Photos and captions by Katie Moore, text by Indypendent staff.
About 50 New York City parents, students and teachers rallied outside the Department of Education headquarters in lower Manhattan yesterday to protest a second round of standardized testing that begins across New York State next week. An estimated 1,000 New York City school students refused to take a State-mandated English Language Arts exam in early April. Organizers of the rally said there would be another wave of students "opting out" when standardized math exams are given next week. Critics of the tests say that they fail to adequately measure student learning and that an over-emphasis on test preparation takes away time and resources that could be dedicated to other types of teaching and learning.
Photo 1/feature image: Andrea Mata, an organizer with Change the Stakes, explains how the standardized testing system fails students and the evaluation system for teachers is ineffective. Additional reasons for protesting the implementation of Common Core include that it puts students who speak English as a second language and those with disabilities at a disadvantage, and that it causes education to be treated as a for-profit entity with corporations rather than students benefiting.
2: Public school parent Kelly tells the crowd, "my daughter is more than a test score."
3: The rally was held on the steps of the New York City Department of Education. Teachers, students, parents and activists showed up to advocate for a curriculum that encourages critical thinking and creativity.
4: Eleanor, 7, holds up a sign.
5: Primi Akhtar, a Queens Metropolitan High School student participates at the rally where people chanted, "I am more than just a score. We don't want the Common Core."