So much for apathy

30th May 2008 at 01:00
The debate over incessant testing in England has generated thousands of words from teachers, unions and academics
The debate over incessant testing in England has generated thousands of words from teachers, unions and academics.

But over in the south Bronx, New York, it is the 14-year-olds who are taking action.

At least 160 students in Intermediate School 318 simply refused to take a three-hour practice exam for next month's social studies test.

Instead, they submitted a petition to Maria Lopez, the school principal, and the city's department of education, saying they were fed up with "constant, excessive and stressful testing", according to the New York-based Daily News.

The 14-year-olds wanted to spend more time learning about social studies, and less being tested.

The school administrators' response was to promptly suspend a probationary teacher whom they said had stirred up the unrest.

David Cantor, the education department spokesman, said: "This guy was far over the line in a lot of the ways he was running his classroom. He was giving them messages that were inappropriate."

We wait to see if the pupil protest crosses the pond.

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