Posts tagged "change the stakes"
May 22, 2012
A group of parents and teachers are once again preparing to opt their children out of state tests, this time when their schools will administer “field” exams in over a thousand elementary and middle schools across the city next month.
Field testing allows test makers to gauge the value of future test questions. Pearson, the company that currently makes New York’s state tests, is preparing a slew of new questions that are aligned with new learning standards known as the Common Core. This spring’s field tests focus on science, math, or reading, depending on the grade level. Students in selected schools already took the science test in mid-May, which was for grades 4 and 8. The math and reading tests are scheduled for the first week of June.
The parents and teachers, who are part of the Change the Stakes coalition, are calling on parents to protest the testing, which will be administered on behalf of Pearson Education, the test publisher that famously drew criticism for the “pineapple” test questions on the state’s eighth-grade English exam in April.
“This is just research for the company,” said Tony Kelso, whose third-grader is supposed to take the reading field test at Amistad Dual Language School in Inwood.
Kelso added that he doubted Pearson would get useful information from the tests. “My understanding is that the tests aren’t even reliable. The students know they won’t count so they don’t take them seriously,” he said. (more…)
April 18, 2012
Carol Burris, the principal of a Long Island high school, isn’t done fighting. Even after her statewide principals petition failed to sway lawmakers from passing a teacher evaluation bill last month, she’s hoping her newest effort — a poll — will do the trick.
Beginning today, Burris is sending out surveys to principals, teachers, and parents about New York State’s high-stakes testing policy “to give voice to the concerns that we are hearing from all three groups,” she said. ”We have no intention of not continuing our fight.”
She said she expects that the results from the surveys will reflect her own concerns about the testing role in teacher evaluations. “We hope that policymakers and the public will be interested in our findings,” said Burris.
Burris discussed the strategy Tuesday evening at a forum about high-stakes testing held at Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan. She sat on a panel alongside Class Size Matters’ Leonie Haimson; Gary Rubinstein, a math teacher known for crunching the city school data on his blog; and Khalilah Brann, a teacher at Bushwick Community High School, which is facing closure because of its student performance data.
The forum, which attracted about 50 people, was organized by Change the Stakes, a group that grew out of a committee formed by a teacher activist group, the Grassroots Education Movement, last year. (more…)