Shades of blue tell the story

According to many sources researched for this report, there are infinite numbers of the color blue. The exact hue, of course, depends on what colors are mixed together. You may have heard of steel blue, cornflower blue and powder blue. How about bleu de France? Alice blue? Indigo, sapphire, or maya blue?

Sometimes a blue changes color just by the way the sunlight hits it, or how it shines in the light of a lamp.

There are also many different feelings reflected in the idea of being “blue.” Sometimes its heartache, or despair. Sometimes its frustration. Or sadness.

Today, people are wearing many shades of blue throughout the country in a Day of Action to call attention to the problems seriously pinching educators and students: testing not teaching; diminishing funding for schools; and the need for a moratorium on high-stakes testing.

Students and teachers at Mohonasen School District in Schenectady County were given fliers with the beginning of a sentence: “I am blue because …

Here are some of their answers:

“…I am spending more time assessing than I am teaching.”— special education teacher

“…Washington and Albany have forgotten that my students are people, not manufactured goods! There are no cookie-cutter kids.” — English teacher

“… Test scores mean everything to the politicians — but my students mean everything to me — and more testing is BAD for students!” — English teacher

“… Students are no longer put first.” — science teacher

“… NY state does not EDUCATE, it MANDATES.” — social studies teacher

“… My students have less time to explore their strengths and talents, but they are expected to be proficient in math and ELA. It feels like other content areas or talents don’t matter.” — special education teaching assistant

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