After writing about the apparent lack of immediate consequences to boycotting the state exams, I received this text message from a local school administrator:
It is to the advantage of urban youth to take the exams. The state calibrated based on performance. If the exams are only calibrated based on high performing suburban and rural districts, the cut scores will be that much more difficult.
Parents who have college bound students know that.
K-8 exams are being calibrated to be a predictor of HS exams.
I graduated from John Marshall High School, which was a low-performing school with a high drop-out rate. I never would have gotten into Cornell University without SATs, APs and Regents exams showing I was on par with my peers at high-performing suburban schools. Without those measurements, Cornell would have assumed I went to a crappy school and wouldn’t have been able to do quality work.
(Perhaps I wouldn’t have gotten into Cornell had I attended Brighton, where 40 kids probably applied versus Marshall, where I was the only one who applied. If you want your kid to go to an Ivy League school, perhaps the answer is send them to a school where there isn’t so much internal competition!)
It’s important that tests be valid and accurate, and there’s much debate over whether New York’s tests achieve that goal. It’s also important to note many feel there’s simply too much testing and “teaching to the test.” But the point here is that good measurements are needed, especially in an educational system with so much inequality.
Links of the Day:
– Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski has only one job – to advocate for teachers. Blaming him for district problems is an exercise in teacher and union bashing.
– After deaths a jail medical provider, used by Monroe County and others, is under scrutiny. The medical director called inmate patients “train wrecks.”
– Too much traffic is not a reason to kill the Pittsford YMCA project. Drive slower.
– Upstate New York dairy farmers are in the middle of the immigration debate.
– The New York Times profiled Jenna Marbles, an Internet star with a “flat Rochester accent.”
– Does Sabres owner Terry Pegula think he’s above media criticism?