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Too Many Tests?

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  • Linda
    In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins April 11th. I heard the School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 27, 2006
      In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins April 11th. I heard the
      School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does someone know what the latest
      tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all these tests? And where is
      this info going to?

      I also heard that some of these test records are stored online by some company and that
      potentially others can access this info on your child. Does anyone know more about this?

      I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not working.

      Curious,
      Llnda
    • Francie
      Testing does begin on April 11th. The tests given depend upon your student s grade level. There s a chart on the CA Dept. of Education website:
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 28, 2006
        Testing does begin on April 11th. The tests given depend upon your
        student's grade level. There's a chart on the CA Dept. of Education
        website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/caassessment.asp

        There are websites that show the overall scores for each school site
        but NOT the scores for individual students. Parents receive copies of
        their children's scores (I think in the Fall).

        Francie Kunaniec, Librarian
        Adams Middle School

        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Linda" <lozito@...> wrote:
        >
        > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins
        April 11th. I heard the
        > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
        someone know what the latest
        > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
        these tests? And where is
        > this info going to?
        >
        > I also heard that some of these test records are stored online by
        some company and that
        > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does anyone
        know more about this?
        >
        > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
        working.
        >
        > Curious,
        > Llnda
        >
      • Marilyn Langlois
        Dear Linda-- The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their children out of the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a brief
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 28, 2006
          Dear Linda--

          The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their children out of
          the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a brief written
          note to that effect.

          Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State Fresno on
          Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I learned there
          that parents might find useful:

          According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), your child's
          test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a right to get
          access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to reasonable
          requests for explanations and interpretations of those records, which means
          school staff would have to show you the test question booklet to explain
          what your child's answer sheet means.

          In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail, you can
          find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your right to see
          specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.

          Marilyn

          > From: "Linda" <lozito@...>
          > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
          > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
          >
          > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins April 11th.
          > I heard the
          > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does someone know
          > what the latest
          > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all these tests?
          > And where is
          > this info going to?
          >
          > I also heard that some of these test records are stored online by some company
          > and that
          > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does anyone know more
          > about this?
          >
          > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not working.
          >
          > Curious,
          > Llnda
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • bedwellr
          Students may opt out at parental request, but I ve never understood why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the test will (a) help
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 29, 2006
            Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never understood
            why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the test
            will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
            other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and adminstrators
            know what strategies to use to best help that child in their education
            in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
            failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
            concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!

            Ralph

            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
            <langlois-rine@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Linda--
            >
            > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their children
            out of
            > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a brief written
            > note to that effect.
            >
            > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State Fresno on
            > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
            learned there
            > that parents might find useful:
            >
            > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), your
            child's
            > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a right to get
            > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to reasonable
            > requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
            which means
            > school staff would have to show you the test question booklet to explain
            > what your child's answer sheet means.
            >
            > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail,
            you can
            > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your right
            to see
            > specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
            >
            > Marilyn
            >
            > > From: "Linda" <lozito@...>
            > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
            > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
            > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
            > >
            > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins
            April 11th.
            > > I heard the
            > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
            someone know
            > > what the latest
            > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
            these tests?
            > > And where is
            > > this info going to?
            > >
            > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored online by
            some company
            > > and that
            > > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does anyone
            know more
            > > about this?
            > >
            > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
            working.
            > >
            > > Curious,
            > > Llnda
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Kevin Rivard
            Ralph, In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing their children you have to understand the testing and how the kids are prepared for it.
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 29, 2006
              Ralph,

              In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing their children
              you have to understand the testing and how the kids are prepared for it.

              Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This means for two
              weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of instructional
              education in a school year. If each test takes an average of one week of
              preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can take up to
              three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test giving just
              for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the students. Then you
              figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers and aides and
              volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the tests for
              correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction, of the six
              months your child is in school.

              But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing primarily not to
              find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars flowing into
              the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge was to focus
              attention on about the lower middle student, educationally speaking. The
              district resources were given to those students because by raising that
              groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores enough to
              keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would cause a State
              takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of the original
              reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of all the
              students. The lower level and upper level students were being abandoned in
              the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat the system.

              If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some sort of
              protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will continue to
              suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their general
              education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason has now become
              keeping the Federal dollars flowing.

              There is a way to test students individually that does what you suggest
              without taking away from the general education time. It was done while my
              daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However, it was
              torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above testing
              manipulation.

              The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to say you can
              compare your child with other students because of these tests is a fallacy.
              Not only are each States tests different, the way each county and each
              district prepares their students is different. The way each teacher gives
              the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation, how the school
              notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all these reasons
              make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent elementary
              school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each student and
              suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I would not have
              seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence outcomes and
              therefore are not necessarily objective.

              The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be fixed. But
              starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution that I believe
              will help the students. We need to define what we want education to be,
              create a delivery system to meet that definition and then create tests that
              will validate that definition.

              Right now there is no clear definition of education so there can never be a
              test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated student.

              Kevin


              >From: "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...>
              >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
              >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
              >
              >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never understood
              >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the test
              >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
              >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and adminstrators
              >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their education
              >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
              >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
              >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!
              >
              >Ralph
              >
              >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
              ><langlois-rine@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Dear Linda--
              > >
              > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their children
              >out of
              > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a brief written
              > > note to that effect.
              > >
              > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State Fresno on
              > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
              >learned there
              > > that parents might find useful:
              > >
              > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), your
              >child's
              > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a right to get
              > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to reasonable
              > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
              >which means
              > > school staff would have to show you the test question booklet to explain
              > > what your child's answer sheet means.
              > >
              > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail,
              >you can
              > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your right
              >to see
              > > specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
              > >
              > > Marilyn
              > >
              > > > From: "Linda" <lozito@...>
              > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
              > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
              > > >
              > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins
              >April 11th.
              > > > I heard the
              > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
              >someone know
              > > > what the latest
              > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
              >these tests?
              > > > And where is
              > > > this info going to?
              > > >
              > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored online by
              >some company
              > > > and that
              > > > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does anyone
              >know more
              > > > about this?
              > > >
              > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
              >working.
              > > >
              > > > Curious,
              > > > Llnda
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Elizabeth Jaeger
              Oh my goodness -- where to begin? 1. Except for a small portion of the test in 3rd and 7th grade, the STAR does not measure a child in relation to his/her
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 29, 2006
                Oh my goodness -- where to begin?

                1. Except for a small portion of the test in 3rd and 7th grade, the
                STAR does not measure a child in relation to his/her peers. The
                child is compared to standards, not to other children.
                Theoretically, at least, all children could score Far Below Basic (a
                terrible score, no matter what other kids do) or Advanced (a
                fabulous score, even if all kids get it).

                2. The best the test can do is to tell parents that their child is
                not getting the material at all(Far Below Basic), gets some of it
                (Below Basic), gets a lot of it (Basic), gets nearly all of it
                (Proficient), or might even be successful in a higher grade
                (Advanced). Virtually any teacher could provide you with this
                information within a month of the beginning of school. And research
                shows that parents are far more likely to trust the information
                provided by their child's classroom teacher than by a standardized
                test. Just how inaccurate can these tests be? The weakest math
                student I ever taught scored in the 7th stanine out of a possible 9
                -- above average, as defined by the test. A 5th grade girl reading
                at the early 2nd grade level scored "Proficient" on the current STAR
                test.

                3. The information the test provides about individual students is
                not reliable. Unless the test is to take weeks to give, there is a
                limit to the number of items it can contain about a certain skill
                (say, dividing words into syllables)-- probably 2 at the most.
                There's no way to predict with any certainty that a child
                understands or does not understand this based on 2 items. On top of
                that, test scores do not arrive until fall and who knows how well
                they represent a child's knowledge with that long a delay.

                4. If your child takes the test, it will make it somewhat more
                likely that your school will stay off the Program Improvement list --
                for now. The demands of No Child Left Behind are so draconian that
                the majority of schools will be in PI status within a few years.

                5. Estimates are that 25% of all students suffer some degree of test
                anxiety and that 10% have a severe case. In a world like the one we
                live in, who needs that extra stress?

                6. If your child takes the test you are, on some level, supporting
                the idea that knowledge can be reduced to making your best guess out
                of 4 possible choices. It is an old saw that what gets tested is
                what gets taught. Too many classrooms have been reduced to
                glorified test prep academies. Few other countries administer
                multiple choice tests on such a massive scale. I have to admit that
                my own children have always taken the test because they didn't want
                to draw attention to themselves; this is why mass action will be
                crucial.

                7. Finally, this test is not "free" by any stretch of the
                imagination. It costs districts hundreds of thousands of dollars
                (due to the underfunding of No Child Left behind), lining the
                coffers of the McGraw-Hill Company and others like it whose profits
                total in the hundreds of millions.

                I'm sorry to go on at such length, but there are just SOOO many
                misconceptions out there.

                --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                >
                > Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never understood
                > why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the
                test
                > will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
                > other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                adminstrators
                > know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                education
                > in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
                > failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                > concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!
                >
                > Ralph
                >
                > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                > <langlois-rine@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Dear Linda--
                > >
                > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                children
                > out of
                > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a brief
                written
                > > note to that effect.
                > >
                > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State
                Fresno on
                > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
                > learned there
                > > that parents might find useful:
                > >
                > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act),
                your
                > child's
                > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a right
                to get
                > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                reasonable
                > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
                > which means
                > > school staff would have to show you the test question booklet to
                explain
                > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                > >
                > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail,
                > you can
                > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your
                right
                > to see
                > > specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
                > >
                > > Marilyn
                > >
                > > > From: "Linda" <lozito@>
                > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                > > >
                > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing
                begins
                > April 11th.
                > > > I heard the
                > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
                > someone know
                > > > what the latest
                > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
                > these tests?
                > > > And where is
                > > > this info going to?
                > > >
                > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored online
                by
                > some company
                > > > and that
                > > > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does
                anyone
                > know more
                > > > about this?
                > > >
                > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
                > working.
                > > >
                > > > Curious,
                > > > Llnda
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • sunsetjill
                I would like to add to Kevin s post that there are errors on these tests. I have seen them first hand. So if the teacher does not know about the mistakes and
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 31, 2006
                  I would like to add to Kevin's post that there are errors on these
                  tests. I have seen them first hand. So if the teacher does not
                  know about the mistakes and corrects them manually before feeding
                  them into Edusoft, the child may have answered correctly, but the
                  computer will mark it wrong.
                  Please be advised that Edusoft is a privately owned company. It is
                  a subsidiary of
                  Houghton Mifflin Co. Please see:

                  http://www.hmco.com/company/investors/invest/ir_release_031606.html

                  Now the Company who sells the books to our children, owns our
                  childrens records.

                  If you did not think Big Brother was watching, look again!

