But it soon became clear that this was a field “study”– as the teachers called it — not a field “trip,” and the 75 Harlem kindergartners were going not only for a glimpse of rural life, but to rack up extra points on standardized tests.
“I want to get smarter,” 5-year-old Brandon Neal said.
“I want to do better on homework and tests,” added Julliana Jimenez, one of his classmates.
New York State’s English and math exams include several questions each year about livestock, crops and the other staples of the rural experience that some educators say flummox city children, whose knowledge of nature might begin and end at Central Park. On the state English test this year, for instance, third graders were asked questions relating to chickens and eggs. In math, they had to count sheep and horses.