Archive for April, 2015

First Grade Teacher: How Common Core Tests Affect My Students

April 24, 2015

well worth reading

Diane Ravitch's blog

This letter was written by a first grade teacher in upstate Néw York:

She writes:

(Un)Intended Consequences

Today was the first day of the NYS ELA tests. I must state right from the outset that my students do not take these tests. Not yet. But in two short years, they will. And yet, these tests had an effect on my students today and will continue to do so in the days to come. You see, these tests have a ripple effect. The immediate effect is that my students who receive services such as reading and resource will not receive these services for the next TWO WEEKS since the teachers who provide these services are proctoring the state tests. They will also lose services when some of these same teachers are pulled out to score the tests in the subsequent weeks. (They will lose out again when we begin the SLO…

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Two Long Island Superintendents Explain the Reasons for the Opt Out Movement

April 23, 2015

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steve Cohen and David Gamberg are highly respected superintendents on Long Island. In this post, they explain why so many parents object to the current climate of high-stakes testing. With leaders like Cohen and Gamberg, who think that students need and deserve a real education, you can understand why Long Island is the epicenter of the Opt Out movement in New York and perhaps in the nation. Their article appeared in the Suffolk Times-Review, a local newspaper on Long Island; I should not quote so much of it, but it is such a powerful article that I could not resist. Open the link and read it all. Both of these superintendents, by the way, are already members of the blog’s honor roll.

They begin:

A mere four years ago, and for decades prior, one could not find any substantial evidence of students opting-out of standardized testing. At first glance, the…

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FairTest: The Astonishing Revolution Against High-Stakes Testing, from Coast to Coast

April 12, 2015

Diane Ravitch's blog

FairTest has been fighting the misuse of standardized testing since 1985. Here is their weekly update on the exploding movement to curb high-stakes testing and to opt students out of testing to send a message to policymakers:

The assessment reform movement gains momentum across the U.S. and even beyond national borders, as parents, students, teachers, administrators, and school board members say “Enough is enough” to standardized exam misuse and overuse. Now is the time to ratchet up pressure on members of Congress and state legislatures to roll back test-and-punish mandates!

Less Testing: More Teaching — Contact U.S. Senators April 8 National Day of Action for “No Child Left Behind” Overhaul
http://fairtest.org/national-day-action-april-8

Fact vs Threat: Schools Unlikely to Lose Federal Funds Due to High Opt Out Numbers
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/04/02/will-schools-lose-federal-funds-if-kids-dont-take-mandated-tests-fact-vs-threat/

Atlanta School Test Cheating: Lessons Policy Makers Ignore
http://dianeravitch.net/2015/04/06/bob-schaeffer-of-fairtest-on-atlanta-cheating-scandal/

Are Exit Exams Necessary?: More States Say “No”
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/04/03/are-high-school-exit-exams-necessary-more-states-are-saying-no/

Join the Obamas to Opt…

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