                  Jill

                  --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Ralph,
                  >
                  > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing their
                  children
                  > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are prepared
                  for it.
                  >
                  > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This means
                  for two
                  > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                  instructional
                  > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of one
                  week of
                  > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can take
                  up to
                  > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                  giving just
                  > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the students.
                  Then you
                  > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers and
                  aides and
                  > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                  tests for
                  > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction, of
                  the six
                  > months your child is in school.
                  >
                  > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing primarily
                  not to
                  > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                  flowing into
                  > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge was
                  to focus
                  > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                  speaking. The
                  > district resources were given to those students because by raising
                  that
                  > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                  enough to
                  > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would cause
                  a State
                  > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of the
                  original
                  > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of all
                  the
                  > students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                  abandoned in
                  > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat the
                  system.
                  >
                  > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                  sort of
                  > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                  continue to
                  > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their
                  general
                  > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason has
                  now become
                  > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                  >
                  > There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                  suggest
                  > without taking away from the general education time. It was done
                  while my
                  > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However, it
                  was
                  > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above testing
                  > manipulation.
                  >
                  > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to say
                  you can
                  > compare your child with other students because of these tests is a
                  fallacy.
                  > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county and
                  each
                  > district prepares their students is different. The way each
                  teacher gives
                  > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation, how
                  the school
                  > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all these
                  reasons
                  > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                  elementary
                  > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each student
                  and
                  > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I would
                  not have
                  > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                  outcomes and
                  > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                  >
                  > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be fixed.
                  But
                  > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution that
                  I believe
                  > will help the students. We need to define what we want education
                  to be,
                  > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then create
                  tests that
                  > will validate that definition.
                  >
                  > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there can
                  never be a
                  > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated
                  student.
                  >
                  > Kevin
                  >
                  >
                  > >From: "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...>
                  > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                  > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                  > >
                  > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never
                  understood
                  > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the
                  test
                  > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
                  > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                  adminstrators
                  > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                  education
                  > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
                  > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                  > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!
                  > >
                  > >Ralph
                  > >
                  > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                  > ><langlois-rine@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Dear Linda--
                  > > >
                  > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                  children
                  > >out of
                  > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                  brief written
                  > > > note to that effect.
                  > > >
                  > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State
                  Fresno on
                  > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
                  > >learned there
                  > > > that parents might find useful:
                  > > >
                  > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                  Act), your
                  > >child's
                  > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                  right to get
                  > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                  reasonable
                  > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
                  > >which means
                  > > > school staff would have to show you the test question booklet
                  to explain
                  > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                  > > >
                  > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the
                  mail,
                  > >you can
                  > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your
                  right
                  > >to see
                  > > > specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
                  > > >
                  > > > Marilyn
                  > > >
                  > > > > From: "Linda" <lozito@>
                  > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                  > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                  > > > >
                  > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing
                  begins
                  > >April 11th.
                  > > > > I heard the
                  > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
                  > >someone know
                  > > > > what the latest
                  > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take
                  all
                  > >these tests?
                  > > > > And where is
                  > > > > this info going to?
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                  online by
                  > >some company
                  > > > > and that
                  > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does
                  anyone
                  > >know more
                  > > > > about this?
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is
                  not
                  > >working.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Curious,
                  > > > > Llnda
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Eduardo Martinez
                  Another aspect of this testing mainia is the amount of work teachers need to abandon in order to get the tests in on time. I for one have put my classroom and
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 31, 2006
                    Another aspect of this testing mainia is the amount of
                    work teachers need to abandon in order to get the
                    tests in on time. I for one have put my classroom and
                    my students' education first; as a result, I have
                    recieved a letter of reprimand for not turning in my
                    tests in a timely manner. Other teachers have been
                    late in turning in their tests, but I seem to be the
                    only one getting a letter of reprimand. Could this be
                    because I am vocal in my advocacy for my students, my
                    school, and my community?

                    Eduardo Martinez
                    Downer Elementary

                    --- Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@...> wrote:

                    > Ralph,
                    >
                    > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of
                    > testing their children
                    > you have to understand the testing and how the kids
                    > are prepared for it.
                    >
                    > Some of the tests are given two weeks of
                    > preparation. This means for two
                    > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180
                    > days of instructional
                    > education in a school year. If each test takes an
                    > average of one week of
                    > preparation and there are four tests a year and the
                    > tests can take up to
                    > three days to give then there are a total of six
                    > weeks of test giving just
                    > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for
                    > the students. Then you
                    > figure in the Staff development days needed for the
                    > teachers and aides and
                    > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests
                    > prepare the tests for
                    > correction and you have, a total of two months of
                    > distraction, of the six
                    > months your child is in school.
                    >
                    > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the
                    > testing primarily not to
                    > find out where each student is but to keep the
                    > Federal dollars flowing into
                    > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was
                    > in charge was to focus
                    > attention on about the lower middle student,
                    > educationally speaking. The
                    > district resources were given to those students
                    > because by raising that
                    > groups test scores the district could raise the
                    > overall scores enough to
                    > keep the low performing schools out of the levels
                    > that would cause a State
                    > takeover. In other words the testing became a
                    > manipulation of the original
                    > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the
                    > good of all the
                    > students. The lower level and upper level students
                    > were being abandoned in
                    > the hopes of raising the students scores that could
                    > help beat the system.
                    >
                    > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on
                    > without some sort of
                    > protest then the lower level kids and the upper
                    > level kids will continue to
                    > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away
                    > from their general
                    > education time that is taken up by testing, who's
                    > main reason has now become
                    > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                    >
                    > There is a way to test students individually that
                    > does what you suggest
                    > without taking away from the general education time.
                    > It was done while my
                    > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful.
                    > However, it was
                    > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the
                    > above testing
                    > manipulation.
                    >
                    > The tests to support NCLB are different in every
                    > state so to say you can
                    > compare your child with other students because of
                    > these tests is a fallacy.
                    > Not only are each States tests different, the way
                    > each county and each
                    > district prepares their students is different. The
                    > way each teacher gives
                    > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching,
                    > preparation, how the school
                    > notifies parents and encourages parental
                    > participation, all these reasons
                    > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in
                    > Independent elementary
                    > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to
                    > each student and
                    > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the
                    > room I would not have
                    > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms
                    > influence outcomes and
                    > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                    >
                    > The educational delivery system is broken and needs
                    > to be fixed. But
                    > starting with testing and working backwards is not a
                    > solution that I believe
                    > will help the students. We need to define what we
                    > want education to be,
                    > create a delivery system to meet that definition and
                    > then create tests that
                    > will validate that definition.
                    >
                    > Right now there is no clear definition of education
                    > so there can never be a
                    > test to validate this illusionary target we call an
                    > educated student.
                    >
                    > Kevin
                    >
                    >
                    > >From: "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...>
                    > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                    > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                    > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                    > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                    > >
                    > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've
                    > never understood
                    > >why a parent would not want their child to take
                    > them. Taking the test
                    > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands
                    > in relation to
                    > >other students in their same grade; b) help
                    > teachers and adminstrators
                    > >know what strategies to use to best help that child
                    > in their education
                    > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's
                    > school off the
                    > >failing schools list. The test is free and
                    > valuable for all
                    > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids
                    > sit out the test!
                    > >
                    > >Ralph
                    > >
                    > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                    > ><langlois-rine@...> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Dear Linda--
                    > > >
                    > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right
                    > to opt their children
                    > >out of
                    > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the
                    > principal a brief written
                    > > > note to that effect.
                    > > >
                    > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference
                    > at Cal State Fresno on
                    > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing.
                    > Here's something I
                    > >learned there
                    > > > that parents might find useful:
                    > > >
                    > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights
                    > and Privacy Act), your
                    > >child's
                    > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that
                    > you have a right to get
                    > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools
                    > to respond to reasonable
                    > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of
                    > those records,
                    > >which means
                    > > > school staff would have to show you the test
                    > question booklet to explain
                    > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                    > > >
                    > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores
                    > arrive in the mail,
                    > >you can
                    > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by
                    > exercising your right
                    > >to see
                    > > > specifically which questions your child got
                    > right and wrong.
                    > > >
                    > > > Marilyn
                    > > >
                    > > > > From: "Linda" <lozito@...>
                    > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                    > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said:
                    > State Testing begins
                    > >April 11th.
                    > > > > I heard the
                    > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids
                    > this year! Does
                    > >someone know
                    > > > > what the latest
                    > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child
                    > having to take all
                    > >these tests?
                    > > > > And where is
                    > > > > this info going to?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I also heard that some of these test records
                    > are stored online by
                    > >some company
                    > > > > and that
                    > > > > potentially others can access this info on
                    > your child. Does anyone
                    > >know more
                    > > > > about this?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District
                    > Site, which is not
                    > >working.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Curious,
                    > > > > Llnda
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    __________________________________________________
                    Do You Yahoo!?
                    Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    http://mail.yahoo.com
                  • sunsetjill
                    I am sure WCCUSD can t wait to get rid of me. What I have seen and learned about our education system in the last few years is frightening. It is no longer
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 31, 2006
                      I am sure WCCUSD can't wait to get rid of me. What I have seen and
                      learned about our education system in the last few years is
                      frightening. It is no longer about EDUCATION, it's about MONEY.

                      Please parents, stop being ignorant. It is time to take notice.
                      See who is profiting off your children.

                      As far as the Tests, you have to be clear as to which ones you are
                      talking about. I did not know when and if my son would be given his
                      assessment tests. I found out from his teacher that he did give the
                      tests that will go into the Edusoft system. I did fight this at a
                      Board Meeting. I do not want my son's records on someone else's
                      computer system.

                      To be sold in the future, like your credit information. I can't
                      even keep up with my junk mail at home.

                      Please see www.edusoft.com

                      I saw a Teacher yesterday almost in Tears over this. She did not
                      know how to use the Edusoft system. I don't know if anyone ever did
                      help her. We spent money to train our teachers, but not all of them
                      could make these trainings.

                      What do you think the Downer 5 was fighting! The teachers were
                      silenced! The teachers are afraid to speak out!

                      I love my son's teacher. He does not teach to the tests. I am so
                      Thankful for all my son has learned from his teacher. I could never
                      compare with his knowledge of certain subject matter!

                      Return teaching to our Professional Teachers! They can do the job.
                      Stop giving it to the Rich, whom only want to Profit off our
                      children.

                      Thank You for listening.

                      Jill

                      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Another aspect of this testing mainia is the amount of
                      > work teachers need to abandon in order to get the
                      > tests in on time. I for one have put my classroom and
                      > my students' education first; as a result, I have
                      > recieved a letter of reprimand for not turning in my
                      > tests in a timely manner. Other teachers have been
                      > late in turning in their tests, but I seem to be the
                      > only one getting a letter of reprimand. Could this be
                      > because I am vocal in my advocacy for my students, my
                      > school, and my community?
                      >
                      > Eduardo Martinez
                      > Downer Elementary
                      >
                      > --- Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > Ralph,
                      > >
                      > > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of
                      > > testing their children
                      > > you have to understand the testing and how the kids
                      > > are prepared for it.
                      > >
                      > > Some of the tests are given two weeks of
                      > > preparation. This means for two
                      > > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180
                      > > days of instructional
                      > > education in a school year. If each test takes an
                      > > average of one week of
                      > > preparation and there are four tests a year and the
                      > > tests can take up to
                      > > three days to give then there are a total of six
                      > > weeks of test giving just
                      > > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for
                      > > the students. Then you
                      > > figure in the Staff development days needed for the
                      > > teachers and aides and
                      > > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests
                      > > prepare the tests for
                      > > correction and you have, a total of two months of
                      > > distraction, of the six
                      > > months your child is in school.
                      > >
                      > > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the
                      > > testing primarily not to
                      > > find out where each student is but to keep the
                      > > Federal dollars flowing into
                      > > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was
                      > > in charge was to focus
                      > > attention on about the lower middle student,
                      > > educationally speaking. The
                      > > district resources were given to those students
                      > > because by raising that
                      > > groups test scores the district could raise the
                      > > overall scores enough to
                      > > keep the low performing schools out of the levels
                      > > that would cause a State
                      > > takeover. In other words the testing became a
                      > > manipulation of the original
                      > > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the
                      > > good of all the
                      > > students. The lower level and upper level students
                      > > were being abandoned in
                      > > the hopes of raising the students scores that could
                      > > help beat the system.
                      > >
                      > > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on
                      > > without some sort of
                      > > protest then the lower level kids and the upper
                      > > level kids will continue to
                      > > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away
                      > > from their general
                      > > education time that is taken up by testing, who's
                      > > main reason has now become
                      > > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                      > >
                      > > There is a way to test students individually that
                      > > does what you suggest
                      > > without taking away from the general education time.
                      > > It was done while my
                      > > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful.
                      > > However, it was
                      > > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the
                      > > above testing
                      > > manipulation.
                      > >
                      > > The tests to support NCLB are different in every
                      > > state so to say you can
                      > > compare your child with other students because of
                      > > these tests is a fallacy.
                      > > Not only are each States tests different, the way
                      > > each county and each
                      > > district prepares their students is different. The
                      > > way each teacher gives
                      > > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching,
                      > > preparation, how the school
                      > > notifies parents and encourages parental
                      > > participation, all these reasons
                      > > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in
                      > > Independent elementary
                      > > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to
                      > > each student and
                      > > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the
                      > > room I would not have
                      > > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms
                      > > influence outcomes and
                      > > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                      > >
                      > > The educational delivery system is broken and needs
                      > > to be fixed. But
                      > > starting with testing and working backwards is not a
                      > > solution that I believe
                      > > will help the students. We need to define what we
                      > > want education to be,
                      > > create a delivery system to meet that definition and
                      > > then create tests that
                      > > will validate that definition.
                      > >
                      > > Right now there is no clear definition of education
                      > > so there can never be a
                      > > test to validate this illusionary target we call an
                      > > educated student.
                      > >
                      > > Kevin
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > >From: "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...>
                      > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                      > > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                      > > >
                      > > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've
                      > > never understood
                      > > >why a parent would not want their child to take
                      > > them. Taking the test
                      > > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands
                      > > in relation to
                      > > >other students in their same grade; b) help
                      > > teachers and adminstrators
                      > > >know what strategies to use to best help that child
                      > > in their education
                      > > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's
                      > > school off the
                      > > >failing schools list. The test is free and
                      > > valuable for all
                      > > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids
                      > > sit out the test!
                      > > >
                      > > >Ralph
                      > > >
                      > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                      > > ><langlois-rine@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Dear Linda--
                      > > > >
                      > > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right
                      > > to opt their children
                      > > >out of
                      > > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the
                      > > principal a brief written
                      > > > > note to that effect.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference
                      > > at Cal State Fresno on
                      > > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing.
                      > > Here's something I
                      > > >learned there
                      > > > > that parents might find useful:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights
                      > > and Privacy Act), your
                      > > >child's
                      > > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that
                      > > you have a right to get
                      > > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools
                      > > to respond to reasonable
                      > > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of
                      > > those records,
                      > > >which means
                      > > > > school staff would have to show you the test
                      > > question booklet to explain
                      > > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores
                      > > arrive in the mail,
                      > > >you can
                      > > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by
                      > > exercising your right
                      > > >to see
                      > > > > specifically which questions your child got
                      > > right and wrong.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Marilyn
                      > > > >
                      > > > > > From: "Linda" <lozito@>
                      > > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      > > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                      > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said:
                      > > State Testing begins
                      > > >April 11th.
                      > > > > > I heard the
                      > > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids
                      > > this year! Does
                      > > >someone know
                      > > > > > what the latest
                      > > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child
                      > > having to take all
                      > > >these tests?
                      > > > > > And where is
                      > > > > > this info going to?
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I also heard that some of these test records
                      > > are stored online by
                      > > >some company
                      > > > > > and that
                      > > > > > potentially others can access this info on
                      > > your child. Does anyone
                      > > >know more
                      > > > > > about this?
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District
                      > > Site, which is not
                      > > >working.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Curious,
                      > > > > > Llnda
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      > __________________________________________________
                      > Do You Yahoo!?
                      > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                      > http://mail.yahoo.com
                      >
                    • langlois-rine@comcast.net
                      Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid responses to David s question about why someone might want to opt their kids out of the state tests.
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 31, 2006
                        Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid responses to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids out of the state tests.

