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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Weprin Crashes Press Conference and Again Blasts DOE

In a stunning reminder that the State ultimately controls our public schools, State Assemblymember Mark Weprin invited himself to DOE press conference at PS 46 in his district and denounced DOE's mania for standardized testing. The press event was arranged by DOE to celebrate schools that received "A" grades on their standardized test-based Progress Reports. But to the assembled audience that included the grim-faced Chancellor Klein and Chief Accountability Officer Jim Liebman, Weprin bluntly asserted there was "too much focus on trying to get the right answers on a test and not enough on learning". Weprin again complained the DOE is turning our schools into Stanley Kaplan test prep centers, a charge he first leveled during recent City Council hearings.

See Mike Meenan's excellent NY1 footage here and great coverage by Elizabeth Green in the NY Sun here. The Sun offered these revealing remarks:

Visiting a fourth-grade classroom before the announcement, Mr. Klein asked children why their school received an A. "Because," one child answered, "when the New York State ELA test is coming up, they teach us what methods to use, how to write."

Another boy said, "They do everything to help us with our ELA and all our tests."

Oh boy! Tweed's battalion of PR spinners have been busy trying to convince us that the Progress Reports are about more than test prep but they may have a hard time explaining those truthful children away.


Leonie Haimson said...

Finally, someone who speaks the truth -- at one of Tweed's own press events!

Possibly an historic first.

Anonymous said...

Why do I feel like the main purpose of my children's education is to save the principal's job?

They are being test prepped to take tests which determine the principal's standing and future far more than their own.

Patrick Sullivan said...

The NY Post attacked Assemblymember Weprin today in an editorial. They called him a "lackey" of the teachers union for opposing the mayor's mania for standardized testing. It is a bizarre charge given that the UFT agreed to use the DOE Progress Reports, based 85% on test scores, for the pilot merit pay program. It seems the Post has simply taken as its mission the task of attacking anyone who dares to the side of parents against the mayor.