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Teaching to the Test

If the test makers create tests that are too easy they lose money.
Failure drives their business.

2016 U.S. students given SATs that were online before exam


A test given on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, for example, previously had been administered in June 2013, Reuters determined. A copy of that test booklet was available in advance on a website called Between the time the booklet was posted and early 2015, the website reported that the document had been downloaded more than 53,000 times.
2014 It’s unclear how many students took the exam during the five sittings Reuters identified. The College Board has said that it’s unable to assess how many test-takers may have seen recycled exam material online before taking the test. Reusing test items is common in the standardized test industry. It helps ensure that scores on different versions of an exam are comparable. It also reduces costs. The College Board has reused SAT test material overseas even after being warned that the material had leaked, Reuters reported last month. In some cases, the College Board acknowledged that it also used test materials that it considered to have been compromised. The breakdowns in test security – particularly in Asia - were more pervasive that the College Board has disclosed publicly. The stories can be found at

Pencils Down! Boycott Pearson

The US government mandates public school children be subjected to standardized assessments in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high school. Most schools test much more than that – even as early as Kindergarten. And since all of these assessments are purchased from private corporations, the testing material is ideological property. The students taking these exams – regardless of age – are no longer treated as children. They are clients entering into a contract. At the start of these tests, students are warned of the legal consequences of violating the terms of this agreement.


Test prep for 5-year-olds is a real thing. Here’s what it looks like.

How hard is it to keep kindergartners focused on a class lesson? This hard.

A very scary headline about kindergartners
What could possibly be sobering about test results from kindergartners? What kind of tests are they giving to kindergartners anyway?

“Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? The Changing Nature of Kindergarten in the Age of Accountability,” by Daphna Bassok and Anna Rorem DOI: 10.1177/2332858415616358


2016 Florida School Officials Lose Their Damned Minds
Superintendent Lori White can go to hell. The state does not require proof that the child can read. The state requires proof that the child took the Big Standardized Test. When you are planning to hold a child back a grade for absolutely no reason except that she didn’t take your mandated BS Test, and when you have ample evidence and data about how well she learned and grew this year — when you have reached that point, you have absolutely lost track of what you’re supposed to be doing. You have lost your damned mind.
Punishment for non-compliance, for failing to knuckle under to the state’s testing regime. And in taking this step, the districts show where their priorities lie — the education of the children is less important than beating compliance into them and their parents, less important than taking the damned BS Test.

2016 Technical glitches plague computer-based standardized tests nationwide
the shift to computer-based testing has been riddled with technical glitches that have spanned many testing companies and states, including those that have adopted Common Core and those using other new academic standards. Stressed-out students have found they sometimes can’t log on to their exams or are left to panic when their answers suddenly disappear. Frustrated teachers have had to come up with last-minute lesson plans when testing fails. Some school systems — and even entire states — have had to abandon testing altogether because of Internet hiccups thousands of miles away.


2015 American students face a ridiculous amount of testing. John Oliver explains how standardized tests impact school funding, the achievement gap, how often kids are expected to throw up.

The Opt Out movement is spreading like wildfire. It is led by parents, not unions, though some union locals have voted to honor the wishes of parents. Parents understand that the tests are designed to fail most children. They understand that test prep and testing are stealing time from instruction. They aren’t commanded by anyone. They are listening to their children.


Committed to ending excessive use of standardized tests in NY State's public schools; advocating for proven, reliable methods for measuring student learning.


Tags: #optout #test #SAT #flunk, #drop out, #retention, #social promotion, #graduation rate, #exit exam, #left behind, #Light's retention scale





Personal data is a new economic asset class recognized by the World Economic Forum as early as 2011 Imagine how long Peason has been tracking students and selling that info.


Refuse to give the MAP testWe're a group that is refusing to give high-stakes standardized tests, refusing to take high-stakes standardized tests, opting our children out of these tests, and we're up against the testocracy, what I call the corporate education reformers who are trying to reduce the intellectual process of teaching and learning to a single number that they can then use to punish teachers and students, deny our kids graduation, bust up the teachers' unions, label the schools "failing" and then close them, like we've seen in Chicago or Philadelphia, with scores of schools closed.

