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LI Testing Refusal "Opt-out" Movement Spring2014
 

LI Testing Refusal "Opt-out" Movement Spring2014

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  • This tweet gets at the heart of this movement: a non-responsive state education department AND all the other state education reps and politicians as well.
  • This movement is certainly gaining not just local media attention, but nationally as well.
  • Currently, the main challenger for the Governor job in NY is this man, Rob Astornio, who just announced that his own kids will be refusing the state assessments.
  • I believe the first national, live TV interview for Jeanette Deutermann regarding the testing refusal movement. However, very little time was devoted to the issue in the interview.
  • Outline of the rest of this presentation
  • So what does a testing refusal actually look like?
  • Here’s a copy of our letter to our child’s teacher and principal.
  • Here’s a brief sample letter for just the spring Math test refusal.
  • How are the refusals handled across Long Island schools. It has been vastly different, although this year was certainly better than last year.
  • Sample wearable cards for students
  • What has been NYSED’s response to this movement? Basically the same: “Why wouldn’t parents not want to know where their child stands?”
  • What has been NYSED’s response to this movement?How about a change to the 95% participation rule?
  • What has been the LI administrator response? Sampling from Newsday articles.
  • What has been the NYC administrator response? Sampling from Chalkbeat articles.
  • Here is the main reason why we fight: these kids. The kids as young as this 2nd grader who are to the point of nightly tears over … homework. Simply homework.
  • Here is a picture of a local student’s homework as captured by his mom.
  • And in the same family, here is kid #2’s homework in the same district 4 years later.
  • Here they are side by side; kindergarten homework just 4 years apart. Note that graded sheets in grades all the way down to kinder start appearing in 2012 in NY.
  • Here’s another similar sample from elsewhere in America. This isn’t just a NY problem.
  • Here’s my son’s 3rd grade homework and classwork. This one day he came home with 60 sheets … almost all look like practice tests.
  • And then he moved into 4th grade this year and guess what, it looks the same.
  • But the unfortunate thing was this is now happening with my kindergartner. This is the stuff she brings home. Kindergarten is supposed to = “children’s garden”
  • Even the NY Post covered this in January 2013
  • And Education Week covered it in January 2014. There are hundreds of articles about this now.
  • So in the mad dash for career and college ready, is there room for kids to write outside the box?
  • The ending of this teacher’s comment was very appropriate. That’s what I see in my kid’s work – daily. Branded by either Pearson or EngageNY.
  • Here’s how I got involved in this movement. Has it been easy? No. Do I feel like I want to bail out sometimes? Yes. So why press on …
  • Screen shot of the blog post I wrote in Spring 2013 where I tried to detail why my family chose to refuse last year’s state assessments. It was a mess of thoughts and concerns.
  • This slide of several of the more popular Facebook groups devoted to the cause is as of March 2014. The numbers continue to rise every day. We are organized and “social” … sometimes too much so.
  • Dozens of parent/educator forums took place in the fall and winter of 2013-14 all over Long Island. I was invited to speak at 6 of them regarding the data issues. Each speaker focused on a topic (special needs kids, administration, cost, ranking in the world, refusing the tests, etc.) There were open forums where anyone could attend.
  • Here’s a snapshot of the testing issues we’ve uncovered – to date. These are developed and explored in more depth on the next bunch of slides.
  • In the spring of 2013 a new site popped up, created by Lucy Calkins, where teachers, parents and even students could chime in about the tests … mostly anonymously.
  • Here’s a side-by-side view of how two LI districts responded to the test results after they were released, 4 months later. Click links to read full letters. Notice a difference in the wording and tone? Here is the tipping point: where Dr. Rella turns into “America’s Superintendent.”
  • Right before Tony is selected as NYS Elem Principal of the year, he said this online.
  • An overall picture of the total testing time and this is just for the spring exams. This does not include any benchmarks, SLOs, etc.
  • At an April 1, 2014 event at CW Post University on Long Island the Governor actually said the tests don’t count. What?
  • So then this spring Lucy Calkins and a group of professors and the like developed a new nationwide site called Testing Talk. The next bunch of slides are screen shots of some of the comments left there.
  • Testing talk comment
  • Testing talk comment
  • Testing talk comment
  • Testing talk comment
  • Here’s one of the post-ELA exam images that went viral online. The LI parent whose daughter wrote this poem gave me permission to use it anonymously. Speaks volumes, does it not?
  • And the Facebook comments poured in after the first week of the ELA exams. These were all in the open and public LI Opt Out group.
  • Tweet from the NYS Elem Principal of the year during the testing week
  • Comments were even flying from the NYC schools during testing week and many of them were found in just the comments of the popular city blog, Critical Classrooms.
  • So what’s the point? What’s the point of the high stakes standardized testing?
  • Whatever the point, we know there is money to be made.
  • But was this appropriate to distribute to kids the week before last year’s high stakes exams?
  • Here’s the snapshot of the data collection section of this presentation.
  • Good news! As a result of parent pressure on POLITICIANS in NY, the state education department killed the contract with inBloom literally during the first spring 2014 testing week. NYSED’s next move has to be watched very closely now. All eyes on them.
  • Followup story on this from the Lower Hudson Valley
  • So shifting gears to the other data initiative in the state is NY’s P-20 Longitudinal Database system. Here is the NYSED response within our state’s RttT application about use of this new database.
  • The next few slides showcase some screen shots of the PARCC testing experience. NY is only of several states piloting this in the spring 2014 for use potentially in a year or so. NYSED put PARCC on hold for now….whatever that means.
  • Yes, pictures with Superintendents is now popular. Here’s me with Dr. JoeRella. His words: “Stop it! Fix it! Scrap it!” … or we refuse it.
  • Consider the following line, in red on the slide, from the general provisions of US Code, Dept of Education.

LI Testing Refusal "Opt-out" Movement Spring2014 LI Testing Refusal "Opt-out" Movement Spring2014 Presentation Transcript

  • LI’s Testing Refusal Movement Brian Wasson Parent of 3 in Sachem Schools Member of S.C.A.P.E. the999ers.wordpress.com diigo.com/user/the999ers
  • Click here for March 24, 2014 story Click here for April 2, 2014 story
  • His kids will refuse the spring 2014 state tests. http://vimeo.com/90498744
  • http://www.msnbc.com/the-reid-report/watch/standardized-testing-causes-controversy-219357763737
  • 1. What testing refusal looks like 2. Why “we” are fighting excessive high stakes testing 3. How I got involved 4. Testing issues 5. Data collection: starve the beast 6. End Goal 7. Upcoming forums (??) and more information "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -The Lorax Outline
  • "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi 1. What Testing Refusal Looks Like • How do you refuse? • What happened last year? • What does this year look like? At the moment, no real ramifications for ANYONE for refusing – no loss of funding, no automatic AIS, no arrests …
  • What do the refusal students do during testing? - Sit and read in testing room - Relocate and read (or other activities) - Sit and stare (only one LI district left) * Some students have to verbally refuse * Some parents remove kids from school and bring back
  • NYSED Response Sources: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/schools-expect-state-test-opt-outs-to-increase-1.7481327 http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/thousands-of-li-students-refuse-to-take-state-tests-1.7577393 http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/nearly-9-500-li-students-refuse-state-exam-say-officials-1.7613887
  • NYSED Response Source: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/new_york_wont_penalize_schools_where_students_opted_out_ of_exams.html
  • School Administrator Response Sources: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/schools-expect-state-test-opt-outs-to-increase-1.7481327 http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/thousands-of-li-students-refuse-to-take-state-tests-1.7577393 http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/nearly-9-500-li-students-refuse-state-exam-say-officials-1.7613887
  • School Administrator Response Source: http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2014/04/02/is-testing-taking-over-our-schools-an-entire-faculty-says-yes/
  • 2. Why “we” are fighting excessive high stakes testing Full story found here
  • Kinder Homework 2008 "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.“-Mhatinas Ghandi
  • Kinder Homework 2012 "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi
  • Kinder 2008 "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi Kinder 2012
  • Kinder Homework 2008 v. 2013-14 “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi
  • 3rd grade homework/classwork 2012 “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.“-Mhatinas Ghandi
  • 4th grade homework/classwork 2013 “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” -Mhatinas Ghandi
  • Kinder Homework 2014 “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.“-Mhatinas Ghandi
  • http://nypost.com/2013/01/27/playtimes-over-kindergartners/
  • “Miss Vee” asked her class to write the sentence, “I have a pet.” Kids struggled with putting letters on the line, spacing, and period placement. One wrote, ‘I. hav. a. pet.” Another wrote, “I wet. a pet.” The “super challenging” demands leave less time for puzzles, coloring and games, she said. DOE spokeswoman Erin Hughes said, “These are the types of activities and exercises that students need to work on to acquire the skills they need to be ready for middle school, high school, college and careers.” But kindergarten, she added, should include a “wide range of activities, including free play.” From: http://nypost.com/2013/01/27/playtimes-over-kindergartners/
  • http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2014/01/is_kindergarten_the_new_first.html
  • Is there room for these kids? "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi
  • - Syracuse area teacher on Diane Ravitch’s blog here http://dianeravitch.net/2014/04/08/teacher-the-joy-of-teaching-isgone/