                        If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here are three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a wake-up call:

                        1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting more involved in their children's education (something the pols say they want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their FERPA rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets mean, it would really gum up the works. It would be important for teachers to support parents in making these requests.

                        2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent opt outs.

                        3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach students on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch them do that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."

                        Any other ideas?
                        Peace,
                        Marilyn


                        -------------- Original message --------------
                        From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@...>

                        > Ralph,
                        >
                        > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing their children
                        > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are prepared for it.
                        >
                        > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This means for two
                        > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of instructional
                        > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of one week of
                        > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can take up to
                        > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test giving just
                        > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the students. Then you
                        > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers and aides and
                        > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the tests for
                        > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction, of the six
                        > months your child is in school.
                        >
                        > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing primarily not to
                        > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars flowing into
                        > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge was to focus
                        > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally speaking. The
                        > district resources were given to those students because by raising that
                        > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores enough to
                        > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would cause a State
                        > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of the original
                        > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of all the
                        > students. The lower level and upper level students were being abandoned in
                        > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat the system.
                        >
                        > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some sort of
                        > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will continue to
                        > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their general
                        > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason has now become
                        > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                        >
                        > There is a way to test students individually that does what you suggest
                        > without taking away from the general education time. It was done while my
                        > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However, it was
                        > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above testing
                        > manipulation.
                        >
                        > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to say you can
                        > compare your child with other students because of these tests is a fallacy.
                        > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county and each
                        > district prepares their students is different. The way each teacher gives
                        > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation, how the school
                        > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all these reasons
                        > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent elementary
                        > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each student and
                        > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I would not have
                        > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence outcomes and
                        > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                        >
                        > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be fixed. But
                        > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution that I believe
                        > will help the students. We need to define what we want education to be,
                        > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then create tests that
                        > will validate that definition.
                        >
                        > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there can never be a
                        > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated student.
                        >
                        > Kevin
                        >
                        >
                        > >From: "bedwellr"
                        > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                        > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                        > >
                        > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never understood
                        > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the test
                        > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
                        > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and adminstrators
                        > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their education
                        > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
                        > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                        > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!
                        > >
                        > >Ralph
                        > >
                        > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                        > > wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Dear Linda--
                        > > >
                        > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their children
                        > >out of
                        > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a brief written
                        > > > note to that effect.
                        > > >
                        > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State Fresno on
                        > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
                        > >learned there
                        > > > that parents might find useful:
                        > > >
                        > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), your
                        > >child's
                        > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a right to get
                        > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to reasonable
                        > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
                        > >which means
                        > > > school staff would have to show you the test question booklet to explain
                        > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                        > > >
                        > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail,
                        > >you can
                        > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your right
                        > >to see
                        > > > specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
                        > > >
                        > > > Marilyn
                        > > >
                        > > > > From: "Linda"
                        > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                        > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                        > > > >
                        > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins
                        > >April 11th.
                        > > > > I heard the
                        > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
                        > >someone know
                        > > > > what the latest
                        > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
                        > >these tests?
                        > > > > And where is
                        > > > > this info going to?
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored online by
                        > >some company
                        > > > > and that
                        > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does anyone
                        > >know more
                        > > > > about this?
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
                        > >working.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Curious,
                        > > > > Llnda
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • bedwellr
                        Marilyn writes: If massive numbers of teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that instead of administering the tests, they were going to
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 31, 2006
                          Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong parental
                          and student support, declared that instead of administering the tests,
                          they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take back
                          our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                          which people of all ages can thrive."

                          When were our schools "positive learning communities in which people
                          of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB as
                          it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy accountability
                          within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                          some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                          impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                          evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further from
                          the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is why
                          testing took on such added importance.

                          High stakes testing is far from a panacea, but I have witnessed a wave
                          of positive change as a result of the added emphasis on serious
                          academics, on professionalism amongst teachers and support staff, and
                          especially on making sure that ALL (not just some) groups of students
                          make academic progress. I think that, on balance, we're a lot better
                          off than we were five years ago. It might be less comfortable for
                          some people, but students seem to have grown (though of course they
                          have a great deal farther to go) in their basic academic skills. This
                          is no surprise, since the best way to "teach to the test" is to work
                          harder (and smarter) to increase students' abilities in what the tests
                          are attempting to measure, which are mainly literacy and numeracy.

                          I'm always amazed to hear "test anxiety" given as a reason for
                          avoiding tests. The poor children! They might be uncomfortable.
                          Heaven forbid that we teach our students ways to overcome such
                          anxieties; who needs to learn presence of mind, relaxation while under
                          pressure, the courage and desire to thrive while performing difficult
                          tasks, etc.? What use could that possibly have in the real world?

                          I'm sure I'll be pilloried in this forum for holding these non-P.C.
                          opinions, but so be it.

                          Ralph

                          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@... wrote:
                          >
                          > Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid responses
                          to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids out
                          of the state tests.
                          >
                          > If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                          oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here are
                          three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a
                          wake-up call:
                          >
                          > 1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting more
                          involved in their children's education (something the pols say they
                          want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their FERPA
                          rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to
                          review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets mean,
                          it would really gum up the works. It would be important for teachers
                          to support parents in making these requests.
                          >
                          > 2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of
                          parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the
                          program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be
                          supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from
                          "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the
                          school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of
                          where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent opt
                          outs.
                          >
                          > 3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of
                          teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that
                          instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach students
                          on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch them do
                          that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the positive
                          learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As
                          Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                          >
                          > Any other ideas?
                          > Peace,
                          > Marilyn
                          >
                          >
                          > -------------- Original message --------------
                          > From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@...>
                          >
                          > > Ralph,
                          > >
                          > > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing their
                          children
                          > > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are prepared
                          for it.
                          > >
                          > > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This means
                          for two
                          > > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                          instructional
                          > > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of one
                          week of
                          > > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can take
                          up to
                          > > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                          giving just
                          > > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the students.
                          Then you
                          > > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers and
                          aides and
                          > > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                          tests for
                          > > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction, of
                          the six
                          > > months your child is in school.
                          > >
                          > > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing primarily
                          not to
                          > > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                          flowing into
                          > > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge was
                          to focus
                          > > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                          speaking. The
                          > > district resources were given to those students because by raising
                          that
                          > > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                          enough to
                          > > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would cause
                          a State
                          > > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of the
                          original
                          > > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of all the
                          > > students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                          abandoned in
                          > > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat the
                          system.
                          > >
                          > > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                          sort of
                          > > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                          continue to
                          > > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their general
                          > > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason has
                          now become
                          > > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                          > >
                          > > There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                          suggest
                          > > without taking away from the general education time. It was done
                          while my
                          > > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However, it was
                          > > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above testing
                          > > manipulation.
                          > >
                          > > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to say
                          you can
                          > > compare your child with other students because of these tests is a
                          fallacy.
                          > > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county and
                          each
                          > > district prepares their students is different. The way each
                          teacher gives
                          > > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation, how
                          the school
                          > > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all these
                          reasons
                          > > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                          elementary
                          > > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each student and
                          > > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I would
                          not have
                          > > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                          outcomes and
                          > > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                          > >
                          > > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be fixed. But
                          > > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution that
                          I believe
                          > > will help the students. We need to define what we want education
                          to be,
                          > > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then create
                          tests that
                          > > will validate that definition.
                          > >
                          > > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there can
                          never be a
                          > > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated student.
                          > >
                          > > Kevin
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > >From: "bedwellr"
                          > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                          > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                          > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                          > > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                          > > >
                          > > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never understood
                          > > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the
                          test
                          > > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
                          > > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                          adminstrators
                          > > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                          education
                          > > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
                          > > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                          > > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!
                          > > >
                          > > >Ralph
                          > > >
                          > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                          > > > wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Dear Linda--
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                          children
                          > > >out of
                          > > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                          brief written
                          > > > > note to that effect.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State
                          Fresno on
                          > > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
                          > > >learned there
                          > > > > that parents might find useful:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                          Act), your
                          > > >child's
                          > > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                          right to get
                          > > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                          reasonable
                          > > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
                          > > >which means
                          > > > > school staff would have to show you the test question booklet
                          to explain
                          > > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail,
                          > > >you can
                          > > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your
                          right
                          > > >to see
                          > > > > specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Marilyn
                          > > > >
                          > > > > > From: "Linda"
                          > > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                          > > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                          > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                          > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing
                          begins
                          > > >April 11th.
                          > > > > > I heard the
                          > > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
                          > > >someone know
                          > > > > > what the latest
                          > > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
                          > > >these tests?
                          > > > > > And where is
                          > > > > > this info going to?
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                          online by
                          > > >some company
                          > > > > > and that
                          > > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does
                          anyone
                          > > >know more
                          > > > > > about this?
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
                          > > >working.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Curious,
                          > > > > > Llnda
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                        • Ms. Ott
                          I have no doubt there are problems with the STAR tests. I d like to see those problems fixed rather than the entire concept thrown out. I really doubt they re
                          Message 12 of 19 , Apr 1, 2006
                            I have no doubt there are problems with the STAR tests. I'd like to
                            see those problems fixed rather than the entire concept thrown out.
                            I really doubt they're going to eliminate the tests from the
                            district, and the state tests provided are a state issue. I think
                            the BIGGEST problem and the hottest fire to put out is that the way
                            this district implements them in inhuman. The teachers are
                            overworked already, and now they have to grade all these tests, and
                            fill in the bubbles for every single question for every single
                            student. Has the union done a study on how much extra time it takes
                            a teacher to do all this extra work? Why doesn't the district
                            coordinate with High Schools to get a pool of volunteers to help the
                            teachers do this brainless work?

                            Regarding your ideas of a coordinated effort to boycott the tests,
                            again I stress that you have to build the infrastructure first
                            before you can do *any* type of coordinated political change
                            effort. And, I guess that requires a good leader, too. I'm
                            reminded of the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King.
                            It was not one man who made the changes, but he was a good leader,
                            and without that, widespread change isn't going to happen. He had a
                            communication system that reached a lot of people every week – the
                            pulpit. And from there it went by word of mouth, and leaflets, and
                            things grew, and then you had a big boycott of the bus system and
                            things changed. And that victory paved the way for other victories.

