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Re: Too Many Tests?

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  • 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 1 of 19 , Mar 31, 2006
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      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 2 of 19 , Apr 1 8:52 AM
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        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 3 of 19 , Apr 1 11:22 AM
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          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 4 of 19 , Apr 1 2:49 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            --- 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 5 of 19 , Apr 1 2:50 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 19 , Apr 2 8:41 PM
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 19 , Apr 4 12:46 PM
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 19 , Apr 4 1:00 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 19 , Apr 4 7:36 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --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@...
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