More Testing for 8 Year Olds in NC

by Ilinap on February 6, 2014

It’s no secret what I think about standardized testing. Testing, testing companies, and ed reformers are killing education. They are sucking the joy out of learning and teaching. No longer do we value children’s curiosity, imagination, creativity, and joy. Those who claim to care about children areactually more interested in profits over pupils. The madness must end.

And we parents play a vital role in this battle.

 

I am sharing a letter from a fellow third grade parent (with permission). Please take a look and take action. My own third grade son just got the highest report card marks he could get in reading, yet he continues to waste his time taking tests. He has a marvelous teacher (swoon worthy caliber). This isn’t about the teacher. It’s about what we are forcing teachers to do.

Due to the new Read to Achieve law, third graders in North Carolina took reading proficiency tests last Fall, and some of them could read proficiently at that time. The State has said those children are exempt from further Read to Achieve testing, but Wake County is continuing to test them.

The state board of education met today and declared new testing exemptions for Wake County. Read more here.  I think the following letter is still worth sharing. 

 

We have been trying to get the memo to 3rd grade parents, especially room moms or dads and PTA advocacy chairs and presidents.

 

Dear Fellow Parent of A Third Grade Student in WCPSS:

 

Probably you have heard about the new and well intentioned Read to Achieve legislation that sets a goal for children to be reading at grade level by the end of third grade, with the associated additional standardized testing.  There are several ways that a child can demonstrate proficiency. Two and a half weeks ago, the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released additional guidance on Read to Achieve. The memo states that any child who meets one of five qualifications has satisfied the requirements of the Read to Achieve law.  The second of those isachieves a scale score of at least 442 on the North Carolina Grade 3 Beginning-of-Grade English Language Arts/Reading Test (BOG3).  Prior to this guidance, Wake County Public Schools had decided that every third grade student, except those meet the criteria under the special education and limited English proficiency exemptions, would participate in the portfolio process (another way to satisfy the law). This process constitutes a minimum of 36 mini-tests taking at least 18 instructional hours away from students and teachers. As recently asFriday, after direct requests, the Wake County Public Schools had not exempted those students who scored a 442 or above on the BOG3 test from this 18 hours of additional testing. Stated another way, under the current policy WCPSS is requiring additional, unnecessary standardized testing that is not required by the new law.

You should have received the information from your principal/teacher on or around the beginning of December. It would have come home with a cover letter about the Read to Achieve initiative.  

I ask that you consider doing several things:

Forward this information to other third grade parents at your school.

If your child scored a 442 or above on the BOG3 and you agree that they should not have 18 more hours of testing and lose 18 hours of instructional timecontact school board members about your concerns. Ask that the Board or school system administration incorporate the recent guidance from DPI into the WCPSS policy, to avoid unnecessary, duplicative testing. You can use this link to get their e-mail addresses. 

You may wish to voice your concerns at the school board meeting during the public comment period. Three parents from Lacy spoke about this at the last meeting, and they especially need to hear from parents at other schools. 

Superintendent Merrill is having one more community forums on February 17.   

 

 

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