Tag Archives: Middle School

HOPE 2015 – Helping Others Protect Everyone

HOPE 2015 CANCELED as of 11/10/15 – details here

Save the date!

 HOPE 2015

Helping Others Protect Everyone

Ways to resolve conflict and improve relationships in our homes and communities

Saturday November 14, 2015  9am-Noon

Kingston High School

 Workshops will address the different ways conflict, including bullying, manifest itself in family relationships, friend relationships and dating relationships.  A variety of workshops will be available for elementary, middle school and high school students as well as for parents and community members.

HOPE 2015 Save the date flyer 6 8 15

Two vital qualities your students need from YOU

Being a ‘good’ parent or mentor to an adolescent is hard work.  Tim Elmore says we need to be both responsive and demanding to succeed.

Leading students well depends on the timing of your actions and your leadership style. What an adolescent needs is an adult (parent, teacher, coach, employer, pastor or leader) who makes appropriate demands and sets appropriate standards for them in a responsive environment of belief and concern. In short, they need adults to display a balance of two characteristics—they need them to be both responsive and demanding.

  1. Responsive: to display acceptance, support and belief; to be attentive to them.

  2. Demanding: to establish standards and hold students accountable to them.

Read his full blog for case studies and insight on how to achieve this balancing act.

Algebra 1 Common Core Regents test – teacher says “Toughest Algebra exam I have ever seen!”

The Algebra 1 Common Core regents test was administered* on Wednesday June 17, 2015 and the report on the test is not good.

An email from a New York State eighth grade teacher states that ‘this was the toughest Algebra exam I have ever seen’ and explains that the test was ‘challenging’ because some of the questions were not part of the curriculum (what was supposed to be taught) or were excessively long or complex.  Read the letter for the details – portions of the letter are in italics below.

Some eighth grade students in the Kingston City School District who took the Algebra 1 regents test reported that the test was ‘difficult’.  My daughter thought it was a little harder than the two practice tests she took to prepare for the regents.  Many felt that it was unfair due to the curve applied to the grade and I agree with the students.  Reports that I heard indicated that students left the test crying and feeling like ‘failures’ and then when they received their grades after the test the crying and feelings of failure repeated even though the curve was explained to them (most of the eighth grade students ended up receiving a score in the 70’s).  Remember that these are ‘honors’ students – eight grade students who are taking the course a year early so these are not ‘average’ or ‘struggling’ students.  If this is what the honors students face, I can’t even imagine what the students who were taking the Algebra 1 course under the normal track (in 9th grade) or those who were retaking the regents test to try and get credit for graduation felt when they received their grade on their report card with no explanation of the difficulty of the test, possible unfairness of some questions or the outrageous curve applied to the grades!

The biggest problem according to the letter and according to what I heard reported locally was the curve.  It brings up lower-performing students, as you would expect, but it also brought DOWN the score for the highest-performing students!

Additionally, students were met with the toughest curve I’ve ever seen on a Regents exam as well. Typically you think of a curve as something that will add a few points onto every student’s exam to account for the difficulty level of that exam. All Regents exams have some version of a curve or another, and while this curve did help the lower-performing students, it also HURT the highest-performing students. For example, a student that knew 94% of the exam received a grade of 93. A student that knew 86% of the exam received an 84. When you look at the class as a whole, only two students met the “85 or above” that they were striving for all year long.

Having their grade pushed DOWN can be very detrimental to an HONORS student!

  • In Kingston if an honors student does not achieve a grade of 85 or above in a course, they can not continue in the honors level course of that subject the next year!
  • If students are working for a ‘Regents with HONORS’ designation on their graduation diploma, they must have a computed average of 90 or better on the 5 required regents tests.