                            If this group put its energy into building a communications
                            infrastructure for parents, it could include a web page that clearly
                            describes what Elizabeth, Eduardo and Marilyn told us – including
                            links to supporting documentation. It could be part of the web site
                            I proposed for this group that would post information parents need
                            to know. If the infrastructure to do this were in place, it
                            wouldn't be much effort to provide the public with information in
                            the future, and build campaigns for change. But you need well-
                            functioning communications system to do this, and you need a leader.

                            Anyone out there want to step up to the plate? Do you know anyone?
                            A retired person (time on their hands) with business management
                            skills and no more children in the district (i.e. nothing to loose
                            by pissing of the district powers that be) would be optimum, don't
                            you think?

                            Again, regarding all of the complaints and all of the problems, I'll
                            keep saying:

                            (1) Build the infrastructure that can make changes.

                            (2) Prioritize the changes that need to be made.

                            3) Work as a group to tackle them one at a time in a focused and
                            well-organized fashion.

                            With hopes for the future,

                            Ms Ott


                            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@... wrote:
                            >
                            > If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                            oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here
                            are three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers
                            a wake-up call:
                            >
                            > 1. Cooperative resistance: ...
                            ...As Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                            >
                            > Any other ideas?
                            > Peace,
                            > Marilyn
                          • sunsetjill
                            Marilyn writes: If massive numbers of teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that instead of administering the tests, they were going to
                            Message 13 of 19 , Apr 1, 2006
                              Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong parental
                              and student support, declared that instead of administering the
                              tests,
                              they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take back
                              our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                              which people of all ages can thrive."

                              Ralph Writes: schools "positive learning communities in which people
                              of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB as
                              it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy accountability
                              within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                              some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                              impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                              evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further from
                              the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is
                              why
                              testing took on such added importance.

                              Jill Writes: Ralph, it is not how NCLB is written, it is how it is
                              being implemented that disturbs me. While I have a Hispanic son
                              whom attends Kensington on a transfer. Myself take great pleasure
                              when I see that he scores 85% better then the National level on
                              certain subject matter. He was accepted based on Racial balance
                              over 6 years ago before NCLB. He has had the same teacher for 5th
                              and 6th grade. Only 7 true survivors in the 5th grade year as that
                              was a split class with mainly 6th graders. His teacher Does Not
                              Teach to The Tests! He finds creative ways to teach and engage the
                              children. I as a parent appreciate this. His way does not leave
                              any child behind, because they will get a well-rounded education and
                              some will excel in at least 1 subject matter, or have walked away
                              with knowledge that cannot be taught in Text Books that cost $80.00
                              each.

                              You know as this Frightened mother (myself) became active in the K-8
                              what surprised me most was our very first meeting in which a lot of
                              Staff from Bissel attended. We talked about our own Middle School
                              experiences. Much to my surprise, most of our High Ranking
                              Personnel came from PRIVATE SCHOOL.

                              You will probably find the same I am sure when it comes to the NCLB
                              act. Those that are profiting in the Private sector probably went
                              to Private School. The intent was to help children, such as my
                              son. So now as I was told Thursday that Foreclosures have tripled
                              in San Pablo in the last month, I must refer to a previous post..THE
                              CLEANSING of SAN PABLO and RICHMOND. Just kick us out and kill us
                              off.

                              ***SIGH***

                              Jill


                              -- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong
                              parental
                              > and student support, declared that instead of administering the
                              tests,
                              > they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take
                              back
                              > our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                              > which people of all ages can thrive."
                              >
                              > When were our schools "positive learning communities in which
                              people
                              > of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB
                              as
                              > it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy
                              accountability
                              > within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                              > some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                              > impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                              > evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further
                              from
                              > the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is
                              why
                              > testing took on such added importance.
                              >
                              > High stakes testing is far from a panacea, but I have witnessed a
                              wave
                              > of positive change as a result of the added emphasis on serious
                              > academics, on professionalism amongst teachers and support staff,
                              and
                              > especially on making sure that ALL (not just some) groups of
                              students
                              > make academic progress. I think that, on balance, we're a lot
                              better
                              > off than we were five years ago. It might be less comfortable for
                              > some people, but students seem to have grown (though of course they
                              > have a great deal farther to go) in their basic academic skills.
                              This
                              > is no surprise, since the best way to "teach to the test" is to
                              work
                              > harder (and smarter) to increase students' abilities in what the
                              tests
                              > are attempting to measure, which are mainly literacy and
                              numeracy.
                              >
                              > I'm always amazed to hear "test anxiety" given as a reason for
                              > avoiding tests. The poor children! They might be uncomfortable.
                              > Heaven forbid that we teach our students ways to overcome such
                              > anxieties; who needs to learn presence of mind, relaxation while
                              under
                              > pressure, the courage and desire to thrive while performing
                              difficult
                              > tasks, etc.? What use could that possibly have in the real world?
                              >
                              > I'm sure I'll be pilloried in this forum for holding these non-P.C.
                              > opinions, but so be it.
                              >
                              > Ralph
                              >
                              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@ wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid
                              responses
                              > to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids
                              out
                              > of the state tests.
                              > >
                              > > If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                              > oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here
                              are
                              > three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a
                              > wake-up call:
                              > >
                              > > 1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting
                              more
                              > involved in their children's education (something the pols say they
                              > want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their
                              FERPA
                              > rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to
                              > review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets
                              mean,
                              > it would really gum up the works. It would be important for
                              teachers
                              > to support parents in making these requests.
                              > >
                              > > 2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of
                              > parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the
                              > program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be
                              > supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from
                              > "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the
                              > school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of
                              > where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent
                              opt
                              > outs.
                              > >
                              > > 3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of
                              > teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that
                              > instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach
                              students
                              > on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch
                              them do
                              > that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the
                              positive
                              > learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As
                              > Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                              > >
                              > > Any other ideas?
                              > > Peace,
                              > > Marilyn
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > -------------- Original message --------------
                              > > From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@>
                              > >
                              > > > Ralph,
                              > > >
                              > > > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing
                              their
                              > children
                              > > > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are
                              prepared
                              > for it.
                              > > >
                              > > > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This
                              means
                              > for two
                              > > > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                              > instructional
                              > > > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of
                              one
                              > week of
                              > > > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can
                              take
                              > up to
                              > > > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                              > giving just
                              > > > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the
                              students.
                              > Then you
                              > > > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers
                              and
                              > aides and
                              > > > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                              > tests for
                              > > > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction,
                              of
                              > the six
                              > > > months your child is in school.
                              > > >
                              > > > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing
                              primarily
                              > not to
                              > > > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                              > flowing into
                              > > > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge
                              was
                              > to focus
                              > > > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                              > speaking. The
                              > > > district resources were given to those students because by
                              raising
                              > that
                              > > > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                              > enough to
                              > > > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would
                              cause
                              > a State
                              > > > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of
                              the
                              > original
                              > > > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of
                              all the
                              > > > students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                              > abandoned in
                              > > > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat
                              the
                              > system.
                              > > >
                              > > > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                              > sort of
                              > > > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                              > continue to
                              > > > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their
                              general
                              > > > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason
                              has
                              > now become
                              > > > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                              > > >
                              > > > There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                              > suggest
                              > > > without taking away from the general education time. It was
                              done
                              > while my
                              > > > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However,
                              it was
                              > > > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above
                              testing
                              > > > manipulation.
                              > > >
                              > > > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to
                              say
                              > you can
                              > > > compare your child with other students because of these tests
                              is a
                              > fallacy.
                              > > > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county
                              and
                              > each
                              > > > district prepares their students is different. The way each
                              > teacher gives
                              > > > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation,
                              how
                              > the school
                              > > > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all
                              these
                              > reasons
                              > > > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                              > elementary
                              > > > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each
                              student and
                              > > > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I
                              would
                              > not have
                              > > > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                              > outcomes and
                              > > > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                              > > >
                              > > > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be
                              fixed. But
                              > > > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution
                              that
                              > I believe
                              > > > will help the students. We need to define what we want
                              education
                              > to be,
                              > > > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then
                              create
                              > tests that
                              > > > will validate that definition.
                              > > >
                              > > > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there
                              can
                              > never be a
                              > > > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated
                              student.
                              > > >
                              > > > Kevin
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > >From: "bedwellr"
                              > > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                              > > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                              > > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                              > > > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                              > > > >
                              > > > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never
                              understood
                              > > > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking
                              the
                              > test
                              > > > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in
                              relation to
                              > > > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                              > adminstrators
                              > > > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                              > education
                              > > > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off
                              the
                              > > > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                              > > > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the
                              test!
                              > > > >
                              > > > >Ralph
                              > > > >
                              > > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                              > > > > wrote:
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Dear Linda--
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                              > children
                              > > > >out of
                              > > > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                              > brief written
                              > > > > > note to that effect.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal
                              State
                              > Fresno on
                              > > > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's
                              something I
                              > > > >learned there
                              > > > > > that parents might find useful:
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                              > Act), your
                              > > > >child's
                              > > > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                              > right to get
                              > > > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                              > reasonable
                              > > > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those
                              records,
                              > > > >which means
                              > > > > > school staff would have to show you the test question
                              booklet
                              > to explain
                              > > > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in
                              the mail,
                              > > > >you can
                              > > > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising
                              your
                              > right
                              > > > >to see
                              > > > > > specifically which questions your child got right and
                              wrong.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Marilyn
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > > From: "Linda"
                              > > > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                              > > > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                              > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                              > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State
                              Testing
                              > begins
                              > > > >April 11th.
                              > > > > > > I heard the
                              > > > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year!
                              Does
                              > > > >someone know
                              > > > > > > what the latest
                              > > > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to
                              take all
                              > > > >these tests?
                              > > > > > > And where is
                              > > > > > > this info going to?
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                              > online by
                              > > > >some company
                              > > > > > > and that
                              > > > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child.
                              Does
                              > anyone
                              > > > >know more
                              > > > > > > about this?
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which
                              is not
                              > > > >working.
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > Curious,
                              > > > > > > Llnda
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              > >
                              >
                            • Elizabeth Jaeger
                              ... parental ... tests, ... back ... people ... as ... accountability ... from ... why ... wave ... and ... students ... better ... This ... work ... tests ...
                              Message 14 of 19 , Apr 1, 2006
                                --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong
                                parental
                                > and student support, declared that instead of administering the
                                tests,
                                > they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take
                                back
                                > our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                                > which people of all ages can thrive."
                                >
                                > When were our schools "positive learning communities in which
                                people
                                > of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB
                                as
                                > it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy
                                accountability
                                > within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                                > some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                                > impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                                > evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further
                                from
                                > the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is
                                why
                                > testing took on such added importance.
                                >
                                > High stakes testing is far from a panacea, but I have witnessed a
                                wave
                                > of positive change as a result of the added emphasis on serious
                                > academics, on professionalism amongst teachers and support staff,
                                and
                                > especially on making sure that ALL (not just some) groups of
                                students
                                > make academic progress. I think that, on balance, we're a lot
                                better
                                > off than we were five years ago. It might be less comfortable for
                                > some people, but students seem to have grown (though of course they
                                > have a great deal farther to go) in their basic academic skills.
                                This
                                > is no surprise, since the best way to "teach to the test" is to
                                work
                                > harder (and smarter) to increase students' abilities in what the
                                tests
                                > are attempting to measure, which are mainly literacy and
                                numeracy.
                                >
                                > I'm always amazed to hear "test anxiety" given as a reason for
                                > avoiding tests. The poor children! They might be uncomfortable.
                                > Heaven forbid that we teach our students ways to overcome such
                                > anxieties; who needs to learn presence of mind, relaxation while
                                under
                                > pressure, the courage and desire to thrive while performing
                                difficult
                                > tasks, etc.? What use could that possibly have in the real world?
                                >
                                > I'm sure I'll be pilloried in this forum for holding these non-P.C.
                                > opinions, but so be it.
                                >
                                > Ralph
                                >
                                > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@ wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid
                                responses
                                > to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids
                                out
                                > of the state tests.
                                > >
                                > > If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                                > oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here
                                are
                                > three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a
                                > wake-up call:
                                > >
                                > > 1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting
                                more
                                > involved in their children's education (something the pols say they
                                > want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their
                                FERPA
                                > rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to
                                > review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets
                                mean,
                                > it would really gum up the works. It would be important for
                                teachers
                                > to support parents in making these requests.
                                > >
                                > > 2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of
                                > parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the
                                > program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be
                                > supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from
                                > "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the
                                > school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of
                                > where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent
                                opt
                                > outs.
                                > >
                                > > 3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of
                                > teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that
                                > instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach
                                students
                                > on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch
                                them do
                                > that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the
                                positive
                                > learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As
                                > Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                                > >
                                > > Any other ideas?
                                > > Peace,
                                > > Marilyn
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > -------------- Original message --------------
                                > > From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@>
                                > >
                                > > > Ralph,
                                > > >
                                > > > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing
                                their
                                > children
                                > > > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are
                                prepared
                                > for it.
                                > > >
                                > > > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This
                                means
                                > for two
                                > > > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                                > instructional
                                > > > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of
                                one
                                > week of
                                > > > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can
                                take
                                > up to
                                > > > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                                > giving just
                                > > > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the
                                students.
                                > Then you
                                > > > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers
                                and
                                > aides and
                                > > > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                                > tests for
                                > > > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction,
                                of
                                > the six
                                > > > months your child is in school.
                                > > >
                                > > > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing
                                primarily
                                > not to
                                > > > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                                > flowing into
                                > > > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge
                                was
                                > to focus
                                > > > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                                > speaking. The
                                > > > district resources were given to those students because by
                                raising
                                > that
                                > > > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                                > enough to
                                > > > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would
                                cause
                                > a State
                                > > > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of
                                the
                                > original
                                > > > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of
                                all the
                                > > > students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                                > abandoned in
                                > > > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat
                                the
                                > system.
                                > > >
                                > > > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                                > sort of
                                > > > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                                > continue to
                                > > > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their
                                general
                                > > > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason
                                has
                                > now become
                                > > > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                                > > >
                                > > > There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                                > suggest
                                > > > without taking away from the general education time. It was
                                done
                                > while my
                                > > > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However,
                                it was
                                > > > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above
                                testing
                                > > > manipulation.
                                > > >
                                > > > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to
                                say
                                > you can
                                > > > compare your child with other students because of these tests
                                is a
                                > fallacy.
                                > > > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county
                                and
                                > each
                                > > > district prepares their students is different. The way each
                                > teacher gives
                                > > > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation,
                                how
                                > the school
                                > > > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all
                                these
                                > reasons
                                > > > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                                > elementary
                                > > > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each
                                student and
                                > > > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I
                                would
                                > not have
                                > > > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                                > outcomes and
                                > > > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                                > > >
                                > > > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be
                                fixed. But
                                > > > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution
                                that
                                > I believe
                                > > > will help the students. We need to define what we want
                                education
                                > to be,
                                > > > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then
                                create
                                > tests that
                                > > > will validate that definition.
                                > > >
                                > > > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there
                                can
                                > never be a
                                > > > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated
                                student.
                                > > >
                                > > > Kevin
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > >From: "bedwellr"
                                > > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                > > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                > > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                                > > > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                                > > > >
                                > > > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never
                                understood
                                > > > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking
                                the
                                > test
                                > > > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in
                                relation to
                                > > > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                                > adminstrators
                                > > > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                                > education
                                > > > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off
                                the
                                > > > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                                > > > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the
                                test!
                                > > > >
                                > > > >Ralph
                                > > > >
                                > > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                                > > > > wrote:
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Dear Linda--
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                                > children
                                > > > >out of
                                > > > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                                > brief written
                                > > > > > note to that effect.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal
                                State
                                > Fresno on
                                > > > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's
                                something I
                                > > > >learned there
                                > > > > > that parents might find useful:
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                                > Act), your
                                > > > >child's
                                > > > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                                > right to get
                                > > > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                                > reasonable
                                > > > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those
                                records,
                                > > > >which means
                                > > > > > school staff would have to show you the test question
                                booklet
                                > to explain
                                > > > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in
                                the mail,
                                > > > >you can
                                > > > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising
                                your
                                > right
                                > > > >to see
                                > > > > > specifically which questions your child got right and
                                wrong.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Marilyn
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > > From: "Linda"
                                > > > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                > > > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                                > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State
                                Testing
                                > begins
                                > > > >April 11th.
                                > > > > > > I heard the
                                > > > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year!
                                Does
                                > > > >someone know
                                > > > > > > what the latest
                                > > > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to
                                take all
                                > > > >these tests?
                                > > > > > > And where is
                                > > > > > > this info going to?
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                                > online by
                                > > > >some company
                                > > > > > > and that
                                > > > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child.
                                Does
                                > anyone
                                > > > >know more
                                > > > > > > about this?
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which
                                is not
                                > > > >working.
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > Curious,
                                > > > > > > Llnda
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > >
                                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                > >
                                >
                              • Elizabeth Jaeger
                                I would only ask for evidence of the improvement you site. ... parental ... tests, ... back ... people ... as ... accountability ... from ... why ... wave ...
                                Message 15 of 19 , Apr 1, 2006
                                  I would only ask for evidence of the improvement you site.

