Tag Archives: NYS Allies for Public Education

Please join the “I Refuse” Movement to oppose High Stakes Testing

Kingston Action For Education (KAFE) announced at the Kingston Board of Education meeting tonight that they are joining NYSAPE and other parent and teacher organizations from around New York State in support of the “I Refuse” Movement to oppose high stakes testing.  Read more here.

As a parent in the Kingston City School District and a member of KAFE, I will refuse the New York State standardized ELA and math tests in April for my 8th grader and I am asking other Kingston parents to refuse the tests for your grade 3-8 students as well.

Here is the KAFE resolution:

Kingston Action For Education (KAFE) Resolution to Support “The I Refuse Movement” to Oppose High Stakes Testing

WHEREAS, the purpose of education is to educate a populace of critical thinkers who are capable of shaping a just and equitable society in order to lead good and purpose-filled lives, not solely prepare that populace for college and career; and

WHEREAS, instructional and curricular decisions should be in the hands of classroom professionals who understand the context and interests of their students; and

WHEREAS, the education of children should be grounded in developmentally appropriate practice; and

WHEREAS, high quality education requires adequate resources to provide a rich and varied course of instruction, individual and small group attention, and wrap-around services for students; and

WHEREAS, the state assessments are not transparent in that–teachers and parents are not allowed to view the tests and item analysis will likely not be made available; and

WHEREAS, the assessment practices that accompany Common Core State Standards – including the political manipulation of test scores – are used as justification to label and close schools, fail students, and evaluate educators; therefore be it

RESOLVED that KAFE opposes standardized high stakes testing that is currently pushed by the Federal and State governments, because this testing is not being used to further instruction for children, to help children, or to support the educational needs of children; and be it further

RESOLVED, that KAFE advocates for an engaged and socially relevant curriculum that is student-based and supported by research; and be it further

RESOLVED, that KAFE joins NYSAPE in lobbying the NYS Board of Education to eliminate the use of high stakes testing; and be it further

RESOLVED, that KAFE will encourage all of Kingston City School District’s parents to have their own children refuse to take the Grade 3-8 assessments: and be it further

RESOLVED, that KAFE will encourage other parent groups in Ulster County to increase opposition to high stakes testing; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution will be sent to the NY State Board of Education, the Governor of NYS, and all members of the NYS legislative branch.

Signed by Kingston Action For Education (KAFE) Co-founders Jolyn Safron, Maria Maritsas, Tory Lowe

January 21, 2015

See more at:http://www.nysape.org/resolution-to-support-the-ldquoi-refuserdquo-movement.html#sthash.ywEl61w4.dpuf

NYSAPE RefuseTheTests

Resolution to support the “I Refuse” movement

A number of organizations made up of parents and teachers have collaborated to write the Test Refusal/APPR resolution below.  NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) is one of the collaborating organizations and they are asking for those who support the resolution to share it widely (which I am attempting to do) and also to purchase bumper stickers showing support.

The resolution with additional information as well as a link to purchase bumper stickers can be found here.  I just ordered a couple magnetic bumper stickers for my car.

Resolution to Support “The I Refuse Movement” to Oppose High Stakes Testing

WHEREAS, the purpose of education is to educate a populace of critical thinkers who are capable of shaping a just and equitable society in order to lead good and purpose-filled lives, not solely prepare that populace for college and career; and

WHEREAS, instructional and curricular decisions should be in the hands of classroom professionals who understand the context and interests of their students; and

WHEREAS, the education of children should be grounded in developmentally appropriate practice; and

WHEREAS, high quality education requires adequate resources to provide a rich and varied course of instruction, individual and small group attention, and wrap-around services for students; and

WHEREAS, the state assessments are not transparent in that–teachers and parents are not allowed to view the tests and item analysis will likely not be made available; and

WHEREAS, the assessment practices that accompany Common Core State Standards – including the political manipulation of test scores – are used as justification to label and close schools, fail students, and evaluate educators; therefore be it

