Test Focus in Schools Raising Concerns Principals, teachers, and parents sign letter in opposition

NEW YORK—According to fifth-grader Naomi Henry, the beginning of test prep signaled the end of worthwhile schooling.

During fourth grade last year, Henry and fellow classmates at Brooklyn’s P.S. 217 started preparing in October for April state tests, causing many of the aspects of learning she looked forward to the most—including independent reading—to be “smothered.”

“I was feeling that it wasn’t exactly doing anything to help me as a student,” she said. “I think that actual students—their personality, how they learn, watching them work in class—that means so much more than a test.”

Henry now goes to the Brooklyn New School because it is “anti-test prep,” said Johanna, her mother.

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