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School protesters are Cuomo-phobic

The Brooklyn Paper
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These students, parents, and teachers give the governor’s education policies an F.

Demonstrators gathered outside more than two dozen Brooklyn public schools on March 12 to show and tell how awful they think Gov. Cuomo’s school programs are, particularly his proposals to increase the emphasis on standardized testing in ranking teachers so that half of their assessments are tied to test scores, and to weaken tenure.

The policies galvanized teachers unions, perennial foes of such changes, but also the parents of children with learning disabilities who worry that teachers hustling for higher test grades might forsake students who score high less reliably.

“My son has dyslexia and probably wouldn’t do well on tests,” said Ellie Miller, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident who protested with her daughter outside PS 20 in Clinton Hill. “There are wonderful teachers who can spend time to help him, but he would be a detriment to them. They shouldn’t be penalized for serving students who wouldn’t do well on tests.”

The protests took place at schools in Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Carroll Gardens, and other neighborhoods. Students, parents, teachers, and some politicians linked arms to form human chains around the schools.

Cuomo has tied the reforms to $1.1 billion in increased school aid.

Asked to respond to hundreds of families holding pro-teacher signs aloft, a spokeswoman for Cuomo dismissed the protests as the tantrum of “special interests.”

“The governor is fighting to reform a system that has condemned 250,000 children to failing schools over the last 10 years,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever. “Frankly, the louder special interests scream — and today they were screaming at the top of their lungs — the more we know we’re right.”

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz

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Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
vote for Cuomo not the
March 12, 2015, 5:46 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If a student is doing bad in their education, it's the fault of themselves and their parents, not the teachers, plus the standardized tests will always have low scores with special education students as well as those that can't speak good English.
March 12, 2015, 7:54 pm
Michael says:
The parents are usually the biggest determining factor for how well students perform on standardized tests. they do measure how well a student understands the material, in a mostly objective way. They do not measure the quality of the teacher (even if that will factor in to the score the students get).
It would be unfair, and specious to directly link stundet test scores to the quality of teaching.

Teaching to tests doesn't help anyone, but doing poorly on tests does expose how little understanding of basic concepts many students have. Imporving the quality of teaching is not a universal thing. Weaker students require a different kind of teaching than stronger students. Older students who lack fundamental reading and math skills need to re-learn those basics to have any hope of dealing with a grade level curriculum. The teachers of these different students need to have different measures of success.
March 13, 2015, 8:59 am
Michael says:
ugh - sorry about the typos!!!
March 13, 2015, 9 am
OMG from Brazzersstan says:
"as well as those that can't speak good English."
Bwahahahahahahha
Sounds like tal is one of them.
March 13, 2015, 11:42 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I do speak very good English especially since I grew up in the US, but I can see that ty and this OMG person are probably high school drop outs seeing that they don't seem that smart.
March 14, 2015, 2:29 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
again Tal is correct. I thought the 'good English' remark was for humor. its gots to be funny - lol Mazel tov :)
March 15, 2015, 1:08 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Common Core really does hurt the students that can't speak good English, and that has been found to be proven true.
March 16, 2015, 2:12 pm
Derek Williams says:
Wow first off the kids should not be protesting I mean yea its their school but they are too young I protested once when I was a kid and got yelled ag by the elders. Anyway schools should work harder and actually teach the kids about the "real world" and how it works.
March 16, 2015, 6:31 pm

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