As we return to school and to our BNS community, we want to express our solidarity with our Asian staff and families, as instances of anti-Asian hate and violence cross our news feeds. As educators and fellow humans, we are committed to working together to grow, support each other, and curate the voices for change within our circles.
This year, we are fortunate to have received a grant for ongoing work with The Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. This will allow us to have a group of staff trained in restorative practices, in order to develop our capacity to address harm, so that we can openly address issues of race and racism. Alongside this important staff work, our parent-led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee have partnered with NYU’s Metro Center to host a series of workshops about what equity and inclusion means to our community. In these sessions, participants are diving deep into structures of white supremacy and asking how to have real conversations about these tricky topics. Over the next several months, the evening DEI meetings will be led by Metro Center’s facilitators to help us move forward, together.
Next week, we will be having our monthly family meetings, with a focus on assessment. We have divided the sessions into early childhood (PreK – 2nd grade) and the upper grades (third through fifth). We want to emphasize how important it is for third to fifth grade parents to join us, as we will be discussing the upcoming State Tests, which are scheduled for late April and May. Our new Chancellor, Meisha Ross-Porter, joined EduColor and NYU Metro Center just last week for an event called, “A Conversation With The Chancellor.” She was asked what her position was on standardized testing, and said that she believes strongly that it is a parent’s right to choose whether or not their children participate in state tests. This year, the state tests for third, fourth, and fifth graders are being given in-person, on paper. Together at our meeting on Monday, we will unpack some of the big questions that come up each year as we approach testing season:
How do I know what my child knows?
How do my child’s teachers know what my child knows?
Are elementary school tests necessary to prepare children to take tests later in life?
What are the “stakes” attached to state testing programs?
Are the tests written by teachers and educators, or a for-profit vendor?
How will receiving a numerical test score affect me in my understanding of who my child is?
We know this discussion will be rich and layered, and we do hope you can join us in conversation on Monday, April 12, at 9 am for 3rd-5th grade parents and 10 am for pre-K-grade 2 parents, same zoom link: