Does this school really care for the children?

…or is this what education has become?

From a Georgia school:

image

I have no words. Please feel free to comment below.

Comments

  1. Puget Sound Parent says:

    My child has NEVER taken one of these tests since the first grade, when I realized what the agenda behind them is. And he never will.

    Am I worried about his education future? Quite the contrary, I’m quite confident he’ll do fine, in whatever he chooses to do. His mom and I pay very close attention to all of this.

    And, in almost every state with such “requirements”, I urge all parents to read the actual statutes and/or regulatory language: In my state, the law requires “the passing of the XYZ exam OR THE EQUIVALENT—-a key phrase/qualifier for all of us to know. Namely, if in the judgment of the teacher, or the principal or some other qualified educator, your child is equipped to move forward, based on all of the work he or she has submitted throughout the year, it is considered THE SAME as passing this vile, manipulative, politicized test.

    Now, I know this differs from state to state but give it a try, wherever you live. In Washington State, the law on testing is designed for these intelligent exceptions. It must be similar elsewhere as well.

    Don’t give them The Data: they’ll use it to close our schools and screw us all royally. Don’t play into their hands—those that send their own precious progeny to “private academies” where standardized testing rarely occurs and where art, music, history, literature and drama are emphasized as part of producing a well-rounded, civically engaged person.

    Why is is good enough for THEIR children but not ours?

  2. Hmmm…. the school cares but with it’s back against the wall and with the assault on public education by political and corporate interests, we should be asking, do WE care about enough about public education to elect public servants who value education over test scores???

  3. I taught 3rd grade in a Title I school in Phoenix. I had mostly good parents, who wanted the best for their children. What I experienced were children who should have been tested for learning disabilities and weren’t. The Child Study team, which the principal had control of, almost always sent the teacher back to try more “strategies”. Almost always, these “strategies” didn’t work. I had a student who was probably high-functioning autistic. The principal told me she knew the child was most certainly autistic, but mom wasn’t ready to hear this. Isn’t that what we as educators are supposed to do–help the parents. My understanding of learning disabilities is the sooner you diagnose and help the child the better. This is only one example. By the way, my former teammates tell me nothing is being done for this child, and he is in 5th grade. They also tell me that if kids are held back at the 3rd grade level for reading, there will be many 3rd grade classes. Why not get these children the help they need as soon as possible? Because there is no money. It is going to the Charter schools and charter schools don’t have to take learning disabled or behavior problems.

  4. This is the system we have allowed to expand for the past 15 years. When I was doing my first research on high stakes tests in Louisiana in 2000, the poor schools were hosting “Lean on Jesus” test preparation rallies and puked on test booklets were being sent back to the state DOE in Zip Locks. That was the first year that 4th graders had to pass the LEAP to move to 5th grade. By 2003, some had been held back three times. Forty percent were retained at Alpha Elementary that year and in most years since. The genocide continues, entirely unaffected by angry incredulity.

  5. So a school is trying to get parental involvement using some creative approaches and this is a bad thing? If you do this with your child already, great! You don’t have to attend. Meanwhile there are a ton of other families who don’t and this is a great way for them to get involved in their child’s learning. They even provide a meal and a babysitter for other siblings and people are complaining??? Really??

    • Diana Andrade says:

      I think it’s because it says if I don’t pass my reading portion of the test I won’t be able to move on to 4th grade. I don’t think that’s true.

      • That is actually very true. A student can take the test again and if they fail again they still may be able to move on based on the decisions of the parents, teachers and school admins.

    • It’s the “learn some reading and test taking strategies” that’s the turn off for me!! Also, I find it inappropriate that a child’s promotion to 4th grade depends on the standardized test alone!! Why do we still bother with teachers if it is the test that determines student progress and performance?Oh…never mind, it is only a matter of time when teachers will indeed be obsolete. Frank Smith predicted that this would happen, almost 30 years ago.

      In his book, Insult to Intelligence: The Bureaucratic Invasion of Our Classrooms, he writes,”..The computer is the ultimate weapon of instructional programmers, and in many people’s minds at least, it is a device to take the place of teachers. Anyone who believes that students learn best from systematic instruction and tests can say goodbye to teachers. For dispensing programmatic instruction, computers are cheaper and more efficient than humans.

      ..Our schools should not remain places where the enormous potential of the human brain is systematically eroded, and possibly destroyed. The invasion of education by instructional programmers must be turned back now.”

      • Why is the phrase learn some reading a test taking strategies a turn off? What specifically? So are you saying a test is not a good indicator of measuring a students knowledge on a given subject? What else would you suggest? After doing some basic research, I found that although the student can be held back after failing the test the parents and teachers and administrators can discuss and eventually pass the student even if he the student fails the test multiple times. So I don’t think your argument is valid.