  • 3. How I got involved “Honey, I think we have found a cause.” “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” -Mhatinas Ghandi • 3 years of research (now 4) • More Than a Number presentation March 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9MGK4zvH-Q • Mt. Sinai parent/educator forum March 2013, meeting Jeanette Deutermann • The tech end of these reforms • Conversation, research, connections all fueled by social media
  • http://wp.me/p3pStf-8
  • Relevant Facebook Groups 15,150 members Long Island Opt-out Info 12,588 members Lace to the Top 933 members NY Parents Opposed to Data Sharing without Consent! 3,045 members NYS Refuse the Tests 129,200 members … and climbing
  • Parent/Educator OPEN Forums
  • 4. Testing Issues “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” -Mhatinas Ghandi • High stakes tied to multiple tests (SLOs, state tests, …) • Length & content (reading level, passages) • Useless results, secretive, testing on content rolled out simultaneously • Data collection used for variety of purposes • Field testing = free child labor • Cost (e.g., RVC and Comsewogue both estimate it costs them $550k-$1million … low balling it) • Computer based testing (CBT) coming with PARCC
  • “All tests and student results should be available to teachers and parents after test administration. They should be used only to inform parents and teachers about a child’s learning and to improve instruction. Tests should exist to serve students not politicians or for-profit testing companies.” - NY Principal Carol Burris in the resolution against high-stakes testing (She is an original author of the NY Principals Open Letter of Concern Regarding New York State’s APPR Legislation for the Evaluation of Teachers and Principals and the NY Principals Letter to Parents About Testing. Also NYS High School Principal of the Year.) www.newyorkprincipals.org
  • http://elafeedback.com/comments/view/-/- Post Spring 2013 State Assessment Collected Feedback https://web.archive.org/web/20130818204109/http://elafeedback.com/comments/view/-/-
  • Click here for full version Click here for full version
  • “Give us data we can use to inform instruction and help our children learn and grow! Our children spend hours taking these tests, which we are never allowed to see again, and we receive the results just in time for the next school! What’s the point? We cannot do anything with this information because we don’t have all the pieces in a timely fashion. As educators, many of us dedicate our lives to using as many assessment points as possible to help us plan and guide future instructional decisions to best meet the needs of our children. The data from NYS seems to be used for one purpose, and one purpose only, to judge.” -Long Island’s own, 2014 NYS Elementary Principal of the Year, Tony Sinanis
  • Total testing time "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi
  • “The governor asserted the delay would ease the statewide unrest and anxiety over the new curriculum. "I think that parents can now exhale. Students can now exhale," Cuomo said. "The test scores don't count.“” - NY Governor Andrew Cuomo http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/cuomo-astorino-spar-on-common-core-state-budget-1.7575888 Wait, what? Does NYSED know about this?
  • http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2014/04/t oday-is-first-day-of-state-ela-exams.html Post Spring 2014 State Assessment Collected Feedback http://wp.me/p3uIz3-d7 http://testingtalk.org/responses?region=NY
  • Used anonymously with permission from the child’s parent.
  • http://criticalclassrooms.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/day-3-2014-nyspearson-common-core-ela-exam/
  • “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” -Mhatinas Ghandi High stakes testing is not about learning; it’s about penalizing: Districts - Schools - Teachers - Students Who is being assessed? Teachers? Administrators? Students? The implementation of the new Common Core Standards? All of the above?
  • 5. Data Collection: Starve the Beast “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” -Mhatinas Ghandi • inBloom dashboard project ** • Data collection begins in pre-K and continues to adult year 26 (as of now) – NY’s P-20 Longitudinal Database – USA Today: Plan would track students from preschool to workforce http://usat.ly/1j6A7Ki – Database connected to many other state agencies • Data collection, storage, mining, sharing • Refer to handout
  • "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi Click here to read full story
  • "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi Click here to read full story
  • "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi https://www.rtt-apr.us/state/new-york/2010-2011/puip
  • Go Ahead and Get the PARCC Testing Experience http://wp.me/p3pStf-69
  • Go Ahead and Get the PARCC Testing Experience http://wp.me/p3pStf-69
  • Go Ahead and Get the PARCC Testing Experience http://wp.me/p3pStf-69
  • Go Ahead and Get the PARCC Testing Experience http://wp.me/p3pStf-69
  • Phrase above quoted via Dr. Joseph Rella, Superintendent, Comsewogue Schools, NY 6. End Goal Stop It! Fix It! Scrap It!
  • "In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect.“ -Mhatinas Ghandi 7. Upcoming Forums & More Information March 25: Huntington VFW Hall 210 W Pulaski Rd 7:30 pm March 26: Valley Stream American Legion Hall 7:00 pm March 29: iREFUSE Rally @ Comsewogue HS 12:00-4:00 pm https://www.facebook.com/irefusethegreatamericanoptout LI Opt Out Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Longislandoptout/ NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) http://www.nysape.org