As if that isn’t alarming enough, let’s look at the difference between a grade of a 70 and a grade of a 75. You may look at those two and think that they are just five points apart, right? Well the way the scale works, a student who knew just 47% of the material got a grade of a 70, while a student who knew 71% of the material got a 75. Therefore, a student who got the 75 may have actually gotten almost 25% more of the exam correct than the student who got the 70! This creates one of the worst bell curves I have ever seen.

Kingston parents, does this curve seem fair to you?  What will make a student want to go the extra mile and work harder if they get barely 5 percentage points more on the grade for getting 25% more of the answers correct?  Also note that in order for a student to ‘pass’ a regents test they have to achieve a scale score of 65 or proficiency level 3.  For this particular Algebra 1 test, a student only has to earn 30 out of 86 points to achieve the magic ‘proficiency’ level.  That is actually a raw percentage score of 35% but it is considered ‘passing’ and the student receives a grade of 65% on the test.  Does that sound like we are getting our students college-and-career-ready?  What is going on here?  On one hand we are penalizing our honors students and taking away points they have earned and on the other we are passing students who earned a raw percentage of 35% on the test.  Take a look for yourself at the Algebra 1 score conversion chart here.

The teacher who wrote the letter summarizes as follows:

Let me sum up what the last three paragraphs really say: the exam did a serious disservice to your child and will be reflected in their grade. It’s not a fair representation of what students knew, what they did all year, or what they were capable of. There is nothing that your son or daughter could have done to have been better prepared for this exam. Words cannot describe what an injustice this truly is to your child.

The regents tests are NOT secret like the New York State standardized tests for grades 3-8 so the tests are available to the public once the administration is completed.  The questions from the two parts of the Algebra 1 Common Core regents test are included below**.  Click on the links, part 1 and part 2, to see blog posts with the questions, answers and some explanations of the answers.

Please check out the test questions and answers.  Talk to some students who took the Algebra 1 Common Core regents test.  Talk to some math teachers – the regents tests are public and have no gag order.  If you agree that something is wrong with the Algebra 1 test, please join with other parents in talking to the Board of Regents and New York State legislators as something has to change!  The facebook group NY STOP GRAD HST is dedicated to dealing with issues that stop students from graduating such as failing the regents tests.  CLASS, Coalition for Legislative Action Supporting Students, is mobilizing parents to advocate with legislators for changes needed out of Albany.

 

Notes:

*Prior to the 2014-2015 school year, the first high school regents math course was called Integrated Algebra.  With the introduction of common Core, the regents course became Algebra 1 and the first Algebra 1 Common Core regents test was administered last June 2014.  The test was given for the second time in January 2015 and the test on June 17, 2015 was the third time the Common Core version has been administered.  On the first two administrations of the algebra common core regents, students could take both tests and keep their higher grade with the Integrated Algebra grade being higher for most students.  Students who took Algebra 1 this year did not have the option of taking the Integrated Algebra regents test as well so the grade that they receive on the Algebra regents is the one they are stuck with unless they decide to take the regents test again.

**Algebra 1 Common Core regents test questions

Part 1 (multiple choice)

