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State Testing.

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posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 10:37 AM
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We live in NYS, I hate it, but I grew up here. It is a fairly rural and conservative area, not one of the big cities.

Several years ago NYS started doing assessment testing in the grade and middle schools. At the time there was a big stink about it, as it was mostly for school and teacher ranking, and funding. It was all over the news media at the time, and since the tests were optional many parents decided this put undue stress on the children, and had them opted out of taking them. We opted not to have our children take the tests, as well as close to 50% of parents in our area. The schools spend a lot of time getting the kids ready for the tests, so they can rank higher, and get more funding, than they do actually teaching the courses they should be. I feel it is a waste of time, money and resources, let alone the pressure and anxiety to do well put on the kids.

You may or may not agree with me, and that is fine. What I have a problem with is the way in which things are being done this year. The school district is being sneaky, and not forthcoming about it as they have in years past. If this is a local thing, or pressure from the state to get more kids to take the exams, I am not sure. I suspect it is the state, however.

In previous years a simple note sent with the child was sufficient to opt them out. Last year if I recalled, they wanted a signed letter emailed or sent in. This year however things have changed.

About a week ago we got a letter in the mail about the tests. In previous years it was clear that the tests were optional. This year the letter talked about how important it was for these tests, and how it would help the students who will be taking computerized tests in future grates, and so on. Nowhere in the letter did it inform the parents that these tests were optional, nor what was required to opt out, if these were the optional tests. It was all very confusing as to if these were the required state tests or the optional ones.

I wrote a standard "opt out" email to the principal asking if these were the optional ones that my child be opted out. I never got a reply.

This morning my son woke up all in a panic as to rather he had to take the test or not, he has not slept well for a couple of nights as well. I did not put the two together till this morning. I assured him that we had opted him out, and he would not have to take them.

Out of caution, I sent an email to his guidance counselor. We have a very good relationship with the counselor and teachers. We are in contact with most of them almost on a weekly basis. He immediately called me, but it was after my son had gotten on the bus.

The counselor told me that things had changed this year, and if we wanted him opted out, we had to come in to the school in person to sign and date a form. News to me. Why did they not let us know before this? The school is about 7 miles out of the way, but no big deal.

We went down to the school to sign the papers. The receptionist told us the tests were "different" this year, and they were focused on finding the kids that needed extra help, etc. I explained to her that I did not think that was the case, as the letters referred to the testing being anonymous, and used as a collective data set for the state. That is what kind of tipped me off that these might be the non-required tests in the first place. She stuck to her guns that they were different but that she had not seen the letter sent to parents. I pointed out that regular testing should determine who needs help, and who is doing well, but it made no difference. I asked her to have an administrator call me when they had a chance, and I would also be logging a complaint with the district.

Now, I don't think she was purposely lying, I believe that she was told this. After coming home and looking for information on line, I don't find anything as to the tests changing this year. So I am not sure.

My biggest gripe is that the school never informed the parents that these were indeed the optional tests, or that they are now making it more difficult to opt out of. I have a sneaky suspicion that the state has told the schools to keep it on the "down low" that these tests are optional, and to make it more difficult to opt out of, and it may be working. My youngest son told me last week he has been getting hassled because he is the only one in a class of 22 that is opting out. The first year of testing it was close to 50%.

If they want to do optional tests for data points, fine, but don't be so sneaky and difficult about it!




posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: MrRCflying

Ahhh. Here is the thing...what do these tests entail? Are they just like final exams to assess what the kid knows? Cuz the tying is...a lot of HS kids nowadays cant do simple math....can't construct a proper sentence....don't have a basic grasp of civics or government. So these test could be just to id what kids are behind.


After all, there are a rash of snoeplow parents out there who are ruining their kids without realizing the damge they are doing.