2015 The Temple Option, which offers applicants the choice to not submit standardized test scores. Temple had become the first large public research university in the Northeast—and one of the nation’s only urban public research universities—to offer such an option. As an alternative applicants must respond to four short, self-reflective essay questions designed to assess noncognitive factors such as grit, determination and self-confidence.

More than 850 of the country’s approximately 2,500 four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities have made standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT optional in some way. Some students who score poorly on SAT and ACT tests nonetheless excel at college.

Who has a right to know what is in the tests?

Who pays for the tests? The public.

Who is affected by the tests? The public.

Who has a right to know what was asked? The public.

Who has a right to know how many pineapples are on the test? The public.

Who has a right to know how many questions are stupid? The public.

Who has a right to know if there are questions with multiple answers or no answer? The public.

Freedom of Information Act suit demands the release of all test questions.

  • Now that the tests have assumed so much importance, the public has a right to know what they were asked.
  • Now that the tests have such a decisive effect on so many people’s lives, the public has a right to know.
  • Based on these tests, students will be promoted or will fail.
  • Based on these tests, students will get into the college of their choice, or will not.
  • Based on these tests, some teachers will get a bonus, and others will be fired.
  • Based on these tests, some schools will be closed.
  • Based on these tests, lives will be changed for better or worse.


If a person accused of a crime has a right to confront their accuser and hear the evidence, why shouldn’t test-takers have the right to know whether the tests that shaped their fate are reasonable?

Publish them.
Let everyone see what is on them. Publishers can write new test questions or they can create a database of released test questions so large that students can dip into them for test preparation.

If the test makers create tests that are too easy they lose money.
"A longtime friend on the school board of one of the largest school systems in America did something that few public servants are willing to do. He took versions of his state's high-stakes standardized math and reading tests for 10th graders, and said he'd make his scores public. "

Cheating our children: Find your school district's test-score shifts Or search for a school system by its name. (Tip: If the full name doesn't work, try just using a piece of the name.) A searchable database showing most of the country's school systems

2014 FairTest, which monitors the use and abuse of standardized testing. The movement to curb the abuses is multiplying.

Surveying the states on test security 2012

In what document do the words “government of the people, by the people, for the people” appear?

Only 21% know its from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

The "DATA" on our ELECTED officials and their knowledge of the most basic of civics lessons. If the tests are that worthy, then the adult world should be able to breeze through them. Out of 2,500 American quiz-takers, including college students, elected officials and other randomly selected citizens, nearly 1,800 flunked a 33-question test on basic civics. In fact, elected officials scored slightly lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent compared to 49 percent. Only 27 percent of elected officeholders in the survey could identify a right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. Forty-three percent didn’t know what the Electoral College does. And 46 percent didn’t know that the Constitution gives Congress power to declare war. Civics courses, once a staple of junior and high school education, are no longer considered important in our quantitative, leave-no-child-behind world. And college adds little civic knowledge.

SAT Cheating Was Hardly a Secret 20 Students Now Accused. Schools do not write the SAT or administer it. Students registered to take the tests outside the district, then paid $3,500 to test for scores ranking as high as the 97th percentile. Administrators call for widespread test reform. Unanswered questions about the standardized test. See Investigation on School Testing Videos See Surveying the states on test security see a nationwide look at the integrity of standardized testing by our schools


This is a call to all American students to write on your State Exams this school year:


... and just sit there.
No arguments. No violence.
Just write that statement.

The only legal exemption (LOOPHOLE) that would allow her kids to sit out the tests was a religious objection. TESTS ARE USED TO PUNICH SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS AND CHILDREN.

If you don't take them you don't get your diploma.