                                  --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong
                                  parental
                                  > and student support, declared that instead of administering the
                                  tests,
                                  > they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take
                                  back
                                  > our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                                  > which people of all ages can thrive."
                                  >
                                  > When were our schools "positive learning communities in which
                                  people
                                  > of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB
                                  as
                                  > it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy
                                  accountability
                                  > within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                                  > some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                                  > impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                                  > evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further
                                  from
                                  > the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is
                                  why
                                  > testing took on such added importance.
                                  >
                                  > High stakes testing is far from a panacea, but I have witnessed a
                                  wave
                                  > of positive change as a result of the added emphasis on serious
                                  > academics, on professionalism amongst teachers and support staff,
                                  and
                                  > especially on making sure that ALL (not just some) groups of
                                  students
                                  > make academic progress. I think that, on balance, we're a lot
                                  better
                                  > off than we were five years ago. It might be less comfortable for
                                  > some people, but students seem to have grown (though of course they
                                  > have a great deal farther to go) in their basic academic skills.
                                  This
                                  > is no surprise, since the best way to "teach to the test" is to
                                  work
                                  > harder (and smarter) to increase students' abilities in what the
                                  tests
                                  > are attempting to measure, which are mainly literacy and
                                  numeracy.
                                  >
                                  > I'm always amazed to hear "test anxiety" given as a reason for
                                  > avoiding tests. The poor children! They might be uncomfortable.
                                  > Heaven forbid that we teach our students ways to overcome such
                                  > anxieties; who needs to learn presence of mind, relaxation while
                                  under
                                  > pressure, the courage and desire to thrive while performing
                                  difficult
                                  > tasks, etc.? What use could that possibly have in the real world?
                                  >
                                  > I'm sure I'll be pilloried in this forum for holding these non-P.C.
                                  > opinions, but so be it.
                                  >
                                  > Ralph
                                  >
                                  > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@ wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid
                                  responses
                                  > to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids
                                  out
                                  > of the state tests.
                                  > >
                                  > > If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                                  > oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here
                                  are
                                  > three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a
                                  > wake-up call:
                                  > >
                                  > > 1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting
                                  more
                                  > involved in their children's education (something the pols say they
                                  > want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their
                                  FERPA
                                  > rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to
                                  > review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets
                                  mean,
                                  > it would really gum up the works. It would be important for
                                  teachers
                                  > to support parents in making these requests.
                                  > >
                                  > > 2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of
                                  > parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the
                                  > program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be
                                  > supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from
                                  > "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the
                                  > school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of
                                  > where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent
                                  opt
                                  > outs.
                                  > >
                                  > > 3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of
                                  > teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that
                                  > instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach
                                  students
                                  > on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch
                                  them do
                                  > that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the
                                  positive
                                  > learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As
                                  > Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                                  > >
                                  > > Any other ideas?
                                  > > Peace,
                                  > > Marilyn
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > -------------- Original message --------------
                                  > > From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@>
                                  > >
                                  > > > Ralph,
                                  > > >
                                  > > > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing
                                  their
                                  > children
                                  > > > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are
                                  prepared
                                  > for it.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This
                                  means
                                  > for two
                                  > > > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                                  > instructional
                                  > > > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of
                                  one
                                  > week of
                                  > > > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can
                                  take
                                  > up to
                                  > > > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                                  > giving just
                                  > > > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the
                                  students.
                                  > Then you
                                  > > > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers
                                  and
                                  > aides and
                                  > > > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                                  > tests for
                                  > > > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction,
                                  of
                                  > the six
                                  > > > months your child is in school.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing
                                  primarily
                                  > not to
                                  > > > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                                  > flowing into
                                  > > > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge
                                  was
                                  > to focus
                                  > > > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                                  > speaking. The
                                  > > > district resources were given to those students because by
                                  raising
                                  > that
                                  > > > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                                  > enough to
                                  > > > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would
                                  cause
                                  > a State
                                  > > > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of
                                  the
                                  > original
                                  > > > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of
                                  all the
                                  > > > students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                                  > abandoned in
                                  > > > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat
                                  the
                                  > system.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                                  > sort of
                                  > > > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                                  > continue to
                                  > > > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their
                                  general
                                  > > > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason
                                  has
                                  > now become
                                  > > > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                                  > suggest
                                  > > > without taking away from the general education time. It was
                                  done
                                  > while my
                                  > > > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However,
                                  it was
                                  > > > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above
                                  testing
                                  > > > manipulation.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to
                                  say
                                  > you can
                                  > > > compare your child with other students because of these tests
                                  is a
                                  > fallacy.
                                  > > > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county
                                  and
                                  > each
                                  > > > district prepares their students is different. The way each
                                  > teacher gives
                                  > > > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation,
                                  how
                                  > the school
                                  > > > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all
                                  these
                                  > reasons
                                  > > > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                                  > elementary
                                  > > > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each
                                  student and
                                  > > > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I
                                  would
                                  > not have
                                  > > > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                                  > outcomes and
                                  > > > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be
                                  fixed. But
                                  > > > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution
                                  that
                                  > I believe
                                  > > > will help the students. We need to define what we want
                                  education
                                  > to be,
                                  > > > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then
                                  create
                                  > tests that
                                  > > > will validate that definition.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there
                                  can
                                  > never be a
                                  > > > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated
                                  student.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Kevin
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > >From: "bedwellr"
                                  > > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                                  > > > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never
                                  understood
                                  > > > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking
                                  the
                                  > test
                                  > > > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in
                                  relation to
                                  > > > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                                  > adminstrators
                                  > > > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                                  > education
                                  > > > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off
                                  the
                                  > > > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                                  > > > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the
                                  test!
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >Ralph
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                                  > > > > wrote:
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Dear Linda--
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                                  > children
                                  > > > >out of
                                  > > > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                                  > brief written
                                  > > > > > note to that effect.
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal
                                  State
                                  > Fresno on
                                  > > > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's
                                  something I
                                  > > > >learned there
                                  > > > > > that parents might find useful:
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                                  > Act), your
                                  > > > >child's
                                  > > > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                                  > right to get
                                  > > > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                                  > reasonable
                                  > > > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those
                                  records,
                                  > > > >which means
                                  > > > > > school staff would have to show you the test question
                                  booklet
                                  > to explain
                                  > > > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in
                                  the mail,
                                  > > > >you can
                                  > > > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising
                                  your
                                  > right
                                  > > > >to see
                                  > > > > > specifically which questions your child got right and
                                  wrong.
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Marilyn
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > From: "Linda"
                                  > > > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                                  > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State
                                  Testing
                                  > begins
                                  > > > >April 11th.
                                  > > > > > > I heard the
                                  > > > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year!
                                  Does
                                  > > > >someone know
                                  > > > > > > what the latest
                                  > > > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to
                                  take all
                                  > > > >these tests?
                                  > > > > > > And where is
                                  > > > > > > this info going to?
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                                  > online by
                                  > > > >some company
                                  > > > > > > and that
                                  > > > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child.
                                  Does
                                  > anyone
                                  > > > >know more
                                  > > > > > > about this?
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which
                                  is not
                                  > > > >working.
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > Curious,
                                  > > > > > > Llnda
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • Marilyn Langlois
                                  Dear Ralph-- You raise some very important points. I actually agree with you that many schools lacked positive learning communities before the recent spate of
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Apr 2, 2006
                                    Dear Ralph--
                                    You raise some very important points. I actually agree with you that many
                                    schools lacked positive learning communities before the recent spate of
                                    standardized tests. What I'm suggesting is that there are more than two
                                    possibilities (pre-STAR/NCLB status quo and current status quo): Let's look
                                    for the "third way" -- What were the problems before all the testing, and is
                                    there a better way to address them than heavy-handed, threat-based
                                    accountability?