        • This is emblematic of the hollow “teach to the test” mantra of ed “reformers.” How many “tests” do you take as an adult? How will learning “test taking strategies” help in the adult world? How about “problem solving strategies”? Which will be more useful to someone as an adult?

          • I agree teaching more problem solving skills as well as critical thinking skills can do nothing but help. But I find dismissing test taking strategies I’ll advised. As an adult I take many tests, some to get jobs, other to maintain jobs or certifications or to become eligible for advancement. This is not even to mention tests in order to apply to grad school, phd programs, etc.

        • Puget Sound Parent says:

          The tests should be less frequent, less high stakes, and most importantly be DESIGNED by the teachers AND be directly related to what is being taught.

          With today’s standardized tests absolutely NONE of this is happening. And that’s because it isn’t really about assessing the capabilities of your child: it’s about cooking up something that looks “credible” that will be interpreted as “proof” that our schools are “bad” which will, they hope, allow even MORE of our hard-earned tax dollars to be removed from our schools and dumped into the bank accounts of these so-called “testing, evaluating, consulting” companies.

          It’s disgusting.

          Real testing—the type that American schools have always had, is fine, in moderation. This new, DC designed and dictated, scam is another thing entirely.

    • Puget Sound Parent says:

      I’m all for nights like this that encourage parents to come and attend school events—both those with an academic emphasis and those with a social/community emphasis. I think that part of it is great!

      What stinks to high heaven is the manipulation behind this particular “invitation”; it’s a less than subtle pressuring of parents to come in and effectively sanction an unfair, dumb, inaccurate high-stakes test that is almost entirely about political manipulation and shifting tax dollars into the accounts of “testing companies.”

      Don’t be fooled. Please.

      If these people really cared about the children at this school, they’d never make grade advancement contingent on one BIG STUPID TEST. Yes, stupid! Not only are these tests NOT accurately gauging how well each student is doing, they are also dumbing down our children by making them believe that these tests ARE somehow reflective of how “smart” or “dumb” they are.

      If these people held such events with no ulterior motive, I’d been applauding them. Having a school community of students, parents and teachers coming together is a beautiful thing and it benefits everyone. But this only uses that image to impose their real agenda which is all about trying to conjure up “statistical proof” (yeah, right) that “our schools and teachers REALLY do stink!” and use that fatuous claim as a way to convince politicians to open the floodgates to private firms that are salivating over ending public education so that they can suck up all of our tax dollars for their own executives and investors.

      Over my dead body, speaking for the children in my school district, incidentally.

  6. LibertyChick says:

    Common Core is all about asking questions that make you feel bad if you don’t answer it in the way the progressive socialists want to manipulate you into answering/believing. It’s all through the kids questionnaires and now it’s in the parents questionnaires. I can’t help but resist such manipulation of me. They may do less to boost participation with such efforts to control people.

  7. It isn’t the bribery that bothers me…. and for those that think tax dollars are paying for the pizza, it could also be PTA money or teachers all chipping in. I’d want to see the info on it first before jumping to conclusions. In poverty areas it is VERY hard to get parents to come to the school for anything, and pizza with babysitting is just the thing to get them in the door.

    What bothers me, is the PURPOSE for the meeting. NO, this is not about caring for the kids. It is about the school being more concerned with test scores than child interaction with parents. This could have been all about celebrating parent-child interaction for reading, for exploring the world around them, etc., with NO mention of standardized testing. To create a positive relationship with the parents and students, there shouldn’t be the words “standardized test” anywhere on these communications. This implies that the school wouldn’t even do parent involvement activities without the testing… and that is just WRONG! Gag.d

  8. eyeswideopen says:

    I find it distasteful to use the love between parent and child to guilt people into doing something. That they include threats to the child, however, really pisses me the hell off!

  9. How many of you have taught in the Georgia schools? I have. In Savannah, the poverty level for that beautiful, touristy city is 50% for the residents. The schools struggle to get parental involvement, which is a misnomer since it’s a mishmash of family members who are raising the children. Not far out of Savannah, you have KKK-infested small towns, and they flip a finger at public education. So…before you reach for your barf buckets and your punching bags, step back and see the whole picture. Not everyone lives in your universe and your neighborhood. You don’t have to fight the gangs, the poverty, the AIDS, the crime, the domestic abuse, the homelessness, the forced ignorance and racism, the pregnancies, statistics, statistics, and statistics which define struggling schools. Yes, it is about the CRCT, but if parents haven’t been coming to parent conferences (and many don’t), or Back to School Night (many don’t), maybe a plea to help kids read where there are books (many don’t have books at home) will help. Whatever it takes.

    • Puget Sound Parent says:

      I agree. It is easy to become detached from the communities that are enduring a true struggle compared to the places that we luckier folks inhabit.