Test-optional colleges
According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, at least 775 American colleges and universities are now test optional. Below, check out eleven competitive institutions where most -- if not all -- standardized tests are not required for admission.
Below is a list of competitive institutions that do not require standardized tests for admission: 
  • Agnes Scott College
  • Albright College
  • American University
  • Augustana College
  • Bard College
  • Bates College
  • Bennington College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Clark University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Connecticut College
  • Denison University
  • Depaul University
  • Dickinson College
  • Drew University
  • Earlham College
  • Eckerd College
  • Franklin and Marshall College
  • Furman University
  • Gettysburg College
  • Goucher College
  • Guilford College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Hampshire College
  • Hartwick College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Hofstra University
  • Illinois College
  • Ithaca College
  • Juniata College
  • Knox College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lawrence University
  • Lewis and Clark College
  • Marlboro Colleg
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • Pitzer College
  • Providence College
  • Rollins College
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Sewanee-The University of the South
  • Smith College
  • St. John’s College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Susquehanna University
  • Union College
  • University of the South
  • Ursinus College
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wesleyan University
  • Wheaton College (MA)
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Remedial without a cause
WHY ARE STROPNG READERS BEING LABELED REMEDIAL? Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College find that large numbers of community college students are being placed unnecessarily into remedial courses. The research analyzes data from a large, urban community-college system and a statewide two-year system, finding that up to a third of students who placed into remedial classes on the basis of the COMPASS and ACCUPLACER tests could have passed college-level classes with a grade of B or better. The studies used student-level information from the institutions to examine if the tests predicted student success, comparing their accuracy with indicators culled from high school grades. The urban community college study found placement exams to be better predictors of success in math than in English, and more predictive of who is likely to do well in college-level course work than of who is likely to fail. The research on the state system found the tests to be poor at predicting future college grades, with the COMPASS accounting for only 5 percent of the variation in student grades. However, several unresolved questions remain. The researchers caution that the validity of placement tests depends on how they are used, and it is not clear which remedial classes to waive for students with strong high school GPAs.

California Parents have the RIGHT to opt their children out of this cycle of madness. If just 6% of the children per school site were opted out of this grossly over-rated system of assessing students and holding educators accountable, we could begin to have a productive dialogue about more humane and complex systems of assessment and education. A parent, have the right to request your child opt out of the tests.


Standardized tests - nobody knows how to write standardized, machine-scoreable test questions that say how well a kid can think. Nobody.
A nation of good test-takers is not necessarily a well-educated nation. The human brain doesn't make sense of experience by clicking between school subjects. In the real world, everything connects to everything, and the connections are at least as important as the facts being connected.
The public core of what being a citizen of democracy is should be decided by us. Not decided by the |Financial-Literacy| Problems Rich EducRATS who endow the University gravy train, or the government program who is lobbied by the connected, and feeds private enterprise: but a citizen-led discussion about the common purposes of education in a democracy. Trying to standardize the young (especially now that the Chinese are determined to de-standardize them to encourage creativity) is a recipe for disaster. Creativity has declined steadily since No Child Left Behind was put in place!

The curse of standardized testing will continue in one form or another until we eliminate the root of the problem. Alfred North Whitehead called attention to that root almost a hundred years ago:


Acting on that insight is the surest, most direct way to end the standardized testing frenzy. Hear's one way to do that:



From the movie Overboard 1987 Annie says to the teacher:

And you can sit here and smugly lecture me on the importance of tests? Tests which exist to pigeonhole children's potential, a thing which cannot *possibly* be measured, least of all by anal compulsive HUNS! And my husband may be a "large child," but that's none of your business! And my children may be rotten, but they're MINE. And I think that they're bright, and sensitive, so I have no doubts whatsoever about their intelligence. I do however have *serious* doubts about YOURS.

Public institutions are provided for the general welfare of our communities
NOT the private mercantile interests of its citizens.




New Ways to Exploit Raw Data the raw material of the information economy, but the business world is just beginning to learn how to process it all.


Ivy League Solicits Students Only to Reject Them

What the College Board and ACT have done, under the radar screen of parents and regulators, is turn the teens educational pursuits into a profit-making opportunity, said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a nonprofit consumer-protection advocacy group in Washington.

descriptor plus geodemography description

Each year, the College Board MARKETS TO seven million students 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid.

The College Board took in $60 million in revenue from enrollment services, according to its most recent tax filing for the year ended June 2009. That amounted to almost 10% of total revenue of $623 million.

  • 400 colleges use the Common Application.
  • The SAT costs $47.
  • The ACT MADE $7.5 million from its Educational Opportunity Service for the most recent fiscal year, which ended last Aug. 31, 2010 said Steve Kappler, assistant vice president for market strategy and services.


Consumer groups said that the nonprofit College Board, which owns the SAT college admission test, and its nonprofit rival, ACT Inc., are making money by selling personal details about teenagers.

The companies collect information on millions of test takers and both sell names and information to colleges at 33 cents a name.

