Saturday, April 25, 2015

False threats feed opt-out movement

Idle threats feed New York opt-out movement:

False threats feed opt-out movement

Test prep costs more than any lost aid from low testing numbers






 An April 13 poll asked parents, "Will you still opt your child out of state tests, even if it includes consequences such as increased oversight or loss of state aid?"

The misleading question signaled that there are fiscal consequences for schools. It failed to account for the facts.
Any "fiscal consequence" will be less costly than the wasted resources of time, money and quality learning that districts have expended for test prep. There will be costs, but to children whose school experience has been ruined by a test prep culture and eventually to the districts whose legal funds will be exhausted when they must defend a legally indefensible and research-poor accountability system that New York's leaders have recklessly imposed upon the system.
On the matter of "real" fiscal implications for failing to make a 95 percent test participation rate because of student test refusals, the New York State Council of School Superintendents issued a statement that included the following:
 There are no provisions in law that would lead to a loss of state aid due to low test participation, unless district officials refused to administer the tests or actively promoted non-participation.
 Districts failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress for a single year, including due to falling short of 95 percent participation, lose eligibility for "Reward School" Grants. These are grants paid for by federal aid and awarded to districts with schools that either have high achievement or have made the most progress in the state and do not have significant gaps in student achievement between subgroups. Only 31 schools were eligible for these grants in 2014-15.
 Schools that fail to make the participation rate target for three consecutive years can be required by the State Education Department to develop a Local Assistance Plan to address low participation.
 The state's federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Waiver eliminated the requirement that districts with schools failing to make adequate yearly progress for multiple years set aside Title I funds for specific purposes, such as professional development, extra academic help, or public school choice. Set-aside requirements remain for schools designated as Focus and Priority Schools under the state's accountability system. Failing to make 95 percent participation this year would not lead to designation as a Focus or Priority School.
 If the state as a whole drops below 95 percent participation in the grades 3-8 assessments required by the No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. Education Department could impose sanctions on the state, including financial penalties that could filter down to school districts. However, there are no fixed rules to predict what penalties, if any, would be imposed. A consideration could be the extent to which the state acted to promote participation. According to NYSED, "The US Department of Education has made clear that when a district fails to ensure that students participate in required state assessments, the state education agency is expected to consider imposing sanctions on that district, including – in the most egregious cases – withholding programmatic funds. What sanctions to impose must be decided on a case by case basis, taking into account the degree and length of time the district has failed to meet participation rate requirements and the reasons for such failure."
Impervious state education officials and political leaders are the ones responsible for igniting these acts of civil disobedience. They have been irresponsible in their Idle threats feed New York opt-out movement:

The Impact of Poverty, Race on Educational Opportunity: materials | #‎NPEChicago

The Impact of Poverty, Race on Educational Opportunity: materials | Parents Across America:

The Impact of Poverty, Race on Educational Opportunity: materials






On Sunday, April 26, PAA presented a comprehensive workshop on “The Impact of Poverty, Race and Cultural Bias on Educational Opportunity” at the Network for Public Education conference. In addition to our power point presentation, we shared printed materials with many of the key points, charts and data from the presentation. These materials may be used freely – we just ask that you leave PAA’s name on them. We want to thank Dr. Paul Thomas for bringing most of this information to our attention, and for sharing many of the charts we have included.
Here is a link to the original power point presentation which took place on March 2, 2015.
So, what can we do about the problems of poverty, race and cultural bias? Here are some ideas that we shared at the workshop:
What can we do to address these injustices? Here are 13 ideas!
Use social media
  1. Get acquainted with and share the great materials from the National Education Policy Center which debunks corporate reform propaganda. http://nepc.colorado.edu/
  2. Follow Dr. Paul Thomas’s blog, https://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/
  3. Go after the idea that there are “two sides” to each argument even when one is nonsense and the other has strong research behind it. Spread the truth – you know how!
Speak out on social policy
  1. Work for a living wage and guaranteed employment.
  2. Advocate for needed student and family services.
  3. Demand an end to high-stakes testing and support for quality multiple assessments in ESEA and local policies.
  • PAA’s Testing and ESEA position paper can be found at http://tinyurl.com/q9cnpfx
  • An alternative annual report card focused on teachers, students and parents is at http://tinyurl.com/odkrz8w.
  1. Support school restorative justice programs.
  2. Demand that public officials provide more support for schools, not closure.
Take action!
  1. Boycott WalMart and other funders of privatization (more here:http://pureparents.org/?p=20594).
  2. Opt out of standardized testing.
  3. Get involved in the current ESEA reauthorization – oppose testing, school interventions, fund portability.
  • Share PAA’s ESEA position paper here: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/paa-reforming-esea/
  1. Run for office: get inspired by PAA founding member Helen Gym
  2. Sign up for the PAA newsletter which includes an action of the week – join our news list (the subscription box is on our home page) and consider starting a PAA chapter or affiliate (also on our home page).
- See more at: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/impact-poverty-race-educational-opportunity-materials/#sthash.BBd2E8YX.dpuf

The Opt Out End Game - Lily's Blackboard

The Opt Out End Game - Lily's Blackboard:

The Opt Out End Game

I’ve got a friend in New York who wants me to call on every parent in America to Opt Out of state mandated standardized tests which are, of course, the mother’s milk of the No Child Left Untested federal testing feeding frenzy.
The links in the chain of grievances against testing abuse are ponderously long.  The excessive federal testing mandates were absurd and many states made it worse. For example:
  • Educationally inappropriate, yet still mandated tests, are required of children with special needs, disabilities, and language issues regardless of the circumstances of their situation.
  • Then there are the are perfectly appropriate tests that are used for absolutely inappropriate measureslike deciding whether to fire a Calculus teacher based on the reading test scores of ninth and tenth graders, most of whom she will never teach at all.
  • And don’t forget the 2014 100% adequate yearly progress NCLB mandate, which decreed that every child in America had to meet the cut score on the state’s reading and math standardized test scores or their school would be labeled as “failing.” Only in Lake Woebegon would that be an achievable goal
The pressure placed on students is enormous.  Children understand all too well that their test results may be used to label them or their school as a failure. 16379497886_ce7e3533d5_z
In Oklahoma the state legislature and governor doubled down on the testing obsession to declare that no third grader could go to forth grade if they missed the mandated cut score on the reading test by even one point….one point on one test given on one day. Unbelievable. 
The arrogance of politicians who voted to give themselves the final say as to whether a small child should be held back regardless of the professional judgment of the teacher or the wishes of the parent is unforgivable. Even after the outrage of parents and teachers helped to overturn the policy, the harm done to the over 8,000 eight-year olds labeled as failures is inexcusable.
So, back to my friend.  She believes that the answer to this outrageous situation is to make it easier for parents to opt out of standardized testing. And my friend is absolutely right that every parent should have the right to have a powerful say in their child’s education. 
Parents should have the right to know for what purpose a test is designed and whether it’s valid and reliable for that purpose; how the results of that test will be used; whether or not testing companies will have access to private student information and for what reason those companies need that information.
They should have a right to demand that any testing companies hired by the district sign the Student Privacy Principles developed and endorsed by major student advocates from the PTA to the NEA to the School Boards Association to the American Library Association and the Thomas Fordham Institute. 
And they should have the right, if they are not satisfied with the answers to their questions, to opt their children out of any mandated standardized testing that they believe is inappropriate or harmful to their child. NEA fully supports parents and supports our affiliates who take a stand against tests that serve no educational purpose. 
pencilBut making it easier for parents to opt out is not the end game.  The end game is designing a system where parents and educators don’t even consider opting out of assessments because they trust that assessments make sense, guide instruction, and help children advance in learning.
Replacing test-abuse with assessment systems that support the whole child is the ultimate goal. That’s going to take organizing parents, teachers, support professionals, The Opt Out End Game - Lily's Blackboard:


Big Education Ape: Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 4/25/15 #‎NPEChicago‬

Special Nite Cap - Catch Up on Today's Post 4/25/15


Special Nite Cap 

CORPORATE ED REFORM
Not everyone made it to Chicago this weekend -- but you can still be part of the action via the Livestream that will broadcast on as many as three channels. All the keynotes and many of the workshops will be available live, starting Sunday at 9:00 am central time at   www.schoolhouselive.org

 Please tweet with the hashtag ‪#‎NPEChicago‬ and help us trend #1 again like we did twice last year.

LIVE FROM CHICAGO, APRIL 25-26




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Special Nite Cap  - Catch Up on Today's Post 4/24/15











SUNDAY, APRIL 26TH

Morning Keynote
Diane Ravitch in Conversation with AFT’s Randi Weingarten and NEA’s Lily Eskelsen García
image (1)


Closing Keynote and Call to Action
Chicago’s Very Own, Karen Lewis

image (3)


Sunday, April 26th Schedule


7:00 – 9:00                        Breakfast
Paid as part of the meal plan (purchase through our website)

9:00am-10:15                   Sunday Session 5

Schools of Opportunity: Carol Burris and Dr. Kevin Welner
A Trip To The Jersey C.O.A.S.T; Community Organizing Around Standardized Test: Michael Kaminski, Jim Boice, Alex DeVicaris, Patrick Manahan, and Susan Cauldwell
The Impact of Race and Poverty on Education; What Parents Need To Know: Nathan Harris, Dora Taylor, and Julie Woestehoff
Social Justice Unionism; The What, Who and Why: Michelle Gunderson, Xian Franzinger Barrett, and UCORE activists
More Than a Score; Black Student Lives Matter: Jesse Hagopian
Knocking Down Barriers Together; College Access for All: Nicole Hurd moderating, Veniese Bradley-Mitchell, Claire Dennison, and Julie Pagliuco
How to Have Conversations with Teach for America Supporters: Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, Katie Osgood, Jameson Brewer, Annie Tan, Chad Sommer, and Dr. Terica Butler

10:25 – 11:30                    Morning Keynote
Diane Ravitch in Conversation with AFT’s Randi Weingarten and NEA’s Lily Eskelsen García

11:40 – 12:55                    Sunday Session 6

Designing and Delivering Persuasive Assessment Reform Messages: Bob Schaeffer, Bianca Tanis, and Steve Baker
Imagineering Our Edu-Nation: Katie Lapham
BATS Pushing Back Against the Dismantling Of Special Education: Marla Kilfoyle, Terry Kalb, Melissa Tomlinson, and Lorri Gumanow
Teacher Education; Doing What Is Right When Everything Is Wrong: Tim Slekar, Jed Hopkins, Sheila Hopkins, Donna Vukelich-Selva, and Alexandra Miletta
Teach Writing Like A Writer: Peter Greene
Getting Your Book Published: Anthony Cody, John Kuhn, Jose Vilson, and Denny Taylor 
The Battle for Adult Education in California; “Workforce Preparation” vs. Community is Immunity: Kristen Pursley, Cynthia Eagleton, and Bruce Neuberger

1:05 – 1:45                    Sunday Closing Keynote and Call to Action
Chicago’s Very Own, Karen Lewis


 Please tweet with the hashtag ‪#‎NPEChicago‬ and help us trend #1 again like we did twice last year.

LIVE FROM CHICAGO, APRIL 25-26
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