  1. The cost of airing a commercial on television is modeled by the function C(n) = 110n + 900, where n is the number of times the commercial is aired. Based on this model, which statement is true?
  2. The graph below represents a jogger’s speed during her 20-minute jog around her neighborhood.  Which statement best describes what the jogger was doing during the 9-12 minute interval of her jog?
  3. If the area of a rectangle is expressed as xˆ4 – 9yˆ2, then the product of the legnth and the width of the rectange could be expressed as
  4. Which table represents a function?
  5. Which inequality is represented in the graph below?
  6. Mo’s farm stand sold a total of 165 pounds of apples and peaches. She sold apples for $1.75 per pound and peaches for $2.50 per pound. If she made $33750, how many pounds of peaches did she sell?
  7. Morgan can start wrestling at age 5 in Division 1. He remains in that division until he next odd birthday when he is required to move up to the next division level. Which graph correctly represents this information.
  8. Which statement is not always true?
  9. The graph of the function f(x) = (x + 4)ˆ(1/2) is shown below:  The domain of the function is
  10. What are the zeroes of the function f(x) = xˆ2 – 13x – 30?
  11. Joey enlarged a 3-inch by 5-inch photograph on a copy machine. he enlarged it four times. The table below shows the area of the photograph after each enlargement.  What is the average rate of change of the area from the original photograph to the fourth enlargement, to the nearest tenth?
  12. Which equation(s) represent the graph below?                                            I. y = (x + 2)(x2 – 4x – 12)                                                                                              II. y = (x – 3)(x2 + x – 2)                                                                                            III. y = (x – 1)(x2 – 5x – 6)
  13. A laboratory technician studied the population growth of a colony of bacteria. He recorded the number of bacteria every other day, as shown in the partial table below.  Which function would accurately model the technician’s data?
  14. Which quadratic function has the largest maximum?
  15. If f(x) = 3ˆx and g(x) = 2x + 5, at which value of x is f(x) < g(x)?
  16. Beverly did a study this past spring using data she collected from a cafeteria. She recorded data weekly for ice cream sales and soda sales. Beverly found the line of best fit and the correlation coefficient as shown in the diagram below.
  17. The function V(t) = 1350(1.017)t represents the value V(t), in dollars, of a comic book t years after its purchase. The yearly rate of appreciation of the comic book is
  18. When directed to solve a quadratic equation by completing the square, Sam arrived at the equation (x – 5/2)ˆ2 = 13/4. Which equation could have been the original equation given to Sam?
  19. The distance a free falling object has traveled can be modeled by the equation d = 1/2 atˆ2, where a is acceleration due to gravity and t is the amount of time the object has fallen. What is t in terms of a and d?
  20. The table below shows the annual salaries for the 24 member of a professional sports team in terms of millions of dollars. [table omitted] The team signs an additional player to a contract worth 10 million dollars per year. Which statement about the median and the mean is true?
  21. A student is asked to solve the equation 4(3x – 1)2 – 17 = 83  The student’s solution to the problem starts as                                                          4(3x – 1)2 = 100                                                                                                                   (3x – 1)2 = 25                                                                                                           A correct next step in the solution of the problem is
  22. A pattern of blocks is shown below.  If the pattern continues, which formula(s) could be used to determine the number of blocks in the nth term?
  23. What are the solutions to the equation x2 – 8x = 24?
  24. Natasha is planning a school celebration and wants to have live music and food for everyone who attends. She has found a band that will charge her $750 and a caterer who will provide snacks and drinks for $2.25 per person. If her goal is to keep the average cost per person between $2.75 and $3.25, how many people, p, must attend?

Part 2 (open response)

25.  Graph the function y = |x – 3| on the set of axes below.  Explain how the graph of y = |x – 3| has changed from the related graph y = |x|.

26.  Alex is selling tickets to a school play. an adult ticket costs $6.50 and a student ticket costs $4.00. Alex sells x adult tickets and 12 student tickets. Write a function f(x), to represent how much money Alex collected from selling tickets.

27.  John and Sarah are each saving money for a car. The total amount of money John will save is given by the function F(x) = 60 + 5x. The total amount of money Sarah will save is given by the function g(x) = x2 + 46. After how many weeks, x, will they have the same amount of money? Explain how you arrived at your answer.

28.  If the difference (3x2 – 2x + 5) – (x2 +3x – 2) is multiplied by 1/2X2, what is the result, written in standard form.

29.  Dylan invested $600 in a savings account at 1.6% annual interest rate. He made no deposits or withdrawals on the account for 2 years. The interest was compounded annually. Find, to the nearest cent, the balance in the account after 2 years.

30.  Determine the smallest integer that makes -3x + 7 – 5x < 15 true.

31.  The residual plots from two different sets of bivariate data afe graphed below.  Explain, using evidence from graph A and graph B, which graph indicates that the model for the data is a good fit.