                                    I also agree with you that we need to expect children to go outside their
                                    comfort zone in order to learn and grow. I would suggest that there are
                                    ways to do this that have more to do with the real word than agonizing over
                                    which bubble to fill in out of four choices. For example, they could be
                                    given a challenging and complex problem to solve together with a group of
                                    other students who all have different perspectives.

                                    Best wishes,
                                    Marilyn

                                    P.S. And Ms Ott-- You're right about building infrastructure and getting
                                    organized. My second paragraph above goes for adults, too. It's not always
                                    easy to practise what we preach!

                                    > From: "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...>
                                    > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2006 07:58:07 -0000
                                    > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                                    >
                                    > Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong parental
                                    > and student support, declared that instead of administering the tests,
                                    > they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take back
                                    > our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                                    > which people of all ages can thrive."
                                    >
                                    > When were our schools "positive learning communities in which people
                                    > of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB as
                                    > it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy accountability
                                    > within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                                    > some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                                    > impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                                    > evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further from
                                    > the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is why
                                    > testing took on such added importance.
                                    >
                                    > High stakes testing is far from a panacea, but I have witnessed a wave
                                    > of positive change as a result of the added emphasis on serious
                                    > academics, on professionalism amongst teachers and support staff, and
                                    > especially on making sure that ALL (not just some) groups of students
                                    > make academic progress. I think that, on balance, we're a lot better
                                    > off than we were five years ago. It might be less comfortable for
                                    > some people, but students seem to have grown (though of course they
                                    > have a great deal farther to go) in their basic academic skills. This
                                    > is no surprise, since the best way to "teach to the test" is to work
                                    > harder (and smarter) to increase students' abilities in what the tests
                                    > are attempting to measure, which are mainly literacy and numeracy.
                                    >
                                    > I'm always amazed to hear "test anxiety" given as a reason for
                                    > avoiding tests. The poor children! They might be uncomfortable.
                                    > Heaven forbid that we teach our students ways to overcome such
                                    > anxieties; who needs to learn presence of mind, relaxation while under
                                    > pressure, the courage and desire to thrive while performing difficult
                                    > tasks, etc.? What use could that possibly have in the real world?
                                    >
                                    > I'm sure I'll be pilloried in this forum for holding these non-P.C.
                                    > opinions, but so be it.
                                    >
                                    > Ralph
                                    >
                                    > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@... wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >> Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid responses
                                    > to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids out
                                    > of the state tests.
                                    >>
                                    >> If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                                    > oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here are
                                    > three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a
                                    > wake-up call:
                                    >>
                                    >> 1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting more
                                    > involved in their children's education (something the pols say they
                                    > want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their FERPA
                                    > rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to
                                    > review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets mean,
                                    > it would really gum up the works. It would be important for teachers
                                    > to support parents in making these requests.
                                    >>
                                    >> 2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of
                                    > parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the
                                    > program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be
                                    > supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from
                                    > "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the
                                    > school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of
                                    > where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent opt
                                    > outs.
                                    >>
                                    >> 3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of
                                    > teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that
                                    > instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach students
                                    > on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch them do
                                    > that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the positive
                                    > learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As
                                    > Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                                    >>
                                    >> Any other ideas?
                                    >> Peace,
                                    >> Marilyn
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >> -------------- Original message --------------
                                    >> From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@...>
                                    >>
                                    >>> Ralph,
                                    >>>
                                    >>> In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing their
                                    > children
                                    >>> you have to understand the testing and how the kids are prepared
                                    > for it.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This means
                                    > for two
                                    >>> weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                                    > instructional
                                    >>> education in a school year. If each test takes an average of one
                                    > week of
                                    >>> preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can take
                                    > up to
                                    >>> three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                                    > giving just
                                    >>> for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the students.
                                    > Then you
                                    >>> figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers and
                                    > aides and
                                    >>> volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                                    > tests for
                                    >>> correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction, of
                                    > the six
                                    >>> months your child is in school.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing primarily
                                    > not to
                                    >>> find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                                    > flowing into
                                    >>> the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge was
                                    > to focus
                                    >>> attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                                    > speaking. The
                                    >>> district resources were given to those students because by raising
                                    > that
                                    >>> groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                                    > enough to
                                    >>> keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would cause
                                    > a State
                                    >>> takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of the
                                    > original
                                    >>> reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of all the
                                    >>> students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                                    > abandoned in
                                    >>> the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat the
                                    > system.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                                    > sort of
                                    >>> protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                                    > continue to
                                    >>> suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their general
                                    >>> education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason has
                                    > now become
                                    >>> keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                                    > suggest
                                    >>> without taking away from the general education time. It was done
                                    > while my
                                    >>> daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However, it was
                                    >>> torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above testing
                                    >>> manipulation.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to say
                                    > you can
                                    >>> compare your child with other students because of these tests is a
                                    > fallacy.
                                    >>> Not only are each States tests different, the way each county and
                                    > each
                                    >>> district prepares their students is different. The way each
                                    > teacher gives
                                    >>> the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation, how
                                    > the school
                                    >>> notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all these
                                    > reasons
                                    >>> make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                                    > elementary
                                    >>> school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each student and
                                    >>> suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I would
                                    > not have
                                    >>> seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                                    > outcomes and
                                    >>> therefore are not necessarily objective.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be fixed. But
                                    >>> starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution that
                                    > I believe
                                    >>> will help the students. We need to define what we want education
                                    > to be,
                                    >>> create a delivery system to meet that definition and then create
                                    > tests that
                                    >>> will validate that definition.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> Right now there is no clear definition of education so there can
                                    > never be a
                                    >>> test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated student.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> Kevin
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>> From: "bedwellr"
                                    >>>> Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                    >>>> To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                    >>>> Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                                    >>>> Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>> Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never understood
                                    >>>> why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the
                                    > test
                                    >>>> will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
                                    >>>> other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                                    > adminstrators
                                    >>>> know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                                    > education
                                    >>>> in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
                                    >>>> failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                                    >>>> concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>> Ralph
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>> --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                                    >>>> wrote:
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>> Dear Linda--
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>> The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                                    > children
                                    >>>> out of
                                    >>>>> the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                                    > brief written
                                    >>>>> note to that effect.
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>> Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State
                                    > Fresno on
                                    >>>>> Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
                                    >>>> learned there
                                    >>>>> that parents might find useful:
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>> According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                                    > Act), your
                                    >>>> child's
                                    >>>>> test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                                    > right to get
                                    >>>>> access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                                    > reasonable
                                    >>>>> requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
                                    >>>> which means
                                    >>>>> school staff would have to show you the test question booklet
                                    > to explain
                                    >>>>> what your child's answer sheet means.
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>> In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail,
                                    >>>> you can
                                    >>>>> find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your
                                    > right
                                    >>>> to see
                                    >>>>> specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>> Marilyn
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>>> From: "Linda"
                                    >>>>>> Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                    >>>>>> Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                                    >>>>>> To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                    >>>>>> Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>> In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing
                                    > begins
                                    >>>> April 11th.
                                    >>>>>> I heard the
                                    >>>>>> School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
                                    >>>> someone know
                                    >>>>>> what the latest
                                    >>>>>> tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
                                    >>>> these tests?
                                    >>>>>> And where is
                                    >>>>>> this info going to?
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>> I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                                    > online by
                                    >>>> some company
                                    >>>>>> and that
                                    >>>>>> potentially others can access this info on your child. Does
                                    > anyone
                                    >>>> know more
                                    >>>>>> about this?
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>> I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
                                    >>>> working.
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>> Curious,
                                    >>>>>> Llnda
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>>
                                    >>>>>
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>
                                    >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • Tammera Campbell
                                    I can understand the concern for special ed students and foreign speaking students passing the standardized tests and high school exit exams, but frankly folks
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Apr 4, 2006
                                      I can understand the concern for special ed students and foreign speaking students passing the standardized tests and high school exit exams, but frankly folks we need to have some sort of accountability for what our general ed children are learning in school. If you are a regular ed student who cannot pass the high school exit exam by the time you are in 10th grade, then we had better look at the education our children are receiving from K-10 and focus on improving that strategy. Avoiding the issues and making excuses will not help these children succeed to adulthood. If we don't raise expectations high we will have a third world society that cannot survive in this global economy.
                                      Tammy

                                      Elizabeth Jaeger <elizabethjaeger@...> wrote:
                                      I would only ask for evidence of the improvement you site.

                                      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong
                                      parental
                                      > and student support, declared that instead of administering the
                                      tests,
                                      > they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take
                                      back
                                      > our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                                      > which people of all ages can thrive."
                                      >
                                      > When were our schools "positive learning communities in which
                                      people
                                      > of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB
                                      as
                                      > it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy
                                      accountability
                                      > within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                                      > some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                                      > impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                                      > evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further
                                      from
                                      > the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is
                                      why
                                      > testing took on such added importance.
                                      >
                                      > High stakes testing is far from a panacea, but I have witnessed a
                                      wave
                                      > of positive change as a result of the added emphasis on serious
                                      > academics, on professionalism amongst teachers and support staff,
                                      and
                                      > especially on making sure that ALL (not just some) groups of
                                      students
                                      > make academic progress. I think that, on balance, we're a lot
                                      better
                                      > off than we were five years ago. It might be less comfortable for
                                      > some people, but students seem to have grown (though of course they
                                      > have a great deal farther to go) in their basic academic skills.
                                      This
                                      > is no surprise, since the best way to "teach to the test" is to
                                      work
                                      > harder (and smarter) to increase students' abilities in what the
                                      tests
                                      > are attempting to measure, which are mainly literacy and
                                      numeracy.
                                      >
                                      > I'm always amazed to hear "test anxiety" given as a reason for
                                      > avoiding tests. The poor children! They might be uncomfortable.
                                      > Heaven forbid that we teach our students ways to overcome such
                                      > anxieties; who needs to learn presence of mind, relaxation while
                                      under
                                      > pressure, the courage and desire to thrive while performing
                                      difficult
                                      > tasks, etc.? What use could that possibly have in the real world?
                                      >
                                      > I'm sure I'll be pilloried in this forum for holding these non-P.C.
                                      > opinions, but so be it.
                                      >
                                      > Ralph
                                      >
                                      > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@ wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid
                                      responses
                                      > to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids
                                      out
                                      > of the state tests.
                                      > >
                                      > > If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                                      > oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here
                                      are
                                      > three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a
                                      > wake-up call:
                                      > >
                                      > > 1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting
                                      more
                                      > involved in their children's education (something the pols say they
                                      > want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their
                                      FERPA
                                      > rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to
                                      > review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets
                                      mean,
                                      > it would really gum up the works. It would be important for
                                      teachers
                                      > to support parents in making these requests.
                                      > >
                                      > > 2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of
                                      > parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the
                                      > program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be
                                      > supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from
                                      > "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the
                                      > school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of
                                      > where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent
                                      opt
                                      > outs.
                                      > >
                                      > > 3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of
                                      > teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that
                                      > instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach
                                      students
                                      > on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch
                                      them do
                                      > that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the
                                      positive
                                      > learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As
                                      > Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                                      > >
                                      > > Any other ideas?
                                      > > Peace,
                                      > > Marilyn
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > -------------- Original message --------------
                                      > > From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@>
                                      > >
                                      > > > Ralph,
                                      > > >
                                      > > > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing
                                      their
                                      > children
                                      > > > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are
                                      prepared
                                      > for it.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This
                                      means
                                      > for two
                                      > > > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                                      > instructional
                                      > > > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of
                                      one
                                      > week of
                                      > > > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can
                                      take
                                      > up to
                                      > > > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                                      > giving just
                                      > > > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the
                                      students.
                                      > Then you
                                      > > > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers
                                      and
                                      > aides and
                                      > > > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                                      > tests for
                                      > > > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction,
                                      of
                                      > the six
                                      > > > months your child is in school.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing
                                      primarily
                                      > not to
                                      > > > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                                      > flowing into
                                      > > > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge
                                      was
                                      > to focus
                                      > > > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                                      > speaking. The
                                      > > > district resources were given to those students because by
                                      raising
                                      > that
                                      > > > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                                      > enough to
                                      > > > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would
                                      cause
                                      > a State
                                      > > > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of
                                      the
                                      > original
                                      > > > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of
                                      all the
                                      > > > students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                                      > abandoned in
                                      > > > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat
                                      the
                                      > system.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                                      > sort of
                                      > > > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                                      > continue to
                                      > > > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their
                                      general
                                      > > > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason
                                      has
                                      > now become
                                      > > > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                                      > suggest
                                      > > > without taking away from the general education time. It was
                                      done
                                      > while my
                                      > > > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However,
                                      it was
                                      > > > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above
                                      testing
                                      > > > manipulation.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to
                                      say
                                      > you can
                                      > > > compare your child with other students because of these tests
                                      is a
                                      > fallacy.
                                      > > > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county
                                      and
                                      > each
                                      > > > district prepares their students is different. The way each
                                      > teacher gives
                                      > > > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation,
                                      how
                                      > the school
                                      > > > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all
                                      these
                                      > reasons
                                      > > > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                                      > elementary
                                      > > > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each
                                      student and
                                      > > > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I
                                      would
                                      > not have
                                      > > > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                                      > outcomes and
                                      > > > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be
                                      fixed. But
                                      > > > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution
                                      that
                                      > I believe
                                      > > > will help the students. We need to define what we want
                                      education
                                      > to be,
                                      > > > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then
                                      create
                                      > tests that
                                      > > > will validate that definition.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there
                                      can
                                      > never be a
                                      > > > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated
                                      student.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Kevin
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > >From: "bedwellr"
                                      > > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                                      > > > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never
                                      understood
                                      > > > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking
                                      the
                                      > test
                                      > > > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in
                                      relation to
                                      > > > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                                      > adminstrators
                                      > > > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                                      > education
                                      > > > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off
                                      the
                                      > > > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                                      > > > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the
                                      test!
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >Ralph
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                                      > > > > wrote:
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > Dear Linda--
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                                      > children
                                      > > > >out of
                                      > > > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                                      > brief written
                                      > > > > > note to that effect.
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal
                                      State
                                      > Fresno on
                                      > > > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's
                                      something I
                                      > > > >learned there
                                      > > > > > that parents might find useful:
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                                      > Act), your
                                      > > > >child's
                                      > > > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                                      > right to get
                                      > > > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                                      > reasonable
                                      > > > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those
                                      records,
                                      > > > >which means
                                      > > > > > school staff would have to show you the test question
                                      booklet
                                      > to explain
                                      > > > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in
                                      the mail,
                                      > > > >you can
                                      > > > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising
                                      your
                                      > right
                                      > > > >to see
                                      > > > > > specifically which questions your child got right and
                                      wrong.
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > Marilyn
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > From: "Linda"
                                      > > > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                                      > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                      > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State
                                      Testing
                                      > begins
                                      > > > >April 11th.
                                      > > > > > > I heard the
                                      > > > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year!
                                      Does
                                      > > > >someone know
                                      > > > > > > what the latest
                                      > > > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to
                                      take all
                                      > > > >these tests?
                                      > > > > > > And where is
                                      > > > > > > this info going to?
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                                      > online by
                                      > > > >some company
                                      > > > > > > and that
                                      > > > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child.
                                      Does
                                      > anyone
                                      > > > >know more
                                      > > > > > > about this?
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which
                                      is not
                                      > > > >working.
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > Curious,
                                      > > > > > > Llnda
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      > >
                                      >






