Teacher’s Union Present Major Plan for Schools Testing

By Genevieve Belmaker, Epoch Times
June 13, 2013 Updated: June 13, 2013

NEW YORK—A new plan for the future of New York City schools has been endorsed by several mayoral candidates. Supporters for the plan, which focuses on testing and accountability issues, include Bill DeBlasio, Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn, and others.

The plan was created by parents and advocates from the New Yorkers for Great Public Schools coalition (NYGPS), in conjunction with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), partially based on recommendations by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.

“There is far too much focus on testing and the DOE’s accountability system is broken because it fails to help schools improve,” stated parent leader and NYGPS spokesperson Zakiyah Ansar in a press release. “We must move the city in new direction in testing and accountability, one that does not stress out my son or any other child about passing one test, and where teachers are allowed to focus on teaching and learning, not test prep.”

“After twelve years of Mayor Bloomberg, New York City schools have become a disturbing poster-child for the punitive use and abuse of high-stakes tests,” stated a UFT press release.

The proposed roadmap for education in the city aims to shift the focus from punishing or sanctioning schools to improving them.

“We need the next mayor to take us in a new direction, one that prioritizes learning all the skills that our students need to succeed in the increasingly complex world, and not just how to take a test,” stated Elzora Cleveland, public school parent and member of New York Communities for Change.