Laughing cruelly in the face of ADHD, public school officials announced this week that math and reading tests for third through eight-graders in the city will increase by about three hours, to a total of almost six hours overall. Better sharpen those pencils, suckers.
The tests will increase by up to 70 minutes for third-grade math, and 25 minutes for third-grade language arts. The math test will be extended to a third day, meaning that kids overall will be subject to six days of testing in April. Special-needs students, who are given twice as long to work on exams, could be facing 12 hours of testing. State education commissioner John King defended the increase, saying in a statement, “We’ve balanced the need for better, more detailed information about student learning with our concern for minimizing student stress. We need to measure student performance and achievement to help guide instruction.” Scantrons: unlocking the darkest corners of children's brains the natural way!
Unsurprisingly, parents aren't buying it: “What are they proposing to test? The children’s attention span? Or are they interested in the children’s literacy and math skills?” asked Shino Tanikawa, president of the District 2 Community Education Council in Manhattan. “It’s pretty clear right now the last thing we need is more testing,” agreed Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “Test prep is one of the biggest dangers that our kids face in schools right now. Preparing kids to take standardized tests does not lead to real learning.”