Tag Archives: ELA

English Language Arts

Kingston parents refuse the state standardized tests!

 

 

 

Green Laces

Kingston refusal percentages doubled on the state math test!

Dr. Padalino reported to the Kingston school board of education (BOE) last night that 24% of students grades 3-8 refused the state math test administered last week.  The percentage was highest in the middle schools with both middle schools having about a 30% refusal rate for the math test.  The math test refusal percentage is more than doubled from the 10.7% of students grades 3-8 who refused the ELA state test when it was administered the beginning of April.

For the state math test, 8 of the 9 Kingston schools fell below 95% participation.  J.F. Kennedy was the only school that had 95% or more participation in the state math test.  For the ELA test only one school fell below 95% participation (J.W. Bailey middle school).

You might be wondering, what is the big deal with this 95% participation?  The answer is, No Child Left Behind requires 95% participation on state tests or else ….  The ‘or else’ has been unclear and much debated with many believing that a district will lose some of their funding if the 95% participation is not achieved.  This article from New York State Allies for Public Education details why those advocating for state test refusal do not believe districts will lose funding for falling below the 95% participation rate.

When the board inquired what the refusal rates would mean for the Kingston school district, Dr. Padalino stated that it was not clear what would happen.  The initial understanding was that a participation rate less than 95% would cause a school to be identified as a focus school but now the state is saying that they might average the rates from the last 2 years.  It seems that the state education department might not have understood the refusal situation that could/would occur in Kingston or throughout the state.  The impact on APPR is also unknown according to Dr. Padalino.

 

Refusing the New York State tests and potential impact on Kingston Honors courses

Our family struggled long and hard with the decision as to whether Julia, our 7th grader, would refuse the state tests this year. Julia had kids signing a petition against the tests last year and she has been wearing green laces (Lace to the Top) for a year so she is personally concerned about issues related to testing. I have also been concerned by many issues related to high-stakes testing. Our family’s primary reluctance has been the issue of placing stress on the child to have to practice civil disobedience in refusing the tests. With the assurances from the Kingston school district the week before ELA testing was to begin that pressure would not be placed on the students to sit and stare and the expected extensions of that philosophy into treating all refusing students with consideration and respect throughout the testing time, we decided to refuse the tests.

Green Laces

I am very happy to report that other than having to spend 9 hours last week sitting in the Bailey auditorium (3 hours on each of the 3 days of testing), the testing week went smoothly for Julia.  She loves to read and passed the time with her books although having to sit in the same spot for 3 hours is hard for anyone and I feel for the staff who were overseeing the approximately 180 students on day 1 of testing in the auditorium and over 200 students on days 2 and 3.  Julia said that some students did not remember to bring books with them to read so I am not sure how they kept themselves occupied.

One question that was not answered before the testing began was what impact, if any, refusing the state tests might have on Julia’s ability to participate in honors courses next year.  I submitted the question to the district via the new Let’s Talk application when it was introduced last Tuesday April 1, 2014 and received the following answer in my e-mail today April 9, 2014.

Question: What impact will my daughter’s refusing the state tests have on her ability to participate in honors courses next year?

Answer:
Students may opt of state tests and still be selected to participate in honors courses; however, sitting for state exams and achieving a high score can help students better their chances of being chosen for the honors program.
In English Language Arts, students must meet KCSD standards in 5 of 7 criterion:
1) 7th Grade ELA test score
2) 8th Grade ELA test score
3) Report Card average over 92 percent
4) STAR assessment
5) Guidance recommendation
6) Teacher recommendation
7) Honors Essay

In Math and Science, students must meet KCSD standards in 5 of 6 criterion*:
1) 7th Grade Math/Science test scores
2) 8th Grade Math/Science test score
3) Report Card average over 92 percent
4) STAR assessment
5) Guidance recommendation
6) Teacher recommendation
*Math and Science are separate courses