Not saying that is you....but parents dont want to hear that their kid is thick and is more suited to painting house than painting portraits.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: MrRCflying


How else can they manufacture new Trump and America haters but by undermining the educational system and getting the kids while they're the most malleable. How else can we teach kids to act on feelings and not brains. How else can we single out the conservatives and enemies to the 'hate-america' bandwagon to re-educate them?


I worked in a printing press factory part time this winter alongside snowplow work. The place i worked for was printing out the 2019 SAT's, and plastered all over every page is "do not copy, it is illegal".... however, i witnessed how politicial questions are seeping into testing of this level. There were questions that emboldened the gender identity ideology, as well as quotas for skin color and sexes for elected officials represented into our governing structure. Literary tests where one has to read two to three pages of this propaganda, and then answer questions as to why it is correct. They've got our youth right where they want em...


edit on 2-4-2019 by chadderson because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 10:56 AM
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originally posted by: lakenheath24
a reply to: MrRCflying

Ahhh. Here is the thing...what do these tests entail? Are they just like final exams to assess what the kid knows? Cuz the tying is...a lot of HS kids nowadays cant do simple math....can't construct a proper sentence....don't have a basic grasp of civics or government. So these test could be just to id what kids are behind.


After all, there are a rash of snoeplow parents out there who are ruining their kids without realizing the damge they are doing.


Not saying that is you....but parents dont want to hear that their kid is thick and is more suited to painting house than painting portraits.



In the past, no. I have no problem with actual testing, even state required ones, that actually pertain to students knowledge. In the past these testes were not individual, but used as a whole data set to rank the school, rank the teachers, and get funding. Now the receptionist had said things "changed" and were more focused on the student now, but I don't find anything to back that up.

My oldest was accepted, and now enrolled in a STEM school. Only 7 from our district were chosen last year, and he was one of them. My middle son, the one this is about, will be applying to STEM as well in two years. So no worries there. And even if they don't make it, there is still a need for a good house painter.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: chadderson
a reply to: MrRCflying


How else can they manufacture new Trump and America haters but by undermining the educational system and getting the kids while they're the most malleable. How else can we teach kids to act on feelings and not brains. How else can we single out the conservatives and enemies to the 'hate-america' bandwagon to re-educate them?



No worries there.
I am bringing them up well. My oldest comments all the time about how he likes Trump.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: lakenheath24

Your point is great in theory, IF what they actually did was identify what areas the students are deficient in, and then re-teach those things.

That's not what they do though. They teach to the tests. They spend the year teaching the kids what will be on the tests so that the scores on the tests will be good and the school will get more funding or free crappy lunch program or whatever. They don't start the next year with a plan to address the areas that were poor from last year's tests- they start the year teaching what will be on this year's test. That's it. One could argue that part of the reason kids are so deficient in certain areas is BECAUSE OF these tests.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: MrRCflying

I'm with you, OP. My blood is boiling for you, just reading this. The school is definitely trying to get everyone to take the tests, using dishonest practices.

Time to get a bunch of parents organized on this issue and go to the local newspaper or TV station.

That being said- and I am COMPLETELY on your side on this, and the school is definitely in the wrong- it might be good to address with your kiddo why this test, or if it's tests in general, upset him so much. There is no escaping this test thing, he's going to have to deal with it all his life, so it would be in his best interest to address and deal with the what sounds like pretty significant anxiety over being tested.

I feel for kids who have this issue, but addressin it specifically can only be to their benefit. Maybe they need to study differently (or study at all, for some kids), and if that's the case, finding what works will only help them in every area of education. Maybe they have a reading disability that's gone unrecognized, or some other issue. But even if it's just nerves, working with them to study better can only be helpful. Addressing any self-esteem issues that they might have about being "measured" can be positive too. Maybe they equate the test results with whether or not they are a good person, or if they are smart, or any number of things that kids can get into their heads.

No matter what comes out of the school's underhand tactics, this could be a great opportunity for general well-being improvement with your kiddo and/or other kiddos who have test anxiety.

edit on 2-4-2019 by KansasGirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: MrRCflying

Hells yeah....thats a fact and probably will make more money than a college grad nowadays.

