We’ve all seen the infamous video by now: The Upper West Side mother objecting to a proposal to set aside 25 percent of seats in New York City’s District 3 middle schools for students who score either a 2 (below proficient) or a 1 (well below proficient) on their NY state standardized tests. The conceit… Continue reading How To Make Any School a ‘Good’ School – In One Simple Step
It’s been a week since New York State students in grades three through eight took their English Language Arts exams. As the dust settles and the tests get scored, it becomes more and more evident to me — and I venture to safely say for many other educators — that this standardized test has become… Continue reading The NYS ELA Exam: What’s Working? What’s Not?
(This post is by Sam Radford, president of the Buffalo Schools District Parent Coordinating Council and a member of the High Achievement New York coalition. It was originally published in the Buffalo News.) Most people are familiar with the “opt-out” effort, a group that encourages parents to withdraw their children from annual state assessments in Math… Continue reading Low-Income Communities Say Yes to the Test Because Knowledge is Power!
If it feels like I’ve written this post before, that’s because I’ve written this post before. (Think of it as Groundhog Day: High School Edition.) The highlights: September 12, 2016: Can Last Minute Test Prep Bring Diversity To NYC’s Specialized High Schools? September 26, 2016: As a NYC Parent, I Don’t Think the DOE’s Change… Continue reading NYC High School Admissions: What the Department Of Education Refuses To Admit
In response to my posts about how New York City parents can raise the odds of their children getting into a Gifted & Talented public school program, a reader wrote to sarcastically congratulate me on destroying what had previously been a perfectly even playing field. Her child, it seems, took the G&T test with absolutely… Continue reading Is NYC Education an Even Playing Field For All Families?
Standardized tests have their place. Where that place is needs to be revisited and revised. The tests are coming! The tests are coming! This is the battle cry this time of year at most schools. In just a few short months, students across New York State in grades three through eight will spend a few… Continue reading It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!
Last Monday, September 11, 2017, New York State submitted its revised Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan to the federal government for approval. The document includes slight tweaks to the standards for Math and English and shorter tests, a change to the way teachers are assessed and certified, and more emphasis on “student growth.” It’s full… Continue reading New York State Has a New Education Plan: What Will It Mean For You and Your Kids?
The climate of our country and our world right now is a mixture of anger and divisiveness juxtaposed with empathy and support. The classroom is often a microcosm of trends taking place within the larger national and global communities. With that being said, as I plan for the upcoming school year, fostering a nurturing and… Continue reading Creating A Warm Classroom Climate and Culture: The Real Key to Every Student Succeeding
It’s back-to-school time and those two “dirty words” have already come up on both my teacher and parent radar: standardized testing. On a holistic level, I am not against standardized tests. When created correctly (an oxymoron to some), standardized tests are one way to assess how well a student has grasped the material covered within… Continue reading I Won’t Teach To The Test: Never Have, Never Will.
The New York State Department of Education is in the final throes of tweaking its plan for complying with America’s new school education law called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In this brave new world of bloated state control and anorexic federal oversight, parents are increasingly dependent on their state’s commitment to honest and… Continue reading How Honest Is New York State’s Public Education Plan?