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Meet the President: District 27 and 28

Mulgrew speaks to the group Mulgrew speaks to the group

Paperwork, SESIS compliance, testing and more testing — all the things that take time away from instruction — were a prevalent theme at the Meet the President event for members from Districts 27 and 28, held at the UFT’s Queens borough office on Dec. 13. “They are asking you to do data reports and then a report on their data reports and then assessments aligned with the data reports,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “This has nothing to do with instruction anymore.” Anne O’Connell, a 2nd-grade teacher at PS 139 in Rego Park, complained that this year she’s been asked to conduct a new English language arts assessment, a five-day process that must be repeated three times over the course of the year. “At what point do we teach?” she asked. Mulgrew nodded his head in agreement. “The educational strategy of basing everything on test prep leads to children learning less,” he said, noting that the overemphasis on test prep is one of parents’ three main concerns. Diana Easteadt, a 2nd-grade teacher at PS 253 in Far Rockaway, said Mulgrew’s presentation highlighted the issues that she was grappling with in her school. “The children get lost because of all the paperwork and all the other things that go on in a school,” she said. “The focus gets removed from the students.”

O’Connell talks about new testing requirements at her school. O’Connell talks about new testing requirements at her school. Guirlande Zetrenne from PS 160 shares her perspective with the president.Miller photographyGuirlande Zetrenne from PS 160 shares her perspective with the president.

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