RESOLVED that NYSUT opposes standardized high stakes testing that is currently pushed by the Federal and State governments, because this testing is not being used to further instruction for children, to help children, or to support the educational needs of children; and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSUT advocates for an engaged and socially relevant curriculum that is student-based and supported by research; and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will embark on internal discussions to educate and seek feedback from members regarding standardized high stakes testing and its impact on students; and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will lobby the NYS Board of Education to eliminate the use of high stakes testing; and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will ask that all of its members have their own children refuse to take the Grade 3-8 assessments: and be it further

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will organize other members and affiliates to increase opposition to high stakes testing; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution will be sent to the NY State Board of Education, the Governor of NYS, and all members of the NYS legislative branch; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that after this resolution is passed by the YOUR LOCAL’S NAME Representative Council, an appropriate version will be submitted to the American Federation of Teachers for consideration at the AFT July 2015 Convention and to NYSUT for consideration at the 2015 RA. – See more at: http://www.nysape.org/resolution-to-support-the-ldquoi-refuserdquo-movement.html#sthash.ywEl61w4.dpuf

Dear AFT

NYSAPE responds to announcement that John King is resigning as NYS Commissioner of Education

NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) has issued a press release in response to the announcement that NYS Commissioner of Education John King is resigning to accept a new position in Washington D.C. as advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan.

No one from NYSAPE is happy with the job that Commissioner King has done in New York as you will see from reading the comments in the press release John King Resigns:  Parents & Educators Call for a New Direction from the Regents and Demand NO Interference from Governor Cuomo.  However our focus now must be on who will become the next New York State Commissioner of Education.

Eyes from all corners of the Empire State now turn on Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, the Board of Regents, and the legislature to ensure the next commissioner represents the substantial change in direction that public school parents demand from a responsive government that serves the people.  NYSAPE calls for the Regents to adopt an open, inclusive selection process and stresses the importance of input from parents, educators, and other stakeholder groups in appointing a Commissioner who will be more accountable to the public at large.

As parents are contacting their New York State legislators and Board of Regents members (contact info here) to request that parents are indeed included in the stakeholder groups involved in selecting the next Commissioner, we need to make sure that the NYS PTA is not the single group serving as the ‘parent voice’ because they are solidly behind the Common Core Standards and have consistently rejected member requests for resolutions against high-stakes testing.  Read more about the NYS PTA and Common Core here.

Click here for additional information posted yesterday regarding Commissioner King’s resignation.

If my child refuses the state tests, will my school become a LAP?

As many New York State parents make decisions to refuse the state tests on behalf of their children, something called the Local Assistance Plan, or LAP, might come up.  School districts have expressed concerns that there could be severe consequences to the districts (punishment from the New York State Education Department) if too many parents refuse the state tests on behalf of their children and the school might be classified as a Local Assistance Plan school.

NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) has investigated this question thoroughly and wants parents to know that if a LAP classification were to be given to a school as a result of a large number of test refusals, the earliest this could happen would be the 2016-2017 school year.  Even if a school is designated as a LAP school, solely because parents refuse the state tests, it will NOT hurt their school or school district.  Read the details from NYSAPE here.

Don’t let school administrators try to scare you with threats about becoming an LAP due to test refusals.  Even if it happens, it won’t hurt your school or district.  They will simply have to fill out a meaningless form.

I am personally recommending that parents of students in grades 3-8 in the Kingston City School District refuse the state tests for their students this year.  This post explains why our family chose to refuse the state tests last year.  We will be refusing the state tests again this year (but NOT the tests for the Regents courses as those are required for graduation).

There are many different resources giving reasons why parents would chose to refuse the tests.  I have posted a number of them on this blog – check out the high stakes testing and test refusal tags.  Now most people are saying there are problems of one form or another with the state tests but some people are saying that current legislation passed by the New York State legislature to delay adverse impacts associated with the state tests is sufficient and we should continue with the testing.  My question is – if the results of the tests are faulty/not worth using, why are we forcing the children to undergo the stress and waste their time in taking the tests at all?

Please join me in helping to achieve the goal of 250,000 parents/students boycotting NYS tests in 2015!

