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HONY Post Sparks Movement on Standardized Testing, Low-income Schools

HONY Post Sparks Movement on Standardized Testing, Low-income Schools

Humans of New York (HONY) has become a popular social media trend where blogger and photojournalist Brandon Stanton interviews and takes photos of random strangers on the streets of the Big Apple.

Stanton takes these photos and shares them on Facebook and "invites subjects to reflect on relationships’ ups and downs, the trajectories of their dreams and struggles, or the minutiae of everyday life," according to an article on The article follows the first interview and everything that happened afterwards, including the questioning of standardized testing. On Jan. 19, however, he didn't know that one interview would create such a spark.

According to the article, on Jan. 19, "Brandon interviewed a young boy in the Brownsville neighborhood:

Brandon: Who’s influenced you the most in your life?

Vidal: My principal, Ms. Lopez.

Brandon: How has she influenced you?

Vidal: When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter."

"Vidal’s account of his relationship with his principal garnered thousands of likes, comments, and shares—and quickly," the article said. "The social media post 'took off' right away [by now it has accumulated more than a million Facebook 'likes' and more than 20,000 comments]. Many followers wondered, who was this Ms. Lopez—and what New York Public school did Brandon attend?"

According to the article, "the answers weren't long in coming."

"The day after publishing the post about Vidal, Brandon visited Mott Hall Bridges Academy, where he shadowed Ms. Nadia Lopez. Having seen how the first post resonated, he spent time brainstorming with her about 'creative ways that the HONY community could help further the vision of Mott Hall Bridges Academy,'" the article said. "On January 22, Brandon launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $100,000 to send the kids of Mott Hall to Harvard. By February they had raised over $1.4 million."

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Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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