburban Americans. “It’s craziness; where is childhood going? Testing is not learning.”

Mr. Conboy in a written statement said that “the cost to administer these tests are projected to be considerably higher than the $14,000 the district received. Districts are being asked to finance these test while working within the confines of a two percent property tax cap, which puts an additional financial strain on districts across the state. Gary Bennett, President of the Massapequa Board of Education added that these testing costs make it difficult to “provide a quality education. A well-rounded American has music, art, history. What about creativity? This is one of the the bench marks of America, of the entrepreneurial spirit.”

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