“In 2014 roughly 60,000 parents boycotted NYS testing.  We believe strongly in appropriate assessment of our children, but the high-stakes nature of testing and unauthorized data collection must stop.  Our children are subjected to a one-size-fits-all system that focuses more on test scores and data collection than on student learning and overall growth.  Parents are committed to a plan for 250,000 students to boycott NYS tests,” says Eric Mihelbergel, Erie County Public School parent and founding member of NYSAPE.  – NYSAPE press release

 

 

Democratic primary for New York State Governor and Lieutenant Governor tomorrow – Tuesday September 9, 2014

If you are a registered Democrat, please take advantage of your right to make your voice heard and vote in the Democratic primary tomorrow Tuesday September 9, 2014.

Three Democratic candidates for governor will appear on the ballot:  Andrew Cuomo, Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico.

Two candidates for lieutenant governor will be on the ballot:  Kathy Hochul and Tim Wu.

Andrew Cumo and Kathy Hochul are running mates as are Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu.  However in New York you vote individually for governor and lieutenant governor so make sure you select the ones you wish and don’t mix up the pairs unless you intend to do so.

If education, and Common Core in particular, is a big concern for you this election cycle, you will probably want to know that Governor Cuomo supports Common Core and Zephyr Teachout is against Common Core.

You can find links to the educational platforms of the candidates in my blog post here.  New York Allies for Public Education has a scorecard comparing the candidates on a variety of educational issues as well as a press release talking about Governor Cuomo’s educational stance.  Governor Cuomo has refused to debate Zephyr Teachout but she and Rob Astorino, Republican candidate for governor, debated last week so you can get a feel for her stand on a variety of issues in addition to education.  I have a blog post about the debate here.

Don’t forget to vote!

Educational platforms of New York State gubernatorial candidates

Kids go back to school in Kingston tomorrow and education is on the minds of our politicians (or should be).

New York Allies for Public Education has just released a scorecard with information on where the candidates for New York State Governor stand on various educational issues – click here to view the scorecard. Governor Cuomo doesn’t fare so well unfortunately.  Check the scorecard to see where all five of the gubernatorial candidates (Governor Cuomo, Rob Astorino, Zephyr Teachout, Howie Hawkins and Randy Credico) stand on the Common Core Standards, teacher tenure, APPR, standardized testing, educational spending and charter schools.

Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has just released his educational platform and you can view it here.

Zephyr Teachout is looking to get on the ballot by winning the Democratic primary on September 9, 2014.  Her educational platform has been available for quite some time on her website – click here to view her platform.

I have not been personally following the campaigns of Howie Hawkins (Green party gubernatorial candidate) or Randy Credico (also looking to win Democratic primary) but their campaign platforms are available at the following links:  Howie Hawkins platform and Randy Credico platform.  I did not find education specifically mentioned on Randy Credico’s campaign website.

Remember that you have the opportunity to make YOUR voice heard regarding education in the upcoming elections.  If you are a registered Democrat, you can make your voice be heard in the Democratic primary on Tuesday September 9, 2014.  ALL registered voters can speak loud and strong by casting your vote at the polls in the general election on Tuesday November 4, 2014.

Parents and Educators Reject the Tests, the Scores and Corporate Agenda of NYSED & Pearson

Test scores for the 2014 New York State standardized math and ELA tests were released yesterday.  The following press release articulates concerns that many parents and educators have with the tests themselves and the resulting scores.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 2014
More information contact:
Eric Mihelbergel (716) 553-1123; nys.allies@gmail.com
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; nys.allies@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) http://www.nysape.org

Parents and Educators Reject the Tests, the Scores and Corporate Agenda of NYSED & Pearson

Today Commissioner John King and Chancellor Merryl Tisch released the test scores of the state exams in 3-8th grades, showing that, more than 68% of the state’s students were judged not proficient in English Language Arts (ELA) and more than 64% not proficient in Math. The overall results were largely flat with little to no change year over year with only small gains and drops for specific demographic groups.

