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Don’t Leave Our Children Behind!

October 14, 2010

by Raoufa Ali

This Monday, October 18th the Board of Regents will vote on a waiver that will allow school districts to deny tutoring services to hundreds of thousands of struggling students statewide.

I stood, marched and spoke out in front of the Brooklyn House of Detention because my child is one of the 109,000 children that are high Level 2’s and that the Board of Regents will be voting to pass a waiver to leave behind on Monday. My son had up to this year always been a Level 3 (almost a Level 4!) and when he took the exams back in May I was sure he’d keep doing well. When I saw the test scores I was like– really he dropped that much!? I was shocked and disappointed because none of my other kids ever scored that low. There were no warning signs, it was very unexpected, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. When I approached my son, he was also in disbelief; he thought I was kidding.

I talked to the principal and she told me that this wasn’t in her hands, that this was the way that the tests are being scored now and that  they are putting a lot of pressure on the schools to bring the scores up. But how are schools expected to improve and graduate children like mine with less resources, budget cuts and this ridiculous waiver?! The kids are doing more and more work and writing just to prepare for tests. They sit and write, they have no time for art, they took away music, we don’t have a music room, we have an art room but they only give them once a week. The classes are packed, we don’t have any computer labs or science labs.

My child NEEDS this support! For him to be able to do well on this years test he’s going to need that extra help. If they are to deny my son of extra support– what was the point of the recalibration in the first place? They are basically telling him he is being left behind and that is NOT FAIR! I want my child to succeed and get his HS diploma and go to college. His success lies in the hands of the Board of Regents as they consider the waiver. With the kind of education he’s getting right now, his future is uncertain. VOTE NO on the waiver!

Raoufa Ali is a parent from Queens, her son is a 5th grader who attends PS 166Q.


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