Thursday, March 30, 2017

What N.Y. parents should know about 2017 Common Core standardized tests - The Washington Post

What N.Y. parents should know about 2017 Common Core standardized tests - The Washington Post:

What N.Y. parents should know about 2017 Common Core standardized tests


Spring standardized testing has begun. Millions of students around the country will take standardized tests, with many of the exams carrying high-stakes consequences for students, educators and/or schools. And hundreds of thousands of students are expected to opt out of the exams as a protest against the importance of standardized testing in schools today, and the use of test scores to evaluate students, teachers and schools.
The center of the opt-out movement has been in New York State, where 1.2 million students are taking Common Core standardized tests. For the past few years, more than 20 percent of students in New York state have refused to take the tests, which ostensibly assess how well students have learned in public schools with curriculum designed to meet the Common Core State Standards. State education officials have tried this year to blunt the opt-out movement (see more below), but supporters are encouraging students not to take the exams, and the state’s teachers union are sending the message on billboards and other platforms.
The start of testing in New York included a mistake in which, as Newsday reported, 64 third-graders were given computer-based English Language Arts testing meant for fourth graders. Meanwhile, a blog set up by some New York parents and public school activists already has some posts from teachers and others about the start of testing. For example, one post says in part:
Anonymous said…
Four passages that are well above grade level with 6 multiple choice questions most of which require that a student go back into the text and the answer is still difficult to figure out is ridiculous. Kids were twitching. Two of mine cried. I administered to 7 children with reading disabilities. They didn’t stand a chance. It makes me angry. I spent all year inspiring them to feel excited about learning and confident and in 10 minutes NYS made them feel like idiots….
In the following post, Fred Smith, a testing specialist and consultant, explains how the state is attempting to persuade parents not to opt-out, and what students face when they sit down to take the exams. Smith is retired as a senior analyst for the New York City public schools and a member of Change the Stakes, a parent advocacy group.

By Fred Smith
Last year, the parents and guardians of 220,000 children in New York State opted out of the English Language Arts (ELA) and math exams.  They are given to 1.2 million children annually in Grades 3 through 8, as required by federal law.  Their administration becomes the center of What N.Y. parents should know about 2017 Common Core standardized tests - The Washington Post:

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