When it came time for Imani Al-Amin’s daughter to take a New York State Regents exam four years ago, Amin had a difficult decision to make: keep her daughter home to celebrate the Muslim holiday Eid-al-Adha with the family or send her to school to take a test that could determine her future.
“It’s like having Christmas and being told, oh well you have to go take a test forget the celebrations that are going on. Take the test, you have to prepare for that, then celebrate after,” said Amin.
Amin sent her daughter to school, but it wasn’t the last time that state testing interrupted her family’s celebrations. When the ELA exam was first initiated her son was in the midst of fasting, preparing himself for the holidays and Amin was left rearranging the family’s plans. As her son took the test, she realized there was no such thing as rescheduling tests when they interfere with the Muslim faith.
Being that the Muslim holy days of Eid-al-Adha and Eid-al-Fitr are determined by the lunar calendar, Amin said there is often some fluctuation with the timing of the June Regents and other holidays but when it comes to the winter tests, where the schedule is set almost identical each year, there is little to no flexibility in rescheduling.