Blog home in Bronx! DOE Representative Anti-Test Prep! in Bronx! DOE Representative Anti-Test Prep!

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - October 27th, 2010

Last night I attended the NYC Department of Education Parents Information Session for the Gifted and Talented Program in the Bronx. The parents came out in force and I estimated over 150+ involved moms and dads rushing into the session to learn more about the program, OLSAT testing and how the process works. I was impressed by the number of fathers who attended the session. It was great to see so many dads involved with their children’s education.

As I was outside the session telling parents about, a Department of Education representative and I had an interesting conversation. I’m choosing not to mention her by name.  She indicated her dissatisfaction with test prepping for the OLSAT and how tutoring businesses, boot camps, etc. exploit parents by having them pay for services to prepare their children for tests,  how prepping a 4 year old isn’t right and so on. Also, that the entire “spirit” of the NYC G&T program is non-existent.

I tried to explain to her that there is a demand for these services since the Dept of Ed made the decision to use these tests as the sole basis for entery into the gifted and talented program. Based upon the response from my NYC gifted and talented blog I knew there was a need for I heard it from many of you day after day… all you wanted was the best education available for your child. At we realized there were parents (like us!) who weren’t being served so that’s why we launched the site. Thousands of parents across the nation (not just NYC!) have signed up on in the 4 short weeks since we launched which an indication of the need to serve parents like us!

I’m always one to listen to the other side of the argument but I’m a little confused on why the DOE rep. would be so against parents being involved in their children’s educational needs. It seems to me she would be applauding parents for helping their children understand these concepts on the tests that actually help the child succeed in school (not only the tests).

We (the parents) didn’t create this system of OLSAT testing.  The tutoring businesses and “OLSAT boot camps” didn’t create the system either. Each are responding to the system that was created outside our control.  I wonder how did the department of education actually expected parents to respond when they decided on the OLSAT and Bracken test to be used as sole entrance exam to get into the NYC G&T program? At we evened out the playing field to give parents who don’t have the extra income to spend on tutoring and OLAT test “boot camps” an affordable solution.  We also have parents who use to help supplement their private tutoring efforts as well. We are a true solution for all parents no matter what income level – the commonality being we all care about our child’s education!  ~ Michael

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