Rochester City School District board member Willa Powell has joined the ranks of parents boycotting next week’s state tests. She says her third-grade son has been tested enough already, hasn’t been taught all the material that will appear on the tests and doesn’t want his data given to testing companies.
Parents can instruct their children to refuse to take the exam. Some schools are providing alternate activities. Others are strongly pressuring parents to reconsider.
But what are the consequences for children who do not take the test? According to an email I received from the State Education Department, there don’t appear to be any, especially if the child shows up to school. There’s no mention of a child being failed or held back a grade:
All students are expected to participate in State assessments as part of the core academic program. Absences from all or part of the required academic program should be managed consistent with the attendance policies of the district. For accountability and other statewide reporting purposes, students who do not participate in an assessment are reported to the State as “not tested” (except those with a valid medical excuse).
Cutting through the jargon and acronyms, it appears there could be consequences for a school down the line if fewer than 95 percent of students or 95 percent of all racial and income subgroups participate. Here’s the school consequence part of the email:
(1) Schools in which subgroups do not meet the participation rate will fail to make AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress).
(2) SED will continue to determine and report AYP every year. A school that has not been designated as Focus or Priority and fails to make AYP for the same subgroup for the same measure for 09-10, 10-11 and 11-12 would be identified this year as a Local Assistance Plan (LAP) school. LAP schools would have their accountability status changed from Good Standing to LAP for the 2013-14 school year. LAP schools, in collaboration with the school district, will be required to annually use a diagnostic tool to develop a local assistance plan.
(3) Although SED plans to designate Priority Schools only once during the waiver period, accountability status can change during the waiver period. For example, Good Standing schools can become LAP schools.
(4) Schools failing to make AYP cannot come off Priority and Focus Status. Focus and Priority schools can petition to have their designation removed if, among other things, they meet the participation requirement in ELA and math for all accountability groups (Focus) and for all groups for which the school is accountable in the most current school year results that are being used as the basis for the petition (Priority).
(5) Schools failing to make AYP cannot become Reward Schools and are therefore ineligible to receive the funding that comes with that designation.
Do you honestly think the state will penalize Pittsford or place it on a bad schools list if fewer than 95 percent of students take the test? I doubt it. So many RCSD schools are already on bad schools lists, I have to wonder if a boycott would make much of a difference.
I did hear from an RCSD parent who wants her children to take the state tests because they will likely do well and she wants their teacher to be rewarded.
This is a video from the State Education Department warning parents test scores will drop:
Links of the Day:
– “There is no evidence that placing officers in the schools improves safety.” But it does land kids in court.
– Queen Bee CEOs get all the scrutiny, while King Wasps get a pass.
– Rochester’s Mushroom House is for sale again, with a high price.
NBC.WSJ poll: 53% back gay marriage, 42% oppose; in ’04 was 30%-62%. Fueling shift: 79% say they know someone gay or lesbian, up from 62%.
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) April 12, 2013