The UK has fallen into that trap...schools inflate or hide bad kids to boost the numbers....to boost the money...and then they eff off to better jobs.

Meanwhile first year kids barely speak english and a lot are still in diapers.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 11:09 AM
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Here in Indiana the kids take "istep" standardized tests.
The overall results are posted in the newspapers.
The percentage of kids passing math, English or both is always 50 to 60.

The test doesnt mean a damn thing to the kids, it's just a measurement of school performance.
Therefore the kids get pressured to do well by the school.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 11:16 AM
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a reply to: KansasGirl

For sure I will talk with him. I think he was more anxious over if he had to take it or not. He is kind of introverted, and does not like to speak up on his own behalf.

All things said, the school has been great. He has ADHD, as well as Sensory Processing Disorder, that was just recently diagnosed. The teachers have been great with their help, and the school is good with him taking time to go to his weekly Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy appointments. So I am not trying to portray the school or teachers in a negative light. In this case it feels like they are trying to be sneaky with things.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: MrRCflying

All state testing is a boondoggle for private corporations.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 12:28 PM
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a reply to: MrRCflying

Testing of students is an industry carried on by corporate private enterprise, contracted by the school districts.

It's capitalism, big business. If it bothers you, start a petition drive or run for the school board. Or invest in the companies that design and offer the tests up for competitive bid to the state board of education. Education is a business...how do you think school books, sports equipment, cafeteria food, and construction of new schools, is chosen for school districts and individual schools.

www.bc.edu...




edit on 2-4-2019 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 01:27 PM
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a reply to: olaru12

True, BUT who drives employment? So said employers right? Look at the skill shortages now, would it not make sense to streamline education to suit employers needs?

NW Florida schools partnered with Microsoft and Embry Riddle to get kids college credits while in HS. It can be done sensibly if the Federal gov would step back and let states take back education. (Defund the Dept. of Education).

Look at STEM...driven by employers needs...ergo why they are sponsored by Lockheed, Apple, Microsoft, etc.
edit on 2-4-2019 by lakenheath24 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 02:35 PM
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a reply to: chadderson



I worked in a printing press factory part time this winter alongside snowplow work. The place i worked for was printing out the 2019 SAT's, and plastered all over every page is "do not copy, it is illegal".... however, i witnessed how politicial questions are seeping into testing of this level. There were questions that emboldened the gender identity ideology, as well as quotas for skin color and sexes for elected officials represented into our governing structure. Literary tests where one has to read two to three pages of this propaganda, and then answer questions as to why it is correct. They've got our youth right where they want em...


And all that demonstrates only too well the extent to which the "Educrats" are nothing more than the indoctrination arm of the Cultural Marxist wing of the Democrat party determined to destroy the US. Its a disgusting situation and sadly, a lost cause which is why so many more each year home school.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 03:22 PM
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Talked with the assistant VP at the school about a half hour ago.

She told me outright that they were told by the state (Board of Education maybe?) that they were not to "advertise" that the tests could be opted out of this year.

I am now in a 3 way e-mail with the local newspaper and TV station. They seem very interested.



posted on Apr, 4 2019 @ 05:03 PM
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Update:

Neither news org. got back to me for more info after first contacting me for more.

The main computer system went down on the first day of testing, so they had to reschedule for today.

Here is the kicker... Watching the local news tonight (the same one that had initially contacted me back), they had a quick segment about the computers being down and the tests being started today. That was fine, but they ended with "The tests are required for all students in the state."

Outright lie!!! They are not required, they are optional. I opted 2 of my kids out, like I said before. They made it more difficult, but they CAN be opted out!

So, it looks like the media is not just being told to shut up, but to outright lie!!!

Grr.....

edit on 4-4-2019 by MrRCflying because: spelling




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