32.  A landscaper is creating a rectangular flower bed such that the width is half of the length. The area of the flower bed is 34 square feet. Write and solve an equation to determine the width of the flower bed, to the nearest tenth of a foot.

 

HOPE 2015 – Helping Others Protect Everyone

HOPE 2015 CANCELED as of 11/10/15 – details here

The Kingston High School Parents Association (KHS PA) invites students, parents and community members to mark your calendar for the HOPE 2015 conference this fall.

HOPE 2015

Helping Others Protect Everyone

Ways to resolve conflict and improve relationships in our homes and communities

Saturday November 14, 2015  9am-Noon

 Workshops will address the different ways conflict, including bullying, manifest itself in family relationships, friend relationships and dating relationships.  A variety of workshops will be available for elementary, middle school and high school students as well as for parents and community members.

HOPE 2015 Save the date flyer 6 8 15

 

If you have any questions about the conference, suggestions for workshops or you would like to volunteer to help with bringing this conference to  our community, you can RSVP as above or fill out the form below since I happen to be the contact person for the conference.

 

Understanding CDOS and Ending the Silence – May 14, 2015

Kingston City School District and the Kingston Special Education Parent Group will be hosting two presentations on Thursday evening May 14, 2015.

Understanding the NYS Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential

Thursday May 14, 2015  6-7:30pm

M. Clifford Miller Middle School room #130

NAMI Ending the Silence

A presentation by Tina Lee of NAMI, for parents of Middle School and High school students

M. Clifford Miller Middle School room #132

RSVP for either presentation to Kingstonsepg@gmail.com

Click sped flyer May 14 2015 for details.

 

Many parents and teachers have concerns regarding the CDOS.

  • Open letter to the Members of the Board of Regents on CDOS – June 2014
  • High school diploma options too narrow – lohud May 11, 2015
  • KCSD board members Robin Jacobowitz and Danielle Guido both spoke at Meet the Candidates Night tonight of the fact that the CDOS, as it currently exists, is NOT an adequate replacement for a diploma for special education students who are not able to earn the score they need to ‘pass’ the Regents tests (which has been made even harder to achieve now by Common Core).

Parents demand independent review of NYS tests

Please send an email or make a call to the New York State Attorney General’s office demanding an independent review of the NYS grade 3-8 tests.

From United to Counter the Core:

Hundreds of thousands of parents across NY have spoken loudly and clearly with test refusals. Now it is time for YOU to take the next step!

United to Counter the Core is proud to join over 60 grassroots parent activist groups across NY calling for an investigation into the tests by our Attorney General, Eric T Schneiderman. We ask you, the parents, to support this effort by taking three minutes to call the Attorney General’s office and add your voice to the rising chorus.

Please call or email the AG’s office and DEMAND an independent review of the 2015 grades 3-8 ELA and math tests, addressing concerns with quality, validity, and appropriateness.  We are FINALLY being heard in Albany; please call TODAY and continue to let your voice be heard!

Attorney General Eric T Schneiderman’s Office
1-800-771-7755
NYAG.Pressoffice@ag.ny.gov

UPDATE: the phone system can be difficult to navigate, but you will find an operator by dialing 1, then 3, then 6. You can leave your name and number with the operator on the phone log, telling her that you’re calling in support of a petition that has already been filed.

You can also contact Eric T. Schneiderman‘s office by posting on his Facebook page (click his name above). -Storm

Parents demand an investigation

Read the press release about the demand for an independent review of the tests as well as the petition and the 60+ parent groups supporting the demand.

If you have not yet added your name to the petition, you may do so by clicking here.

Experiences of students REFUSING the NYS tests in KCSD

Kingston parents REFUSING the NYS tests for your children – how did the testing weeks go for your kids?

