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Re: [nyceducationnews] Re: Superintendent Johnson, a critic of new state exams, insists they ‘do not matter’

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  • robert bowen
    Ellen, Remember when Bloomberg became Mayor, he vowed to end social promotions ? The question I asked then was, who approved the social promotions? how long
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 22 7:21 AM
      Remember when Bloomberg became Mayor, he vowed to end "social promotions"? The question I asked then was, "who approved the social promotions? how long have these types of promotions been in effect? Were the parents / guardians / community made aware of this policy?
      Fast forward to now and it has been revealed the majority (75%) of graduates, who attend college, have to take remedial courses. Ending social promotions? I don't think so!
      Now the "bar" has been "raised." Meaning what? By whom? To what end?
      Daine Ravitch has taught us the scores will come down because of the decision to align test scores with NAEP standards. These obvious obfuscations are intended to ensure the greater community of stakeholders remain bamboozled!
      The Importance of educational listservs, such as this one, BYNEE, ICOPE, Class Size Matters, Coalition for Public Educations and similar listservs, cannot be overstated. 

      From: Ellen <mchgh_lln@...>
      To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:41 PM
      Subject: [nyceducationnews] Re: Superintendent Johnson, a critic of new state exams, insists they ‘do not matter’
      I don't get it. No one has given me any description/definition of what the lower standards were in comparison to the more rigorous standards. No one has provided us with the standards. what are they? What are students expected to do in 2/3/4/5 etc grades?
      Does anyone know? Does any one care? Are we just part of the great destructive creationism that these dodos promote? Sheesh!

      --- In mailto:nyceducationnews%40yahoogroups.com, Leonie Haimson <leonie@...> wrote:
      > LI Supe on new #commoncore tests: "to hell with these scores...we’re going to put on shelf & just leave it there"  Bravo!
      > http://shar.es/zpaib
      > LI Herald
      > August 15, 2013 | 807 views
      > School test scores drop sharply
      > Superintendent Johnson, a critic of new state exams, insists they ‘do not matter’
      > By Alex Costello
      > 1 2 3 Next page >
      > Alex Costello/Herald
      > Dr. William Johnson: "To hell with these
      > scores. They’re not informing us in any way; they’re not giving us any
      > new information."
      > By Alex Costello
      > acostello@...
      > New York state released the results of its new tests last week and,
      > as expected, scores for students all over the state, including Rockville Centre, dropped dramatically.
      > Last year, an average of about 81 percent of Rockville Centre
      > students passed the state exams, which are given in grades 3 through 8
      > in English Language Arts and math. This year, with the new tests the
      > state gave, the passing rate in Rockville Centre plummeted to 48
      > percent. The state average was slightly over 30 percent.
      > “Our conclusion, after reviewing this with my staff in the central
      > office and talking to a number of colleagues, is that we’re just going
      > to put it on a shelf someplace and just leave it there,†said Dr.
      > William Johnson, the district superintendent. “We’re not going to use
      > this information to make any kind of determination about what kind of
      > services we need for children, and we’re not going to use it in any
      > capacity whatsoever to make informed decisions about our staff.â€
      > The drop in scores came because more rigorous standards were used on the exams. They were the first to be given since the state shifted its
      > curriculum to the Common Core Learning Standards, which are intended to
      > more fully prepare students for college and careers.
      > “These proficiency scores do not reflect a drop in performance, but
      > rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century,†State Education Commissioner John King Jr. said in a release. “I understand these scores are sobering for parents, teachers, and principals. It’s frustrating to see our children struggle. But we
      > can’t allow ourselves to be paralyzed by frustration; we must be
      > energized by this opportunity. The results we’ve announced today are not a critique of past efforts; they’re a new starting point on a roadmap
      > to future success.â€
      > Johnson said he was disappointed not with the scores or with
      > students’ performance, but with the state for giving the tests in the
      > first place. The tests are used by many districts to determine which
      > children need extra help, and in which subjects, but the Rockville
      > Centre district uses different measures. Under new state teacher review
      > guidelines known as APPR, the scores will also be used to assess
      > teachers.
      > According to Johnson, however, King sent an email last week to all
      > of the state’s superintendents, telling them not to use the scores for
      > anything. “It should not be incorporated into APPR, nor should it be
      > used to inform decisions about whether teachers should or should not be
      > here next year, or should or should not get teacher improvement plans,â€
      > Johnson said. “So we’re living right now through a time that I can only
      > describe as a theater of the absurd.â€
      > A relatively large number of parents in the district did not allow
      > their children to take the tests. More than 309 students â€" about 20
      > percent â€" “opted out.†Johnson said that it was the highest number in
      > the state, but he was unsure how that affected the district’s scores
      > overall. Because the results have no bearing, however, there are no
      > repercussion for the students who did not sit for the exams, or their
      > teachers.
      > “It’s really somewhat tragic, but I don’t know how to phrase this
      > except that those parents that opted out can easily turn to their
      > neighbors and say, ‘I told you so,’†Johnson said. “So the fact is that
      > these kids sat for between four and five hours â€" and in some cases more
      > than that â€" of testing, only to have the results when they come back to
      > us be either uninterpretable or unusable.â€
      > He has been a vocal opponent of the tests since they were
      > administered in April, believing that they did not properly assess what
      > children had learned. “Never at the end of the day could you, as a
      > result of what you saw with a child’s actual performance on these tests, know what they know and what they don’t know,†Johnson said in April.
      > The data that the tests provided the district, Johnson said, is
      > “uninterpretable and unusable.†He gave an example: in eighth grade,
      > Rockville Centre students take the algebra Regents exam, which is
      > usually administered in ninth grade. This year, about 95 percent of
      > students passed it. The eighth-grade state math exam is supposed to
      > determine how prepared students are to take algebra, yet only 39.5
      > percent of them passed that exam.
      > “To hell with these scores,†Johnson said. “They do not matter.
      > They’re not informing us in any way; they’re not giving us any new
      > information. In fact, what they’re doing is serious damage. Kids who had a [Level] 3 last year and ended up with a [Level] 1 this year, how do I tell them they can’t read, when in fact we know they can?â€
      > Leonie Haimson
      > Class Size Matters
      > 124 Waverly Pl.
      > New York, NY 10011
      > 212-674-7320
      > leonie@...
      > www.classsizematters.org
      > http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/
      > http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson
      > Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson
      > Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class SizeMatters now!

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