Give ‘em a break!
Students are revolting against summer homework “abuse” at Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy High School for the Liberal Arts in Manhattan.
A new petition created by a pair of students says the school must scrap a plan to compel teens to read five books over the eight-week summer break.
While summer reading lists are common at elite public and private schools, mandatory summer assignments are less prevalent, especially at more typical schools.
“The number of my peers I have seen crying and having panic attacks in the hallways is depressing,” the petition states. “We cannot just sit here and let administration continue with this abuse and damage us.”
Petition co-author Bintou Cisse, 16, of Manhattan, said Success Academy officials seem intent on ruining students’ summer breaks with too much homework.
A mandatory reading list for students at the flagship school of Moskowitz’s high-powered Success Academy network includes The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Piecing Me Together, The Big Short and more.
Cisse, who attends 10th grade at the school, said she’s also compelled to complete 15 SAT-prep assignments each week and eight math tests over the course of the summer.
“We’re sacrificing our childhood memories in the name of education reform. At some point it’s abusive,” Cisse said. “Civil disobedience — threatening the network — is the only way we’re going to get them to listen.”
Kids who signed Cisse’s petition said that they’re expected to create Twitter profiles inspired by characters from books on the reading list — and then discuss the stories on social media.
They’re also compelled by their teachers and school administrators to participate in online discussions of the work and complete assignments.