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                                      Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                                      Pinole CARE
                                      Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
                                      Pinole Valley High School Boosters
                                      Pinole Middle School Site Council President
                                      Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
                                      2668 Alhambra Way
                                      Pinole, CA 94564
                                      Home: 510-223-3857
                                      Work: 510-486-4460
                                      Fax: 510-222-4643
                                      Pager: 510-425-3192
                                      Email: Tammera.Campbell@...

                                      Following are contacts for other email lists to consider joining:
                                      Ellerhorst Elementary School: ellerhorst_etree@...
                                      Collins Elementary School: alisoncrooks@...
                                      Pinole Middle School: Tammera.Campbell@...
                                      Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@...
                                      Pinole CARE: parents@...
                                      WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com

                                      ---------------------------------
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                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Tammera Campbell
                                      Marilyn, I hold you in high esteem, but I fear that the punitive parts of NCLB will rear its ugly head if for political reasons our kids opt not to take the
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Apr 4, 2006
                                        Marilyn,
                                        I hold you in high esteem, but I fear that the punitive parts of NCLB will rear its ugly head if for political reasons our kids opt not to take the test. Ask the parents and students at ECHS if they are happy because they went under the evil eye because a group of students decided to skip the test per teacher encouragement. The lack of taking the test has now put them at risk and oversight. How much freedom will they have now to educate the students at ECHS.

                                        I believe that testing can be a pain, but as a parent I want to have some kind of testing against standards to know where my child is in the educational scheme. I do believe that punishing schools and students is the wrong thing to do if they can't reach the goals. Seems ridiculous when schools increase their API scores 150 points but fail AYP.

                                        Tests and accountability is not going away. The question is whether we can find the right formula that addresses all the needs including accountability.
                                        Tammy Campbell

                                        langlois-rine@... wrote:
                                        Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid responses to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids out of the state tests.

                                        If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here are three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a wake-up call:

                                        1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting more involved in their children's education (something the pols say they want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their FERPA rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets mean, it would really gum up the works. It would be important for teachers to support parents in making these requests.

                                        2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent opt outs.

                                        3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach students on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch them do that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."

                                        Any other ideas?
                                        Peace,
                                        Marilyn


                                        -------------- Original message --------------
                                        From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@...>

                                        > Ralph,
                                        >
                                        > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing their children
                                        > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are prepared for it.
                                        >
                                        > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This means for two
                                        > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of instructional
                                        > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of one week of
                                        > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can take up to
                                        > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test giving just
                                        > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the students. Then you
                                        > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers and aides and
                                        > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the tests for
                                        > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction, of the six
                                        > months your child is in school.
                                        >
                                        > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing primarily not to
                                        > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars flowing into
                                        > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge was to focus
                                        > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally speaking. The
                                        > district resources were given to those students because by raising that
                                        > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores enough to
                                        > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would cause a State
                                        > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of the original
                                        > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of all the
                                        > students. The lower level and upper level students were being abandoned in
                                        > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat the system.
                                        >
                                        > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some sort of
                                        > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will continue to
                                        > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their general
                                        > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason has now become
                                        > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                                        >
                                        > There is a way to test students individually that does what you suggest
                                        > without taking away from the general education time. It was done while my
                                        > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However, it was
                                        > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above testing
                                        > manipulation.
                                        >
                                        > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to say you can
                                        > compare your child with other students because of these tests is a fallacy.
                                        > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county and each
                                        > district prepares their students is different. The way each teacher gives
                                        > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation, how the school
                                        > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all these reasons
                                        > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent elementary
                                        > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each student and
                                        > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I would not have
                                        > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence outcomes and
                                        > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                                        >
                                        > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be fixed. But
                                        > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution that I believe
                                        > will help the students. We need to define what we want education to be,
                                        > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then create tests that
                                        > will validate that definition.
                                        >
                                        > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there can never be a
                                        > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated student.
                                        >
                                        > Kevin
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > >From: "bedwellr"
                                        > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                        > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                        > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                                        > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                                        > >
                                        > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never understood
                                        > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking the test
                                        > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in relation to
                                        > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and adminstrators
                                        > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their education
                                        > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off the
                                        > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                                        > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the test!
                                        > >
                                        > >Ralph
                                        > >
                                        > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                                        > > wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Dear Linda--
                                        > > >
                                        > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their children
                                        > >out of
                                        > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a brief written
                                        > > > note to that effect.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal State Fresno on
                                        > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's something I
                                        > >learned there
                                        > > > that parents might find useful:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), your
                                        > >child's
                                        > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a right to get
                                        > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to reasonable
                                        > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those records,
                                        > >which means
                                        > > > school staff would have to show you the test question booklet to explain
                                        > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in the mail,
                                        > >you can
                                        > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising your right
                                        > >to see
                                        > > > specifically which questions your child got right and wrong.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Marilyn
                                        > > >
                                        > > > > From: "Linda"
                                        > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                                        > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                        > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State Testing begins
                                        > >April 11th.
                                        > > > > I heard the
                                        > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year! Does
                                        > >someone know
                                        > > > > what the latest
                                        > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to take all
                                        > >these tests?
                                        > > > > And where is
                                        > > > > this info going to?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored online by
                                        > >some company
                                        > > > > and that
                                        > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child. Does anyone
                                        > >know more
                                        > > > > about this?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which is not
                                        > >working.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Curious,
                                        > > > > Llnda
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >

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                                        Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                                        Pinole CARE
                                        Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
                                        Pinole Valley High School Boosters
                                        Pinole Middle School Site Council President
                                        Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
                                        2668 Alhambra Way
                                        Pinole, CA 94564
                                        Home: 510-223-3857
                                        Work: 510-486-4460
                                        Fax: 510-222-4643
                                        Pager: 510-425-3192
                                        Email: Tammera.Campbell@...

                                        Following are contacts for other email lists to consider joining:
                                        Ellerhorst Elementary School: ellerhorst_etree@...
                                        Collins Elementary School: alisoncrooks@...
                                        Pinole Middle School: Tammera.Campbell@...
                                        Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@...
                                        Pinole CARE: parents@...
                                        WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com

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                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • rcs101@att.net
                                        --First, one should never avoid the issue of failing students, be it socially, emotionally or academically. But how many test does it take to know that a
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Apr 4, 2006
                                          --First, one should never avoid the issue of failing students, be it socially, emotionally or academically. But how many test does it take to know that a student is not progressing in the above areas? A teacher, parent, friend or family member would be able to know how a child is progressing without any one giving him/her a test. The test in most cases verify what is already known, therefore, "how many test does it take"?

                                          Second, one must ask whether the data from "one" given test on "one give day" is a valid measure of a students abilities. If one believe so, then all the other test that students have taken (teacher observation, in class test, STAR, etc)have provide incorrect data or have been over looked by those in a position to help students move forward. Or as some would say, the public system is a place where social promotion is the game and student failure is their name. The implication behind the High School Exit Exam is a moral dilemma for teachers, administrators and parent to some degree. The questions are; have we allowed a student to pass all the requirements for graduation without proper preparation for the next steps in their life? Did we lie to students and parents about a child's ability to move on to the next level without him/her properly acquiring the necessary skills? Or is the curriculum taught so inadequate that what we think is an "A" student is merely a "C" at best or "D" st
                                          udent?

                                          If the answer to any one of the questions is "yes" then all the test in the world will not help the students, because by allowing a student to believe he/she has master the grade level requirements and much later tell them they are failures, is a crime of moral deviants that those who had a responsibility to the student's success should suffer the consequences. I hold parent the least responsible, in that they are told (and legally mandate until 16) to bring their children into a public environment that should enhance their abilities and where they are require to spend time, monies (tax dollar) supporting when their children are not receiving what school district's say they are doing to improve the quality of life for the students. Maybe this explains the home school and charter school movement. Any child that has pass all District level requirements for graduation and do not receive a diploma because of the Exit Exam should sue any and all persons involved in their education.

                                          As far as opting out of testing, one should do so, if they believe that the test is not a valid measure of a students ability or if they believe it is morally wrong to kill the spirit of a student after years of study and blaming the victims of a morally corrupt system. Therefore, board member David Brown action is an act of civil disobedience that should be supported because to do otherwise is to say, "you have supported a system that have not done its job and you have lied to students and parents for all the years that the students have been in your charge". Not only have you lied to them, but you have taken their most important resource, their children and tax dollars to feed an academically and morally corrupt system.

                                          Also, as it relates to third world societies, educationally, they are more advanced then this capitalist society. Most of the leadership of this country have been "C" students. Therefore, as history will show, the most morally diviant persons are the ones with the most wealth. All one has to do is to look at the labels on most items they buy and know that we are producing nothing but a morally corrupt leadership that will not stand the test of time.

