Weekly Letter 3.20.17

Dear Families:


The New York State ELA test is scheduled for March 28, 29 and 30 while the Math test is scheduled for May 2,3, and 4. These three day exams have been the source of much discussion and debate since the spring of 2012 when a standardized test went from being something schools, kids and parents put up with to something that some perceived to be a destructive force with many questioning its purpose and rationale.


On Thursday, March 23 at 5:00, Diane, Malika and I will be at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange for the final BNS presentation on standardized tests. If you feel that you do not yet understand what all the fuss about the state exams is, I strongly encourage you to come. The presentation is complete with sample test questions and a thorough review of standardized testing.  


Parents should understand how standardized tests affect instruction and that ‘teaching to the test’ is a recent educational concept.  BNS parents should be aware of the fact that we do not do test prep, a practice practically unique to our school. And of course, third to fifth grade parents should recognize that not practicing for this particular test could affect a child’s score.  Knowing why these exams are so controversial while also understanding how they affect instruction, individual children, teachers and the school day is a parental responsibility.   


As we enter into testing season and discuss the pros and cons of these exams, let’s remember the true purpose of elementary schools: the foundational development of youngsters so they can become thoughtful citizens of tomorrow: the kind of folks who can ask questions, think through a big idea and take appropriate action such as choosing whether or not to participate in the standardized testing industry!


All for now,




Congratulations  to Margaret Ward, a  paraprofessional in Abby and Tammy’s first grade class, for being honored by the UFT at the Paraprofessionals Festival and Awards Luncheon on Saturday March 18, 2017.  


Quote of the Week:


Last Monday afternoon on the day after we moved the clocks forward by one hour, Mary Ann asked her class, “Why are you guys so tired?”  Sophie Rajamani answered, “It’s because of Donald Trump, he moved our time.”



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