Straight out of Brooklyn. Like I never left Chicago.


Flying from O’Hare to La Guardia was easy. We left on time and arrived 25 minutes early. And half the seats were empty.

Easy if you don’t count the massive turbulence for most of the flight.

The flight assistant handed me my little styrofoam cup coffee with care.

“Anything to eat?”

It was Delta. So I asked for those tasty Biscoff cookies.

“As many as you can spare.”

She came back with an armful and dumped them into the seat next to me.


When I got to Park Slope, hundred of parents and teachers were marching around PS 321 down the block from my in-laws’ house.

A letter from the principal:

PS 321 PARENTS–Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have just completed three days of the New York State English Language Arts Exam. Your children were wonderful and worked incredibly hard. On the whole, we think that we were able to protect them from the worst stresses of the test, and most seemed fine during most of the exam. However, the teachers and administration are truly devastated by what a terrible test it was and how little it will tell us about our students.

Because we are bound by test security, we cannot reveal details but we can tell you that we have never seen an ELA exam that does a worse job of testing reading comprehension. There was inappropriate content, many highly ambiguous questions, and a focus on structure rather than meaning of passages. Our teachers and administrators feel that this test is an insult to the profession of teaching and that students’ scores on it will not correlate with their reading ability.

Because of this, the staff has decided to hold a protest outside of school TOMORROW, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, FROM 8:15-8:35 to express their extreme dissatisfaction with the ELA exam. Parents are invited to join the staff before going into classrooms for Family Friday.

Here’s the report on NY1.

It seems like I never even left Chicago.

One thought on “Straight out of Brooklyn. Like I never left Chicago.

  1. It seems the teachers and administration there are almost united. In Chicago teachers who spoke out against these sorts of tests get targets on their backs. Chicago school children being questioned to the third degree, by CPS lawyers looking to “get something” on the teachers. Parents being sent threatening notes by CPS.
    While the tests are probably similar, the entire tone of the note from the principal in Brooklyn is quite different then CPS.

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