My 8th grade daughter had a relatively stress-free TEST REFUSAL experience at Bailey during the NYS ELA test.  She wasn’t terribly comfortable sitting for three hours on the bleachers in the gym on Tuesday but Bailey had a lot of kids REFUSING and I felt they did a pretty good job accommodating the students.  I was very happy when I heard that they brought in tables and chairs for all of the 8th graders to sit on in the gym on the second day of testing.

My daughter actually hasn’t been either a test-taker or a test refuser during the NYS math test.  She is taking the Regents Algebra class and Earth Science and her class was told just before the ELA test started that the Regents Algebra students wouldn’t be taking the 8th grade NYS math test.  Instead she has been doing some math and some science with her classroom teachers during the testing period.  She would have preferred to be in the REFUSAL room and having time to read but the extra time to prepare for the upcoming Regents tests that she will be taking in June will be more beneficial for her in the long run.

I think that, in general, the Kingston district has followed their intent stated last year of ‘treating all students with respect and compassion.’ However I have heard of several areas of concern which I present so they can be clarified and/or addressed for next year should we still be stuck with unresolved issues and, as parents, feel compelled to REFUSE the tests again (I hope not!)

Bribe/reward for test-takers:  Parents reported that at JFK there was a perception that candy/gum was being used as a bribe or reward for test-takers.  At least some children taking the tests received candy or gum and some children who REFUSED the tests felt that they did not get candy/gum because they did not take the tests.  At Miller some parents reported that test-taking students were able to watch movies after testing was finished but TEST REFUSERS had to sit silently the entire time and were even threatened with suspension if they were not silent.

Practice test packets for TEST REFUSERS:  Crosby had practice test packets for students who REFUSED the test this year in Kingston. This was a school-by-school decision as it was not all schools who did it. At least one class at Graves had a practice test packet on the first day of ELA but it was changed after a parent spoke to the principal.  I think it was a teacher decision at Graves rather than school-wide.  The fact that a change was made shows responsiveness to parental concerns.  The principal at Crosby made the decision for REFUSING students to have to do test prep booklets as their ‘alternate educational activity’ and would not change the activity even though a parent asked for something different and even volunteered to come in and do an activity with the students if staffing was limited.

I  have been somewhat worried all along when parents have asked/demanded ‘alternative educational activities’ during testing (what might these activities end up being?) but deciding for them to be practice tests is particularly offensive when the parents are REFUSING TESTING. A parent says “I don’t want my child to take the test because I have concerns about the test” and the educator says “Okay, I will just give them a practice test instead.” Does that mean the educator did not really understand what the parent is expressing concern about or is the educator deliberately trying to offend?

Unexcused absence:  Parents at Bailey who brought their REFUSING student to school after the testing time completed (so the student would not just have to sit in a large room for three (3) hours which is a long time even though they can read) learned that the absence/late arrive was going to be marked as UNEXCUSED even though a note was submitted by the parent.

To end on a positive note, Bailey students are only in the testing rooms for two hours for the math test this week rather than for three hours as was the case for ELA.   This is a considerable reduction in time being taken up by the tests for most students. Thank you Bailey!

 

 

 

June 1st Deadline for Special Permission Requests

If you are a family in the Kingston City School District who needs to make a special permission request for the 2015-2016 school year, be aware that new procedures are in place with a June 1, 2015 deadline.

The following article was posted on the KCSD website on April 13, 2015:

Dear Parents:
It truly takes a community to raise a child, and the Kingston City School District is proud to partner with our parents in accommodating school special permission requests. We understand that many working families need access to before- and after-school care in order to support their children’s education. Board of Education Policy 5110, School Attendance Boundaries, provides the superintendent the authority to transfer students from one attendance area to another.

The KCSD plans to continue special permissions, but we need our parents’ help to support a new procedure with a June 1, 2015 deadline for these requests. Parents who have had previous permissions should know that a new request must be completed each school year. The form to complete requests is available at the link listed below and is also available in all school district main offices.