Members of the New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), a coalition of more than 50 parent and educator advocacy groups, challenge the quality of the tests, the accuracy of the scores, and the motives of those who have manufactured these results. This past spring, NYSAPE estimated that at least 44,000 students had opted out of the state exams; today the Commissioner admitted that the number was as large as 60,000 compared to 10,000 in 2013.

As the growing problems with New York’s excessive and speculative testing reforms are exposed, parents across the state are outraged and calling for an overhaul at the state education department.

Lisa Rudley, Westchester county public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE said, “Though Commissioner John King assured us that the new Common Core state tests would be a much better reflection of the skills students will need for ‘college and career’ success with the release of 50% of the questions last week, we learned what educators were forbidden by law from telling us: these were flawed tests, riddled with vague questions, inappropriate reading passages and multiple product placements. In its new Pearson contract signed amidst a financial crisis, NYSED doubled annual spending on testing and even worse, eliminated the transparency of the previous McGraw-Hill contract. Where is the management from NYSED and the oversight from the Board of Regents?”

Dr. Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School on Long Island said, “Considering the more than $28 million taxpayer investment in curriculum modules, this paltry increase in scores is one more indication of the ineffectiveness of State Education Department’s reforms, and the inappropriateness of the Common Core tests. Parents should take heart in knowing that the ‘college readiness‘ proficiency scores have no connection with reality. My high school and many other well-resourced high schools in NY have proven records of preparing students for college success that are no way connected to the state’s newest measure of proficiency.”

Eric Mihelbergel, Erie County public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE said, “If the released questions are this bad, you have to wonder how much worse the other half were. I have no confidence in the results released today. Parents now demand new leadership for a Board of Regents and Commissioner of Education who repeatedly fail to adequately respond to their legitimate concerns.”

“Many of the multiple choice questions required up to five steps and compelled 8 year olds to flip back forth between numbered paragraphs. The question becomes more of a measure of attention, memory and test taking skills rather than their deep understanding of a text. The commissioner has stated that education should not be about test prep, but these tricky assessments all but ensure that test prep will continue — to the detriment of real learning,” said Bianca Tanis, an Ulster County public school parent and special education teacher.

Jeanette Deutermann, Nassau County public school parent and founder of Long Opt Out said, “This past spring, 55,000 to 60,000 New York State students were spared from yet another year of test scores that were designed to show a large majority of failures. The number of opt outs will steadily grow until NYSED takes the concerns of parents seriously and makes the necessary changes to our children’s excessive high stakes testing regimen. High stakes testing and the Regents Agenda have hijacked our classrooms, and every day more parents become aware of how they too must protect their children from these harmful policies.”

Jessica McNair, Oneida County public school parent and educator notes, “Until the NYSED acknowledges that these developmentally inappropriate exams take time away from instruction, cost taxpayers, and set kids up to fail — in an attempt to perpetuate the false narrative of Governor Cuomo’s ‘death penalty’ for schools — parents will continue to refuse to allow their children to participate in these state tests.”

“The test content was not sufficiently disclosed and there was no quality assurance or mechanism for parents or educators to obtain valuable feedback. The bottom line is that students are getting hurt, money is being wasted and precious time is being spent on high stakes testing at the expense of more meaningful instruction. The system surrounding the NYS testing program is dysfunctional to say the least,” said Anna Shah, Dutchess County public school parent.

Fred Smith, a test specialist formerly with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) stated, “The State Education Department took a half-step by releasing 50 percent of the English and math questions from the April 2014 exams. It was a half-step not just because it falls halfway short of full disclosure, but also because SED fails to provide data at its disposal that would enable objective evaluation of the questions, each of which is a brick in the wall of the testing program.”

“Like many other parents, I see how flawed the tests are as a measure of learning, and fear for all those millions of students who are told, unjustly, and at an early age, they aren’t ‘college and career ready’. These tests which ask our children to prove the existence of Big Foot and expose them to numerous and inappropriate product placements are the furthest from rigor one could imagine. I question the motives of the bureaucrats and the testing companies who are forcing these inappropriate exams onto our children – to try to prove to the public that our schools and children are failing, so they can better pursue their privatization agenda and the outsourcing of education into corporate hands,” said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters.

