BK students take one-size-fits-all English language arts exams

BROOKLYN - As Brooklyn elementary students put pen to paper for the state English language arts exam, parents and teachers are questioning its validity.

Last year, the exams were changed as part of the No Child Left Behind Act to require students in the same grade be tested on the same level ? meaning English as a second language (ESL) pupils are taking the same test as other students. Critics say the change makes hours of preparation pointless. Many parents and educators also feel the change is unfair, unreasonable and puts students' self esteem at risk. They feel ESL students are at a disadvantage.

Opponents are also upset about the fact that results for January 2006 exams weren't available until September 2006. The exams determine whether children will be promoted.

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