Special Permission Information and Procedures

• A special permission is permission for a student(s) to attend a school in the Kingston City School District in an attendance zone outside of the student’s residence.

• All requests must be made in advance of each new school year. Parents must complete the Request for Special Permission form and Day Care Information form and return it to the school district no later than June 1, 2015 for the school year that begins on September 8, 2015. A request to extend a previous special permission approval must be completed every year by completing this form. This form can be accessed by visiting www.kingstoncityschools.org/sp

• The approval or denial of all requests will be communicated in writing no later than August 15, 2015 by the office of the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning.

• Special Permission approvals are not provided transportation by KCSD.  However,
o Students attending a childcare provider to/from the school may request to ride the bus route to and from the existing bus stops, on a seat available on a first come, first served basis. A Special Permission Alternative Bus Stop Request form is required to be completed and submitted for approval.

• In rare instances, if a student on special permission shows a pattern of frequent absences, tardiness, or inappropriate behavior, the building principal of the school the child is attending may revoke the student’s privilege to attend the school and the student will be returned to the school in the attendance area in which the student resides.

• If a student(s) moves out of an attendance area during the course of the school year, special permission may be requested by completing a Request for Special Permission form and the student(s) may stay at the school he/she currently is attending (in his/her  former attendance area) for the remainder of the school year, subject to the approval of the building principal.  The school district will not provide transportation.

Thank you for your support of this new deadline. Specific questions can be directed to your child’s building principal.

 

 

The truth regarding NYS test REFUSAL

Confusion seems to abound both in the Kingston City School District and throughout New York State as to a parent’s right to REFUSE the New York State tests for their grade 3-8 students as well as the potential consequences to students/teachers/schools if parents do REFUSE the tests.

lohud presented a summary of the problem/confusion in their editorial “Waiting for straight answers on testing” along with some answers they received.  They found the answers to not be terribly helpful but with the additional explanations below, some of them are a bit clearer.

KCSD Superintendent Dr. Paul Padalino exhorted parents to allow their students to participate in the state tests in the March 2015 KCSD newsletter and included statements labeled as myths and facts to frequently asked questions about the tests.  NYSAPE provided a response to the KCSD newsletter clarifying some inaccuracies regarding the amount of time students are allotted for the tests and reaffirming that some students (many of our students with IEPs) are likely to spend up to 9 hours each on the ELA and the math tests.  NYSAPE also goes into detail about what will happen in Kingston since we are a Focus District if we do not achieve 95% participation on the tests.  Basically Kingston will stay a Focus District regardless of how many parents refuse the test because we have not met the other criteria to get out of Focus District status. Read the NYSAPE document for the full explanation though.  I do want to point out that neither Dr. Padalino or NYSAPE makes any mention of the potential for money to be lost by Kingston City School District based on the number of parents who refuse the tests because there is no potential for money to be lost by KCSD based on the percentage of students who refuse the tests.

Unfortunately NYSSBA (New York State School Boards Association) missed the ‘no loss of funding’ memo and is advising school boards that there is potential for money to be lost by school districts based on low participation rate.  A document from NYSSBA containing untruth was presented to DWPC members last week.  If you received or heard about the NYSSBA document, be sure to read this response to the NYSSBA document from Diane Ravitch/Bianca Tanis.

The New York State Assembly has reaffirmed parents’ right to REFUSE the state tests in several ways recently.  The Common Core Parental Refusal Act legislation has been presented by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco affirming the right to refuse.  The legislation has not yet been passed but both parties in the assembly are supportive of the principle of the legislation – that parents have the right to REFUSE the state tests.  During NYS budget negotiations on March 31, 2015 Assemblywomen Nolan and Wozniak covered if parents in NYS can REFUSE the state tests (YES!), impact to teacher evaluations if lots of students REFUSE (not a problem) and if schools will lose funding due to lots of test REFUSALS (NO!) – video here.

