Purpose of learning

Test REFUSAL on days 2 and 3 of ELA test

Parents – if your child suffered through day 1 of the New York State ELA test yesterday, please do not force them to suffer through additional days of testing based on my blog post recommending against REFUSAL on days 2 and 3. That post was intended to encourage parents to make a decision before testing started rather than just waiting to see how things went.

If you thought your child would not be harmed by the tests and now need to change your mind and REFUSE for your child, do what is best for your child!

Regarding the impact of only taking day 1 of the test, Bianca Tanis writes:

Yes, they [the student] will automatically get a 1 (as far as we know) BUT it will not show up on their permanent record and it will have NO negative repercussions for them. Any teacher who has a negative rating based on students who refused 2/3 of the tests has PLENTY of grounds to fight it and a local union to advocate for them.   Do what is right for your child and do not worry about what others will say…you have the right to change your mind. All of that said, PLEASE let your school admins know asap.

I was so hoping that things would be calm and non-stressful for the students taking the test this year – not a repeat of last year. After all according to our state and national education officials, these tests are supposed to be a good thing, right? However when I read about kids who experienced extreme stress yesterday, who were taking a test with words that adults don’t even know and that the students truly did not have adequate time to finish because the test was set up to make them fail , their parents SHOULD get them out of the test TODAY!!!

Not job to toughen children

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Post from Long Island Opt-out facebook group:

Anonymous post:

This mornings ELA exam [Tuesday April 14, 2015] was pure child abuse! There were 5 passages (2 which appeared on last years assessment). Each passage was 2+ pages long. The kids had their 70 minutes to complete 30 questions. Of the 30 questions 17 required the students to look back at various paragraphs! Most of my children didn’t finish and were very upset that they might have disappointed me or their parents when in truth many adults wouldn’t have been able to look back and find the correct answers in a 70 minute time frame. The students were deflated as they tried to find the best answers when MANY of the questions had more than one possible answer to choose from. Children appealed for help but all we could do was pat them on the back and say “keep trying your hardest”. How awful we felt that we couldn’t comfort or help OUR kids on a test that was so far above their level. Of the 10 children in my room during the assessment, I had three gifted and talented students and only 2 kids who receive remediation- they all struggled!
Word back from my colleagues in 4th grade was more of the same. Instead of 6 2-page passages like they had last year, students had 5 3-page passages. The vocabulary used most adults wouldn’t be able to define. Overall we had a school of deflated students.
I’d also like to point out that their were TONS of grammatical errors. I’d love to share but we are under lock and key!

Overall the only children who won today were the children who opted out. They enjoyed doing enrichment activities in another part of the building.

Anyone still on the fence….please do your children a favor and opt out of the math!

Additional anonymous reports (anonymity required because teachers are gagged) here if you can not access Long Island Opt-out on facebook.