Schools begin their marketing efforts by buying names from the College Board who sells more than 2 million students information from grades 9 to 12 who take the SAT each academic year. The groups database includes some 6.5 million students -- 5.1 million with e-mail addresses. More than 1,100 colleges and universities use the company's Student Search Service, said Jennifer Topiel, a spokeswoman.





Students who take the PSAT are asked to opt-in to the search service on their exam answer sheets to let schools and scholarship programs provide materials on educational opportunities and financial aid.

They are also asked for e-mail addresses, a self-reported grade average, racial or ethnic group, religion and college major. They can also opt out.

Michele Gray Discussion How to Opt Out on Facebook


Parents aren't required to give consent FOR THEIR TEENS to answer the questions.

SAT test-takers are asked 42 questions including checking off any of 35 sports they have participated or plan to participate in, and desired college size and setting. Colleges don't have access to questions about parental income, whether the student has a disability and parents highest level of education.



Federal Trade Commissions 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits personal information from being collected online from children 12 and under without verifiable parental consent, teenagers aren't covered by the law and neither are nonprofit companies like the College Board.

11911 Freedom Drive
Suite 300
Reston, VA 20190-5602
Phone: 800 626-9795
Fax: 703 464-8407
E-mail: enrollment


Student information provided to colleges IS NOT a service to the students and the colleges.

Ivy League,
includES Harvard, Yale and Columbia

Yale and MIT, DO NOT ADMIT Students who scored below 640 on the math section of the SAT.



Columbia and Duke University intentionally market to seniors with e-mails and letters after getting a score of 214 out of 240 on their preliminary SAT college entrance exam junior year. Giving the impression to the seniors that the University will want them so the kids apply. Then high school seniors get rejected by the same University that wooed with e-mails and letters. An 18-year-old high school senior spent about $780 on 12 applications after mailings from top schools.

Rejected by Duke, Columbian, Cornell Harvard, Yale and Amherst

The marketing material from hard-to- get-into colleges is raising false expectations among thousands of students, swelling school coffers with application fees as high as $90 apiece and making colleges seem more selective by soliciting and then rejecting applicants. College applications are soaring even as the number of high school graduates fell 2.2 percent this year from a peak in the 2007-2008 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Yale, gets 80,000, applications a year.

Stanford charges $90, the highest fee for U.S. students 2011 it received about $2.6 million in fees, after giving 17% of applicants waivers.

Duke sends multiple mailings to get 50,000 prospective applicants annually through electronic and paper mailings based on their PSAT scores, said Christoph Guttentag, the schools dean of admissions.
DUKE accepted 13% of a record 29,689 applicants 2011

Columbia, received almost 35,000 applications 2011
Jessica Marinaccio in charge of marketing scam at Columbia.

Brandeis University used a College Board enrollment tool called Descriptor Plus to target, market and recruit students from high-end high schools and wealthy suburban neighborhoods, according to a 2006 case study written by Sarah Parrott and Jonathan Epstein, who at the time worked in research and planning for the Waltham, Massachusetts-based university.

admins are CHEATERS


2011 USA Today Investigation based on information and data secured under the Freedom of Information Act finds that 103 public schools in the District of Columbia -- more than half -- had erasure rates on standardized tests that surpassed D.C. averages at least once since 2008. The article focuses in particular on the Crosby S. Noyes Education Campus, which was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, and whose teachers and principal were twice rewarded financially by then-Chancellor Michelle Rhee for its remarkable turnaround. For the past three school years, most of Noyes' classrooms had extraordinarily high numbers of erasures on standardized tests. The consistent pattern was that wrong answers were erased and changed to right ones, with a frequency statisticians say is less likely than the odds of winning the Powerball. The newspaper also found that Wayne Ryan, principal from 2001 to 2010, and the school itself were touted as models by district officials. Under Chancellor Rhee, D.C.'s system became a national symbol of what high expectations and effective teaching could accomplish. Last year, D.C. won an extra $75 million for public and charter schools in the Race to the Top; test scores were a factor.