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Testing – Is there more than there used to be?

The question frequently comes up – is there more testing than there used to be?  In fact a friend recently sent me a link to an article stating that in fact the number of tests has not changed and the implication is that those who claim there is more testing are obviously wrong.

The Common Core standards do not mean additional testing. Since 2002, federal law has required public schools to test students in math and reading once a year in grades three through eight and once in high school. As states change from their old standards to Common Core, they are replacing old tests with new ones aligned to the new standards.

Every time I hear this response, I want to stand up and yell “Wait a minute!  There is more testing!”  Testing is what brought me into the Common Core debate and I would like to explain why I believe there is more testing as a result of Common Core.

In New York State, the NUMBER of state tests has not gone up due to Common Core but the length of time that students spend sitting for tests has most definitely gone up.  This equates to more testing in my mind.

This article talks about a variety of issues associated with testing including time taken up by test prep (not really what I am addressing here but I am sure that many parents consider increased time spent preparing for tests to be part of the ‘increased testing time’) as well as how much time was taken last year (2013) in the author’s specific sphere of knowledge.  Note that ELL stands for English Language Learner which is a student whose native language is not English.

Here’s what I reported on the length and format of last year’s 5th grade ELA test:

Over the course of three consecutive days, they were asked to answer a total of 63 multiple-choice questions on two different answer grids, and eight short-response questions and two extended-response questions in two different booklets. In order to do this, they had to first carefully read and re-read a large number of reading passages.

The following week, my 5th grade ELLs spent three days taking the math exam. These elementary students were subjected to a total of six days – 13.5 hours – of testing in ELA and math.

In 2014, students across New York State spent the following amount of time taking the state standardized tests:

  • 3rd grade:  6.6 hours taking test
  • 4th grade:     8 hours
  • 5 grade:     8.6 hours
  • Some children with disabilities spent more than 17 hours taking tests this year

Testing hours

Also there are MORE tests because of all the tests that have been added due to the teacher appraisal system (APPR).  Students from Kindergarten through twelfth grade are required to take SLO tests (Student Learning Objective tests) at the start and the end of each subject/course to figure out if the student shows ‘growth’ in their knowledge of the subject so the teacher can be rated.  This article was written by a young man named Nikhil Goyal, back in May 2013 just after he graduated high school, about the SLO tests.  There are many more recent articles but I find this one from a student’s perspective to be particularly telling.  These SLO tests are not called ‘Common Core tests’ (they are considered to be local assessments) but from a parent perspective and from actual fact, they are tests that have been added as a result of Common Core because APPR was added to make sure that teachers are teaching to the Common Core State Standards.  I tend to be imprecise in my language and call everything ‘Common Core’ whether it was added for APPR or data collection or testing or the Common Core State Standards themselves because it is all part of the Common Core package in my mind.  However this allows some to try and cast doubt like the comment that the number of tests has not increased.

As a parent, I don’t care if a testing increase is due to a larger number of tests or more minutes spent sitting for the same number of tests, it is still more testing!

Since some of the confusion regarding testing arises as a result of terminology/imprecise wording, here is a terminology guide from New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) that might be helpful for parents:

Terminology guide

Testing-related terms including in the terminology guide are:  APPR, Local Assessments, SLO, Benchmark, Standardized Local Assessment, STAR, ELA Exam, Math Assessment, Field tests, PARCC, Title 1 (related to testing because amount of money received is tied to test results), Waiver, AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress, NCLB.  A lot of other information including history of Common Core and test refusal sample letters are included in the terminology guide so a read through the entire guide would definitely be worth the time invested.

New York State Standardized Tests wrap-up and REFUSE the Field tests!

The New York State standardized tests are finished – well at least the students have finished taking them (or so we thought – see below **). For those parents who had their students take the tests, there will be a several month wait until test scores are received.

