New York

Misplaced Priorities at Intermediate School 392

Yet another example of why our state education system simply must have an overhaul. In the race to look good, schools are continually looking out for their own backside, and not for the needs of the children within their walls.

Wheeler Banning Kids from Test

It has recently come to the attention of the press that Principal Shirley Wheeler of Intermediate School 392 in Brownsville has warned parents that only children who score a 75 average on the school’s practice Algebra exams will be going on to take the math Regents in June.   This is in direct and obvious violation of the New York State Education law that says that any child who has completed the Regents course work will be allowed to take the test.   They can’t, as the law states, be kept from doing so for disciplinary reasons or work performance reasons.

Education Department Stance

As city Education Dept. spokesman Frank Thomas explained,

“Students should not be kept from taking the Regents exams because of performance. The principal has acknowledged her mistake and will communicate the correct policy to parents and students.”

The principal’s capitulation appears to be too little, too late.   Obviously, the underlying intent has already been conveyed, and the idea that only certain students are up to par has been delivered.   The predictive exams have been designed, obviously, to serve as a tool to figure out which children need extra assistance.   They are not supposed to be a screening mechanism by which teachers and administrators dictate which children are deemed “worthy” of sitting for the Regents.

Rather than hand selecting which children get to take Regents, these schools in our state should be working non-stop to ensure that all children are prepared for the exams and ready to perform to a satisfactory level.   Misplaced priorities and the desire to save face have no place in our school system.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)