  • Pa. wants 90 schools investigated for 2009 cheating
  • Pa. could launch its own inquiry into school cheating
  • 4/3/11 K12 ADMINISTRATORS ARE CHEATERS DC schools' test score improvements under Michelle Rhee face scrutiny. National erasure rates on Standardized Tests. Wrong Answers were changed to right ones. Testing is the #1 issue. DC schools' test score improvements under Michelle Rhee admits cheating happened. CNN's Sandra Endo explains.
  • Under Pressure, Teachers Tamper With Tests
    Pearson, has a $254 million contract with the state on the FCAT and they haven't reported the results. AND Pearson entered into an agreement with Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland in which the huge education publishing company will pay MCPS $2.25 million to develop new curriculum that Pearson can then market as coming from the high-achieving school district.
    Of all the forms of academic cheating, none may be as startling as educators tampering with children's standardized tests. But investigations in Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia and elsewhere this year have pointed to cheating by educators. Experts say the phenomenon is increasing as the stakes over standardized testing ratchet higher — including, most recently, taking student progress on tests into consideration in teachers' performance reviews. Colorado passed a sweeping law making teachers' tenure dependent on test results, and nearly a dozen other states have introduced plans to evaluate teachers partly on scores.
  • FEDERAL READING PROGRAM IGNORED LAW & ETHICAL STANDARDS - Cheaters - Reading First was a cornerstone of NCLB
  • 6/25/10 2010 PEARSON FLUNKS BUT Florida Dept. of Education STILL pays Pearson, which has had previous problems administering tests in Florida and other states.
    It's in its first year of a four year contract with the state. The Minnesota-based company has a $254-million contract to grade the 4.4 million tests, which are given to about 1.8 million elementary, middle and high school students annually. Four years ago, they underscored 44-hundred students who took the SAT. The company settled for nearly $3 million. Pearson's contract with the state runs through 2013 with an option to extend it until 2015.
    NCS Pearson, which administered the tests, told the Florida Board of Education in June that it had computer problems which delayed getting the results out on time. Under the contract, Pearson was supposed to release the first batch of results in April. The State Board of Education has also announced it is seeking $3 million from the company for not complying with their contract terms. According to the contract, the company could be fined up to $250,000 a day for each day the results are late. The total penalty cannot exceed $25.4 million. The $3 million is for the third grade math and reading portions of the FCAT and 10th grade FCAT retakes delivered last month. The likely cost in Miami-Dade alone: $2.3 million. Broward believes its costs could rise as high as $1.8 million. Pearson spokesman Adam Gaber reiterated that the company accepts responsibility for the mess and stressed that it intends to fulfill all obligations to the state.
  • STATE EXAM - HOW DID YOUR SCHOOL DO? How do I find information about my child's school? Most State Education Pages are providing the public with either sample tests or released questions from previous exams.
  • What horrible things are going on in your state?
  • A Double Standard on Test Scores implications for a longstanding debate about the efficacy of vouchers. The competition with charters and vouchers did not lead to higher scores for African-American students in regular public schools. There was no rising tide, no boats were lifted.
  • CHEATERS The Great Accountability Hoax
    The ubiquity of cheating scandals across the nation. The scandal of high-stakes testing is not limited to New York and Illinois.
    Teachers are not solely the cause of student progress. If students fail to make progress in their studies, there are many reasons for their failure. The causes of academic success or failure include the students' own effort; the students' regular attendance or lack thereof; the family's support or lack thereof; the family's poverty and its effects on the student's health and well-being; the school's resources; the district's oversight or lack thereof; and the quality of the test itself, which may be subject to random variation. It makes no sense to hold the teacher alone accountable when student performance is affected by so many different influences.
    Should the teacher get a bad evaluation if students have a poor attendance record? Should the teacher be harshly judged if her students don't speak English or move frequently from school to school? Should the teacher get an F if the student has poor eyesight or suffers from other undiagnosed health problems? Should the teacher be considered a failure if the student's family offers no support for his learning?
    Since the 1920s, American schools have experimented with merit pay plans. None has ever demonstrated success. Teachers will bend their efforts to raise test scores, but achievement nonetheless lags. The reason for this is that teaching-to-the-test does not yield good education. The students may learn test-taking skills, but they don't learn how to generalize what they have learned to new situations. Thus, even when state reading scores go up, in response to intensive coaching, national test scores remain flat. As the national tests become more demanding—in 8th grade—the scores don't rise at all. Our nation has now had eight consecutive years of rising reading scores at the state level, yet the national scores for 8th grade students have not budged from 1998-2009. The reason for the discrepancy is that students are learning test-taking skills, but they are unable to understand complex materials or to demonstrate their progress on a test that is not the state test. Test scores do not identify the most effective teachers. A teacher who produces big score gains one year may produce none the next year, depending on which students happen to be in his or her class.
    The federal law No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is using the wrong measuring stick to identify failing schools, says Harvard University's Paul E. Peterson in the new issue of Education Next. To make the laws accountability system work, he proposes two fixes:  (1) Using a more accurate method to measure schools academic progress; and (2) Holding students, teachers, and administrators -- not just schools -- accountable for improvement. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, has announced that Congress will consider changes to NCLBs method of measuring schools progress this fall. Currently, NCLB looks not at how much individual students learn from one year to the next but at whether a schools students are making adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward full proficiency -- a standard each state sets individually -- by 2014. Peterson proposes moving to an A to F scale that focuses strictly on student growth. This was not possible when NCLB was originally enacted because most states had no way of tracking student progress over time. However, since 2002, states including North Carolina, Texas, and Florida have put such systems into place. Peterson recommends that Congress mandate tracking systems in all states as a way of identifying those schools that are effective and those that are not. States that have both tracking systems and high proficiency standards could have the option of using the A to F scale as another way of showing that its schools are making AYP. As the distortions brought about by NCLBs current method of measuring progress intensify, states will be motivated to move to the new system sooner rather than later.
Charters & Their Shallow Community Roots
"Sec. Duncan is ....touting Sam Houston High School as evidence that reconstitution is successful. Indeed, the school was closed under a low-performing rating and achieved recognized status two years later. Good for them, right? But wait—here is what REALLY happened. The school was low-performing because too few African-American students could pass the state math test. After its shuttering and re-opening, the 9-12 school [was divided into two] schools—one a 9th grade center and the other a 10-12 school.... When the school was split, the number of African-American students fell to fewer than 30 in each school which, in Texas, is too small to be considered in the accountability ratings. Voila! The school is now acceptable, even though the combined African-American scores would have made the school low performing. Further, a new initiative called the Texas Projection Measure (TPM) was applied. ...The TPM uses a new statistical analysis to see if students who did not pass are on track to pass at the end of that level of schooling.... Now the school is recognized. But, under the old rules, the school would STILL be LOW PERFORMING. This is the type of Enron smoke-and-mirrors that our CEO-leaders are using in education like they used in business to provide 'evidence' that their theories work." Without an alert media, how do we avoid such massive....yes, lying?





