Saturday, March 11, 2017

Don’t fall for the White lies. – Educate Louisiana

Don’t fall for the White lies. – Educate Louisiana:

Don’t fall for the White lies.

Parents across the nation have let it be known that they do not want their children subjected to standardized test.  In 2015, Louisiana parents initiated a statewide opt-out movement. With just weeks to go before testing, and under immense pressure from districts, Supt. John White agreed not to penalize schools with large opt-outs. Schools with 10% or more students opting out would receive the same score they received the previous year. Of course, schools with up to 10% were penalized, although technically the law didn’t allow penalties until 5%, but that’s another story. The most notable districts with opt-outs were Caddo Parish, Calcasieu Parish and Central School District. Calcasieu garnered the most with about 1300 students opting out of the PARCC assessment.
In 2015, the opt-out numbers dropped, considerably, for a couple of reasons.
  • The test name was changed from PARCC to LEAP 2025.
  • White declared that he would not give a free pass to schools with excessive opt-outs.
As a result, the districts were faced with the possibility of having their performance scores penalized because of parents exercising their right to exclude their child from the assessment. While most districts honored the parents’ decisions, some resorted to strict testing policies up to, and including, “sit and stare” policies. This means students who opted out would be placed in the testing room with a test booklet, but not forced to take the test. Policies such as this are damaging to the relationships that schools have with the very people they serve and subject children to unjust punishment.
Since his very first days in office, John White has masterfully spun a deceitful web. Often times, his narratives are referred to as “White Lies.” I want to address some of those very common  White lies, regarding opt-outs, which filter down to districts when parents ask about opting-out.
We are still under NCLB.
This is the most common response when a parent says, “ESSA specifically allows parents to exclude their children from Don’t fall for the White lies. – Educate Louisiana:

 Slow your roll, Mr. White.

A draft ESSA plan has been submitted to the governor for review, and Superintendent John White is pressing forward with plans to submit the plan to U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) in April. USDOE has originally issued a timeline of implementation with April as the deadline submission. That 

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