NYSUT published a set of Q&As associated with test REFUSAL (they use the term ‘opt-out’ for some reason).  I am listing a couple of the questions.  Read the document for all of the Q&As.

Q: Will districts lose state aid if large numbers of students opt out?

A: Some school districts have provided parents with inaccurate information on the consequences of opting out. In fact, there should be no adverse consequences for students who opt out and districts should have no risk losing state aid even if large numbers of their students opt out.

Q: Does research support using student scores on standardized tests as a determinant of teacher effectiveness?

A. No. Educational experts from around the country increasingly agree that the overuse of standardized testing is harmful to education and that test results are not an accurate measure of student learning or of teacher quality. Nationally, states – including California, Texas and Tennessee – are moving away from over-reliance on these tests. Parents, teachers and school boards across New York state have asked Gov. Cuomo to do the same. The governor has responded by tying needed school funding to more than doubling the reliance on these tests.

 

REFUSE the state tests - April 2015

REFUSE the state tests – April 2015

NYSUT President, Karent Magee sent out a robo call to all teachers reaffirming that parents and teachers who are parents have the right to REFUSE the state tests.  The only problem was the use of ‘opt-out’ rather than REFUSE the tests.

Several weeks ago Deputy Commissioner Ken Wagner of SED stated that there is no legal provision to “Opt-out” of state tests (3/24/15 http://news10.com/…/parents-question-common-core-opt-out-p…/)  which is true in New York State.  However parents have the right to REFUSE the tests for their children. The language used in this is vitally important to get right otherwise parents are being misinformed and facing backlash from their districts who can truthfully say that the parents cannot “Opt-out”.

I hope that you now feel confident in the TRUE FACTS associated with test REFUSAL and the TRUTH that REFUSING the state tests for your child in grades 3-8 will not cause adverse consequences for your child/teacher/school.Refuse ELA Test April 2015

If you have not already sent in a refusal letter and would like some help preparing the letter, check out NYS Allies for Public Education  or Stop Common in New York State.  You are also welcome to contact me directly by filling out the contact form below.  Just get your letter in as soon as possible and definitely by day 1 (Tuesday April 14, 2015) of testing.  Do NOT wait until day 2 or day 3 – read here for the problem with waiting until after day 1 of testing.

Impact of refusing the New York State ELA test on day 2 or day 3 of testing next week

Parents – if you are considering REFUSING the state ELA testing next week for grades 3-8, you MUST make your decision by the first day of ELA testing (April 14, 2015).

If your child begins to take the test and then ‘refuses’ on day 2 or day 3, it is NOT a refusal as I talk about test refusal (code 999 which does not impact the teacher or the school because your student does not receive a score on the test). If your student refuses on day 2 or day 3, it will adversely impact the teacher and possibly the school because your student will receive a score on the test (probably a low score since they only took a portion of test). If you had no intention of refusing the tests and your student comes home so emotionally distraught after testing on day 1 that you can not put them through another day of testing, you will have to make the call about whether avoidance of the impact to the teacher/school is worth putting your student through more turmoil/anxiety or not but please do NOT PLAN to ‘wait and see’ as part of the test refusal movement.

Also if your student who is refusing the test on day 1 makes any marks on the test (I think even putting their name on the test), the test is no longer refused and will be scored. If your child who is refusing the test is forced to be in the testing room by the school district (some school districts in Ulster County are doing this), be sure that the child knows to not put any pencil marks on the test.

I also need to call to your attention a correction to a post I made last night.  Bailey Middle School is NOT requiring that test refusal letters be submitted by today in order for students to refuse the state ELA test.  Parents may submit test refusal letters on Monday or Tuesday next week for the ELA test which begins on Tuesday April 14, 2015.

If you need assistance with your refusal letter, check out NYS Allies for Public Education  or Stop Common in New York State.  You are also welcome to contact me directly by filling out the contact form below.