  • Help Kids on Standardized Tests
  • Standards and Assessment
  • How Do Students Compare?
  • Report Card Info
  • Preschool Assessment
  • High School Assessment
  • Special Ed Assessment




Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)
Schools To Get Long-Delayed FCAT Scores
The FCAT is used to monitor students' progress and schools' compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind act. Third graders must pass the reading test to be advanced to fourth grade, while high school students must pass the 10th grade reading and math tests to receive a standard diploma.
New Florida Education Laws Phase Out High School FCAT June 30, 2010
State laws go into effect that change the path to graduation for Florida's high school students. New methods of assessment will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Ellington says the "end of course" tests will be standardized throughout the state, and written by current FCAT-grading company NCS Pearson, with some teacher input.

As another school year approaches, many of the extracurricular activities that have long interested Milwaukee students are relics of the past. Although there are notable exceptions, gone are the days when city high schools had an array of sports, a drama club, a school musical, a band, an orchestra, a choir, an active yearbook and an assortment of other organizations. The gap in test scores and graduation rates between the city and suburban high schools has attracted the most attention from policy-makers and the media in recent years. But others worry that there's another gap that's just as meaningful: the difference in the richness and breadth of the high school experience available to children in cities and suburbs as urban districts slice after-school activities and clubs. "No one is measuring the importance of extracurriculars in keeping kids in school," said David Powell, a Vincent High School teacher who has worked to build strong forensics teams. "You go to Marquette (University) High School, to Brookfield East and other schools with high ACT scores, and there is a high value, and a powerful emphasis, on academic extracurriculars." There's no single reason why the decline in extracurricular activities has been more severe in cities, reports Sarah Carr in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Some blame budget cuts or the back-to-basics emphasis of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Others point to the shift toward smaller high schools, which often cannot offer a full range of activities. Regardless of the cause, educators and students worry that the glue that held some kids to school has disappeared.