                                          Scottie Smith



                                          -------------- Original message ----------------------
                                          From: Tammera Campbell <tammeracampbell@...>
                                          > I can understand the concern for special ed students and foreign speaking
                                          > students passing the standardized tests and high school exit exams, but frankly
                                          > folks we need to have some sort of accountability for what our general ed
                                          > children are learning in school. If you are a regular ed student who cannot
                                          > pass the high school exit exam by the time you are in 10th grade, then we had
                                          > better look at the education our children are receiving from K-10 and focus on
                                          > improving that strategy. Avoiding the issues and making excuses will not help
                                          > these children succeed to adulthood. If we don't raise expectations high we
                                          > will have a third world society that cannot survive in this global economy.
                                          > Tammy
                                          >
                                          > Elizabeth Jaeger <elizabethjaeger@...> wrote:
                                          > I would only ask for evidence of the improvement you site.
                                          >
                                          > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Marilyn writes: "If massive numbers of teachers, with strong
                                          > parental
                                          > > and student support, declared that instead of administering the
                                          > tests,
                                          > > they were going to teach students on test days ... we could take
                                          > back
                                          > > our schools and fill them with the positive learning communities in
                                          > > which people of all ages can thrive."
                                          > >
                                          > > When were our schools "positive learning communities in which
                                          > people
                                          > > of all ages ... thrive(d)"? While I certainly don't support NCLB
                                          > as
                                          > > it is presently written, I definitely DO support heavy
                                          > accountability
                                          > > within our schools, even if that is inconvenient or threatening to
                                          > > some. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are under the
                                          > > impression that our schools were tremendously successful until the
                                          > > evil of testing reared its ugly head. Nothing could be further
                                          > from
                                          > > the truth, of course; our schools were failing miserably, which is
                                          > why
                                          > > testing took on such added importance.
                                          > >
                                          > > High stakes testing is far from a panacea, but I have witnessed a
                                          > wave
                                          > > of positive change as a result of the added emphasis on serious
                                          > > academics, on professionalism amongst teachers and support staff,
                                          > and
                                          > > especially on making sure that ALL (not just some) groups of
                                          > students
                                          > > make academic progress. I think that, on balance, we're a lot
                                          > better
                                          > > off than we were five years ago. It might be less comfortable for
                                          > > some people, but students seem to have grown (though of course they
                                          > > have a great deal farther to go) in their basic academic skills.
                                          > This
                                          > > is no surprise, since the best way to "teach to the test" is to
                                          > work
                                          > > harder (and smarter) to increase students' abilities in what the
                                          > tests
                                          > > are attempting to measure, which are mainly literacy and
                                          > numeracy.
                                          > >
                                          > > I'm always amazed to hear "test anxiety" given as a reason for
                                          > > avoiding tests. The poor children! They might be uncomfortable.
                                          > > Heaven forbid that we teach our students ways to overcome such
                                          > > anxieties; who needs to learn presence of mind, relaxation while
                                          > under
                                          > > pressure, the courage and desire to thrive while performing
                                          > difficult
                                          > > tasks, etc.? What use could that possibly have in the real world?
                                          > >
                                          > > I'm sure I'll be pilloried in this forum for holding these non-P.C.
                                          > > opinions, but so be it.
                                          > >
                                          > > Ralph
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, langlois-rine@ wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Thanks, Kevin, Elizabeth, Eduardo and Jill for your lucid
                                          > responses
                                          > > to David's question about why someone might want to opt their kids
                                          > out
                                          > > of the state tests.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > If you feel the state and federal laws on API and AYP are
                                          > > oppressive, and are frustrated by legislative foot-dragging, here
                                          > are
                                          > > three levels of nonviolent resistance that could give lawmakers a
                                          > > wake-up call:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > 1. Cooperative resistance: In the spirit of parents getting
                                          > more
                                          > > involved in their children's education (something the pols say they
                                          > > want, right?)-- If massive numbers of parents exercised their
                                          > FERPA
                                          > > rights to get copies of their children's test answer sheets and to
                                          > > review the test booklets so they can see what the answer sheets
                                          > mean,
                                          > > it would really gum up the works. It would be important for
                                          > teachers
                                          > > to support parents in making these requests.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > 2. Noncooperative resistance, low risk: If massive numbers of
                                          > > parents opted their children out of taking the state tests, the
                                          > > program would soon fizzle. Again, teachers would need to be
                                          > > supportive of this action, even though state law prevents them from
                                          > > "encouraging" it. As for threats that opting out will cause the
                                          > > school to lose money, there is no documented case that I'm aware of
                                          > > where a school has actually lost any Title 1 funds due to parent
                                          > opt
                                          > > outs.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > 3. Noncooperative resistance, high risk: If massive numbers of
                                          > > teachers, with strong parental and student support, declared that
                                          > > instead of administering the tests, they were going to teach
                                          > students
                                          > > on test days (and perhaps even invite the public to come watch
                                          > them do
                                          > > that!), we could take back our schools and fill them with the
                                          > positive
                                          > > learning communities in which people of all ages can thrive. As
                                          > > Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see."
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Any other ideas?
                                          > > > Peace,
                                          > > > Marilyn
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > > -------------- Original message --------------
                                          > > > From: "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@>
                                          > > >
                                          > > > > Ralph,
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > In order to understand why a parent would opt out of testing
                                          > their
                                          > > children
                                          > > > > you have to understand the testing and how the kids are
                                          > prepared
                                          > > for it.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Some of the tests are given two weeks of preparation. This
                                          > means
                                          > > for two
                                          > > > > weeks lesson plans are put aside. There are only 180 days of
                                          > > instructional
                                          > > > > education in a school year. If each test takes an average of
                                          > one
                                          > > week of
                                          > > > > preparation and there are four tests a year and the tests can
                                          > take
                                          > > up to
                                          > > > > three days to give then there are a total of six weeks of test
                                          > > giving just
                                          > > > > for the State and Federal mandates. That is just for the
                                          > students.
                                          > > Then you
                                          > > > > figure in the Staff development days needed for the teachers
                                          > and
                                          > > aides and
                                          > > > > volunteers to be trained in how to give the tests prepare the
                                          > > tests for
                                          > > > > correction and you have, a total of two months of distraction,
                                          > of
                                          > > the six
                                          > > > > months your child is in school.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > But the real kicker is the schools are doing the testing
                                          > primarily
                                          > > not to
                                          > > > > find out where each student is but to keep the Federal dollars
                                          > > flowing into
                                          > > > > the schools. This district's plan while Gloria was in charge
                                          > was
                                          > > to focus
                                          > > > > attention on about the lower middle student, educationally
                                          > > speaking. The
                                          > > > > district resources were given to those students because by
                                          > raising
                                          > > that
                                          > > > > groups test scores the district could raise the overall scores
                                          > > enough to
                                          > > > > keep the low performing schools out of the levels that would
                                          > cause
                                          > > a State
                                          > > > > takeover. In other words the testing became a manipulation of
                                          > the
                                          > > original
                                          > > > > reasons for the tests and was not being used for the good of
                                          > all the
                                          > > > > students. The lower level and upper level students were being
                                          > > abandoned in
                                          > > > > the hopes of raising the students scores that could help beat
                                          > the
                                          > > system.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > If parents continue to allow this testing to go on without some
                                          > > sort of
                                          > > > > protest then the lower level kids and the upper level kids will
                                          > > continue to
                                          > > > > suffer from the loss of the two months taken away from their
                                          > general
                                          > > > > education time that is taken up by testing, who's main reason
                                          > has
                                          > > now become
                                          > > > > keeping the Federal dollars flowing.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > There is a way to test students individually that does what you
                                          > > suggest
                                          > > > > without taking away from the general education time. It was
                                          > done
                                          > > while my
                                          > > > > daughter was at Richmond High and it was successful. However,
                                          > it was
                                          > > > > torpedoed by downtown administration in favor of the above
                                          > testing
                                          > > > > manipulation.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > The tests to support NCLB are different in every state so to
                                          > say
                                          > > you can
                                          > > > > compare your child with other students because of these tests
                                          > is a
                                          > > fallacy.
                                          > > > > Not only are each States tests different, the way each county
                                          > and
                                          > > each
                                          > > > > district prepares their students is different. The way each
                                          > > teacher gives
                                          > > > > the test is different. Slight nuances, coaching, preparation,
                                          > how
                                          > > the school
                                          > > > > notifies parents and encourages parental participation, all
                                          > these
                                          > > reasons
                                          > > > > make a huge difference. When my daughter was in Independent
                                          > > elementary
                                          > > > > school the teacher gave the tests and went around to each
                                          > student and
                                          > > > > suggested they check answers. Had I not been in the room I
                                          > would
                                          > > not have
                                          > > > > seen that. What other teachers do in their rooms influence
                                          > > outcomes and
                                          > > > > therefore are not necessarily objective.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > The educational delivery system is broken and needs to be
                                          > fixed. But
                                          > > > > starting with testing and working backwards is not a solution
                                          > that
                                          > > I believe
                                          > > > > will help the students. We need to define what we want
                                          > education
                                          > > to be,
                                          > > > > create a delivery system to meet that definition and then
                                          > create
                                          > > tests that
                                          > > > > will validate that definition.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Right now there is no clear definition of education so there
                                          > can
                                          > > never be a
                                          > > > > test to validate this illusionary target we call an educated
                                          > student.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Kevin
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > >From: "bedwellr"
                                          > > > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Too Many Tests?
                                          > > > > >Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 03:27:10 -0000
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >Students may opt out at parental request, but I've never
                                          > understood
                                          > > > > >why a parent would not want their child to take them. Taking
                                          > the
                                          > > test
                                          > > > > >will (a) help parents know where their child stands in
                                          > relation to
                                          > > > > >other students in their same grade; b) help teachers and
                                          > > adminstrators
                                          > > > > >know what strategies to use to best help that child in their
                                          > > education
                                          > > > > >in the near future; and (c) help keep the child's school off
                                          > the
                                          > > > > >failing schools list. The test is free and valuable for all
                                          > > > > >concerned; I would never consider having my kids sit out the
                                          > test!
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >Ralph
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marilyn Langlois
                                          > > > > > wrote:
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > Dear Linda--
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > The California Ed Code gives parents the right to opt their
                                          > > children
                                          > > > > >out of
                                          > > > > > > the STAR test. All you have to do is give the principal a
                                          > > brief written
                                          > > > > > > note to that effect.
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > Last Friday and Saturday I attended a conference at Cal
                                          > State
                                          > > Fresno on
                                          > > > > > > Critical Literacy and High Stakes Testing. Here's
                                          > something I
                                          > > > > >learned there
                                          > > > > > > that parents might find useful:
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy
                                          > > Act), your
                                          > > > > >child's
                                          > > > > > > test answer sheet is an "education record" that you have a
                                          > > right to get
                                          > > > > > > access to. FERPA furthermore requires schools to respond to
                                          > > reasonable
                                          > > > > > > requests for explanations and interpretations of those
                                          > records,
                                          > > > > >which means
                                          > > > > > > school staff would have to show you the test question
                                          > booklet
                                          > > to explain
                                          > > > > > > what your child's answer sheet means.
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > In other words, come summer, when test scores arrive in
                                          > the mail,
                                          > > > > >you can
                                          > > > > > > find out what those numbers actually mean, by exercising
                                          > your
                                          > > right
                                          > > > > >to see
                                          > > > > > > specifically which questions your child got right and
                                          > wrong.
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > Marilyn
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > From: "Linda"
                                          > > > > > > > Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > > > > > > Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:42:59 -0000
                                          > > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Too Many Tests?
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > In a Thursday packet from our school it said: State
                                          > Testing
                                          > > begins
                                          > > > > >April 11th.
                                          > > > > > > > I heard the
                                          > > > > > > > School District is giving 9 tests to our kids this year!
                                          > Does
                                          > > > > >someone know
                                          > > > > > > > what the latest
                                          > > > > > > > tests are? And how do I opt out of my child having to
                                          > take all
                                          > > > > >these tests?
                                          > > > > > > > And where is
                                          > > > > > > > this info going to?
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > I also heard that some of these test records are stored
                                          > > online by
                                          > > > > >some company
                                          > > > > > > > and that
                                          > > > > > > > potentially others can access this info on your child.
                                          > Does
                                          > > anyone
                                          > > > > >know more
                                          > > > > > > > about this?
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > I tried to look up this info on the District Site, which
                                          > is not
                                          > > > > >working.
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > Curious,
                                          > > > > > > > Llnda
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
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                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                                          > Pinole CARE
                                          > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
                                          > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
                                          > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
                                          > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
                                          > 2668 Alhambra Way
                                          > Pinole, CA 94564
                                          > Home: 510-223-3857
                                          > Work: 510-486-4460
                                          > Fax: 510-222-4643
                                          > Pager: 510-425-3192
                                          > Email: Tammera.Campbell@...
                                          >
                                          > Following are contacts for other email lists to consider joining:
                                          > Ellerhorst Elementary School: ellerhorst_etree@...
                                          > Collins Elementary School: alisoncrooks@...
                                          > Pinole Middle School: Tammera.Campbell@...
                                          > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@...
                                          > Pinole CARE: parents@...
                                          > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
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                                          > New Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Call regular phones from your PC and save big.
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