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Jenny, you don’t have to take the tests. Your parents can say, “I refuse.”

Keep learning. Believe in yourself and be glad that you have such dedicated teachers.

Jenny writes:

Hi, Dr. Ravitch.

My name is Jenny. I’m a fifth-grade student in New York State and feel that the NYS tests are going to be too hard. Many kids are going to fail. From the research that I have done, I realize the reason the state is making the test harder is that NYS wants the public school students to fail. I AM a public school student. When we take the tests, many of us will be stressed out. What if students have a bad day on the day of the test and then they fail them? What if I don’t take the tests? I might go to summer school because NYS doesn’t allow kids to not take the tests. I feel that it is wrong to put a child in summer school for not taking a stupid test that determines if you know the specific type of math and ELA stuff on the tests. Kids need fun in the sun. Kids have rights, too.

Another problem is that teachers don’t like to see their kids fail, and I don’t like to see my teachers fail. I don’t like to see my teachers with sad faces because they see the results of the test and they say to themselves, “Did I do something wrong? Am I a bad teacher? Did I teach them what they needed to learn?” My Math and Science teacher is awesome and my Social Studies and ELA teacher is cool. They are very good teachers. They always tell my class that they want to keep us all day.

I feel that it’s wrong that NYS would give fifth graders tests that would be hard for us to pass. Shame on NYS.

Can you try to fight for us to stay out of summer school or from being punished by not getting into good classes because I don’t want to take the test?

I’m upset because I feel like they’re trading us to charter schools. I feel like NYS is treating us like test slaves.

I wrote this letter because I feel that it’s wrong. NYS is wrong for what they did.

Thank you for reading my letter. I know you have a lot of things to do.