2007 Nine states (AR, IN, KY, MD, MA, NJ, OH, PA, and RI) have agreed to share an Algebra II end-of-course assessment from Pearson Educational Management.  The test should be ready for implementation next spring 2008, although not every state will use it immediately.  The only other such test-sharing agreement is among four New England states (ME, NH, RI, and VT), spanning third- through eighth-grade. 

2007 ACT's latest national curriculum survey highlights the persistent gap between what high schools are teaching and what colleges want incoming students to know.  Specifically, high schools tend to offer less in-depth instruction of a broader range of skills and topics, while colleges often seek students with a more in-depth understanding of a selected number of fundamental skills.  Why the disconnect?  According to ACT, the primary problem is state academic content standards, which teachers are required to follow.  Therefore, many states are creating P-16/20 councils to coordinate goals and expectations across all the levels of education. 

2007 Information Literacy Test video will introduce you to the important features of the iSkills assessment including sample tasks from both the Core and Advanced Levels of the Assessment.

The architects of the federal No Child Left Behind Act hoped that showering schools with extra money and expert advice over several years would make them succeed. But a new study shows that only 10 out of hundreds of low-scoring California schools facing severe consequences under No Child Left Behind have improved enough to get off of a state watch list this year. At the same time, the number of schools facing such consequences for failing to get enough students scoring at their grade level has jumped from 401 last year to 701 this year, says the Center on Education Policy, in its latest look at how the federal law is working in California. Federal law offers five options for schools identified for corrective action: reopening as a charter school, replacing teachers and the principal, hiring an outside agency to run the school, being taken over by the state, or "any other major restructuring." Nanette Asimov reports in the San Francisco Chronicle that the California Department of Education has refused to take over any schools, saying it is too poor and overworked for the job.

Research on the color red shows definite impact on achievement

Protests Over State Testing Widespread
By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo Tuesday, May 15, 2001; 12:00 AM Test-weary protesters in nearly a dozen states hoisted placards outside state capitols and hosted debates in high school auditoriums last week as they kicked off what organizers touted as "a month of resistance to testing." In what is becoming a springtime ritual during prime testing season, parents, teachers, and students have been voicing their objections to states' growing reliance on tests to gauge student achievement and the impending high stakes that could make it harder for many students to move on to the next grade or earn a diploma.Most of the demonstrations drew relatively small crowds—70 protesters in Detroit, 100 in Northampton, Mass., 300 in Los Angeles—but the largest, at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y., saw more than 1,500 marchers against the regents' exams.


Resources and Advice For New Teachers

Monty Neil, the executive director of FairTest,
a Cambridge, Mass.-based nonprofit group that opposes most standardized testing and advocates what it says are fairer methods of student assessment.

Research done by US military schools has shown success depends on parental involvement. You can model their success by simply inviting your parents into your school and ask them to be active in the classroom. Make parents feel welcomed anytime they can come, and call their employers asking them to give parents time to come. Parents who are supported by the work place and encouraged to actively participate in the classroom will improve test scores more than any other single activity.

Despite the fact that nearly every school and district in the K-12 market experiences some level of support from the surrounding community, very little research has been done in the area of community/school partnerships. This survey by DeHavilland Associates offers insights into how community/school partnerships are structured and what types of relationships schools and districts have established. Key findings from this survey include:  (1) When asked to rank the importance of current partners to their efforts, respondents put individual businesses first, parent organizations second, and booster clubs third; (2) When asked to rank the partners with whom they'd most like to develop relationships, business coalitions came in first, followed by individual businesses and regional/national foundations; (3) Most school districts do not have established systematic procedures to recruit and monitor partnerships; (4) There were clear differences in the responses of suburban, urban, and rural schools and districts. Those in suburban areas note generally higher levels of support from community-based partners; those in urban areas receive greater support from institutional partners (nonprofits, foundations, and postsecondary institutions); and those in rural areas record below-average levels of support from every partner with the exception of booster clubs; and (5) 46 percent of school districts report receiving support from a local education fund or school foundation.




This paper describes factors leading to corruption in K12 standardized testing, such as cheating by teachers, administrators, and students, "teaching to the test" (often cutting out creative curriculum elements), and exclusion of low performers from the test process. From the Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University.

2003 Testing High Stakes Tests: Can We Believe the Results of Accountability Tests?

N.Y.C. Probe Levels Test-Cheating Charges
More than 50 New York City educators face dismissal after an independent auditor accused them of helping students cheat on standardized tests given by the city and the state.