Some might wish that I would stop talking about tests, however I believe it is important to understand why many parents REFUSED the tests for their children. Dr. Padalino reported to the Kingston Board of Education that 10.7% of Kingston students grades 3-8 refused the ELA state test and 24% of students grades 3-8 refused the state math test.  This article was written prior to the state math tests being administered but it clearly articulates many of the concerns that I have and reasons why my daughter did not take the ELA and math state tests.

Unless a miracle happens and all of the politicians who are in support of Common Core are ousted in November, at both the state and federal level, we will still have state tests next year and parents will need to decide if their students will take those tests or not. Please inform yourselves now.

** State testing is not really finished – we still have field testing yet this school year. Do you want your student being a test subject for Pearson for FREE?  REFUSE the field tests – they are NOT mandatory!

Green Laces

Field tests are assigned to certain grades within the various school districts by the New York State Education Department (assignments listed here).  Students in the following grades/schools in the Kingston City School District will be taking field tests starting next week:

  • Chambers – 4th grade math (school code 620600010011)
  • Crosby – 4th grade math  (school code 620600010015)
  • Edson – 4th grade math (school code 620600010024)
  • Graves 4th grade ELA  (school code 620600010017)
  • GW – 5th grade math   (school code 662401060003)
  • Myer – 4th grade science  (school code 620600010013)
  • JFK – 3rd grade ELA (if I picked the correct school code 620600010014 )
  • Bailey – grade 8 math  (school code 620600010020)
  • Miller – grade 7 ELA  (school code 620600010025)
  • Kingston High School – US History, Earth Science and Geometry  (school code 620600010022)

Local schools determine when they administer the test between June 2-11, 2014.  If a student is absent on the field test day, they will not be asked to make up the test per this letter.

Turns out my students luck out this year and are not in the grades assigned for field testing.  However if your student is in a grade that will be taking a field test at their school, I recommend that you submit a copy of the field test refusal letter below and REFUSE the field testing for your student.

****************************************************************

SAMPLE FIELD TEST REFUSAL LETTER AND MORE INFO FROM LI OPT OUT/NYSAPE:

Regarding upcoming Field Tests:

Testing companies often pay test subjects to get feedback on experimental test questions. Three times a year, the testing company Pearson uses NYS children to try out test questions for future exams FREE OF CHARGE. As a matter of fact, your taxpayer money covers the cost of administering these tests. There are scheduled stand alone field tests in the fall and the spring, and field test questions are embedded into the spring ELA and math state assessments. This, of course, makes the ELA and math assessments even longer than they already are. About a month before the field tests are distributed, the SED puts out a field test testing schedule. About half of NYS schools are selected in the fall, and the other half are selected in the spring. Not all grades are selected. The SED has instructed schools not to make parents aware of these tests and what they are for. In a memo from last year to NYS districts, they stated, “Students should not be informed of the connection between these field tests and State assessments”. Field tests have no bearing on your child’s report card grades, the teachers grades, or the school grades. No feedback is given for these tests by the testing company to districts. The field tests take up to 50 minutes to administer.  Refusing these tests is a given. These tests yet again take precious time away from our children’s classroom learning.

Some districts are refusing to administer the field tests. Most want to refuse, but are afraid that doing so will have ramifications against the school. But as always, parents can take a stand against yet another useless assessment imposed on our children. If your school/child’s grade has been selected, and if you choose to refuse, just submit this field test refusal letter (or write your own):

Dear Administrator,

Thank you for all that you do for our students. I am refusing any traditional and/or PARCC field tests, for my child, (name of child) that are expected to be administered later this spring.  

I understand that (name of school) will be administering field tests. Our children are already over tested, and I see no good reason to subject my child to yet another assessment that will take away valuable instructional time. I am of the opinion that field tests use our children as unwilling and unpaid participants for market research so that testing companies can create their products. I am already opposed to the testing culture that dominates our schools today, and I will not allow my child to participate in any testing that enhances the corporate influence in our school.

To be clear, my child will not be participating in any of the upcoming field tests of any nature.
Thank you,
Name of Parent/Guardian

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.