      However, it’s no mistake that The Privatizers would target poor neighborhoods first, knowing the organized resistance will be much lighter and easier to buy off than in solid, upper middle class communities.

      These people are NOT committed to improving education, no matter how much they protest to the contrary. They’re simply out for money, and they see poor, minority communities as “easy pickings”.

      So now, in addition to the litany of real, and often horrific problems that you’ve listed above, you’re now going to be increasingly plagued by hedge fund operators, extremist ideologues, money-fund managers, Wall Street sharks, shysters, con artists, film flam men, privatizer shills and lackeys and bored billionaires looking for some “Monument” to their existence that will remain in place, deified, long after they’re gone.

      As if you didn’t have enough pain and heartache in your community to begin with.

      We’re on the same side here, you and me and many others. Let’s not let them pull us apart. With love and caring for ALL of our children in ALL our PUBLIC schools, sincerely.

  10. Wow—A school using the child to manipulate the parents, Disgusting, I hope this isn’t part of the Common Core curriculum debacle and this letter will be going to every home nationwide, parents are already furious over the untested, unproven curriculum foisted upon our children by a select few, And not a one of the select few ever having been a teacher in a classroom, this would just be rubbing salt in the wounds.

  11. There are times when all of my experience, training and maturity lead me to the conclusion that punching some people in the face is really the only fitting response to their nonsense.

  12. Who is paying for the pizza that won’t cost them anything (taxes?). And how horrible that this child is so aware of the consequences of a single test to his or her future. This contrived letter is hardly an example of the intention of Common Core.

  13. Coercion has no place in a democratic society, least of all in schools where it flies in the face of everything that quality education should stand for!

  14. Everybody needs to calm down. I don’t know the policies or legislation regarding standardized testing in Georgia, but I can guarantee that not promoting to the next grade level because of a test is not a local decision. This school, presumably like all schools in the state, must abide by the rules handed to them. I’m sure these school leaders were simply trying to get parents involved in the process. Why is that so bad? Isn’t that what every educator wants…parent involvement? If you don’t like the policy, that’s fine. But surely any same person could understand and see that this school is trying to help families and students. Some of you people need to get off your high horse.

    • Puget Sound Parent says:

      “High Horse” WTF?

      Get to know the people running your school. Ask them what they think of Common Core, Testing To Beat The Band, VAM measurements, high stakes testing and so forth. Privately. Once you know each other and they trust you, you’ll understand that the BEST thing you can do is to bang down the doors of the state and federal and district offices that imposed this horror show on them, and let them know that you DEMAND they end it.

      Let those who teach our children, in our schools decide what is best for our children. It really IS that simple.

  15. I can’t believe they would force a child to sign their name to such horrible typography. Font matters.

  16. John Young says:

    Reblogged this on Transparent Christina.

  17. Margaret Benson says:

    Well, if my kid brought home that note I would explain that we were not going to attend because it will be boring as hell, I know lots of test taking strategies, we already read together, and us vegans can’t eat the pizza they are ordering.

  18. James Clark says:

    You have to wonder about the administrator who sponsored the letter…. The teacher who sent it home is probably cringing- and would add something like “If your child doesn’t pass I will not be here next year… so please come. I have children of my own to support…”

  19. Commenting: I can imagine a teacher sending this out in all earnest sincerity. Does this school care? What is a school? The teacher who sent this may in fact care deeply… and has looked at other examples of, say, fundraising missives from earnest organizations. REfusing to pass judgment on the letter-sender (not feeling so kind about the entities constructing an institutional atmosphere that makes this happen).

  20. “test taking strategies”….I wonder what test taking strategies they were planning to teach.

  21. Is there a high-pressure sales tactic standard the kids need to meet? This activity is totally aligned to it.

  22. Is there a high-pressure sales tactic standard that kids have to learn now? Because this exercise is totally aligned to it.

  23. And it will only be a matter of time before attendance is required. I’m sure a determined bureaucrat will find a way to make that happen. Or perhaps re-writing the law to make it child abuse/endangerment not to be a “reading partner” for your child is the way to go. That ought to be popular with the ambulance-chasing crowd…

  24. “… my school cares so much for me…” What she meant was that her school cares so much for the money that goes with her continued success. The fact that strategy sessions are available to schools that have the means and the parents with the capacity to attend again underscores the gap between the haves and the have nots.

    • My son’s teacher said she wanted to give them recess but she cared about them so much that she wanted her to pass the test. Fucking bitch.

  25. It is completely disgusting to use children in this way!!!

  26. Manipulative crap! How dare they! I think teaching test-taking skills is a good thing…in moderation. Offering parents workshops and ways to connect home/school is wonderful. This letter is disgusting.

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