SAT Problems Even Larger Than Reported NYT "Everybody appears to be telling half-truths, and that erodes confidence in the College Board," said Bruce J. Poch, vice president and dean of admissions at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. "It looks like they hired the people who used to do the books for Enron. My next question is what other surprise we're going to hear about next."

2007 The U.S. Education Department reported nationwide, 73% of 12th-grade students achieved a "basic" reading score in 2005, down from 80% in 1992, according to the NAEP a sampling test the government calls the "nation's report card." Sixty-one percent scored at or above the basic level in math.Could these disappointing results be blamed on stupid, malformed tests and the are making so much money for the companies who publish them?

COMPARE State-To-State Performance

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued a state-by-state report card on educational effectiveness that shows Americas K12 schools are failing their students and putting Americas future competitiveness at risk. The report graded all 50 states and Washington, D.C., on nine broad categories including academic achievement, return on investment, truth in advertising, rigor of standards, and data quality.  The report and accompanying recommendations for reform were prepared with John Podesta, CEO of the Center for American Progress and former Clinton White House chief of staff, and Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute.  Education is critical to the American dream. Unemployment rates for those without a high school degree are 8.1 percent compared with 2.2 percent for college graduates. Yet, approximately 40 percent of all U.S. college students take at least one remedial course, and most students who take remedial courses never earn a college degree.

Reports of Disaggregated State, School System (LEA) and School Performance Data for 2003 - 2005

Average scale score in READING for 4th-graders in public schools, by race/ethnicity and state or jurisdiction: Selected years, 1994 to 2003.

MATHEMATICS proficiency of 8th-graders in public schools, by state or jurisdiction: Selected years, 1990 to 2003

The MATHEMATICS scores of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students were higher in 1999 than in 1973

SAT essays scored on quantity, not quality, teacher says Perelman studied every graded sample SAT essay that the College Board made public. He looked at the 15 samples in the ScoreWrite book that the College Board distributed to high schools nationwide to prepare students for the new writing section. He reviewed the 23 graded essays on the College Board Web site meant as a guide for students and the 16 writing "anchor" samples the College Board used to train graders to mark essays. He was stunned by how complete the correlation was between length and score. "I have never found a quantifiable predictor in 25 years of grading that was anywhere near as strong as this one," he said. "If you just graded them based on length without ever reading them, you'd be right over 90 percent of the time." The shortest essays, typically 100 words, got the lowest grade of one. The longest, about 400 words, got the top grade of six. In between, there was virtually a direct match between length and grade.

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest)
Advocacy organization working to end the abuses, misuses and flaws of standardized testing and ensure that evaluation of students and workers is fair, open, and educationally sound. We place special emphasis on eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests, and preventing their damage to the quality of education. Based on four Goals and Principles, we provide information, technical assistance and advocacy on a broad range of testing concerns, focusing on three areas: K-12, university admissions, and employment tests, including teacher testing. FairTest publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Examiner, plus a full catalog of materials on both K- 12 and university testing to aid teachers, administrators, students, parents and researchers. See our order form on this Web site! FairTest also has numerous fact sheets available to educate you on standardized testing and alternative assessment.

Monty Neil, the executive director of FairTest,
a Cambridge, Mass.-based nonprofit group that opposes most standardized testing and advocates what it says are fairer methods of student assessment. Advocacy Resources by State

According to Harvard professor Richard Elmore, the federal government is now accelerating the worst trend of the current accountability movement by making performance-based accountability mean testing, and testing alone. In this interesting reality check, Elmore states that the standards and accountability movement is in danger of becoming the testing and accountability movement. He charges politicians with trying to take credit for improving schools with without committing themselves to serious increases in funding.

is an attempt to use the Web to form a grassroots community opposed to the higher, meaner standards of testing," Stager said. The site's first goal is to learn how much standardized testing costs in every state, and whether or not parents are allowed to keep their kids from being tested.

Students Against Testing - BOYCOTT THE TEST Organize a student boycott of the standardized tests at your school and leave the tests blank - here's how!

High-Stakes Testing for Dentists?? What Dentists and Teachers Have in Common

Computer-Savvy Students Perform Poorly on Handwritten Composition Tests 7/2000



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