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Does your state still have computerized high stakes testing?

 

Does your State Department of Education require multiple tests - maybe one for English Language, another for Math, another for Science?

 

How does a single, paper and pencil assessment given one morning statewide sound to you? Do you think that would better for students and schools - and may even give better results because it wouldn't impose a glitchy technology burdened marathon testing season?

This type of "One Day In May" style test is not only sufficient, but is encouraged by Federal Statute, Regulation and Guidance. 

 

If any State Department of Education, big tech company, educational consultant or testing corporation insists otherwise they are lying.

What exactly are the Federal testing requirements under ESSA?

Since 2015, Federal Law has allowed States to satisfy their math, reading, language arts and science testing with "a single summative assessment." (ESEA, Section 1111(b)(2)(B)(viii)(1): ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS)

 

(Note: the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA, is the current re-authorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA, so in the regulations the acronyms ESEA and ESSA are used interchangeably)

"ESEA does include Federal testing requirements under section 1111(b)(2(B)(v)(I)-(II), to assess

all students in a State annually in reading/language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8 and

once in grades 9-12 and

to asses all students in the State in science at least once in each grade span (i.e., grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12)...

The Department does not now, and never has, required any specific set of standards or assessments under title 1. part A." 

Federal Register/Vol.81, No. 236/Thursday, December 8, 2016/Rules and Regulations page 88888

If your State Department of Education tries to argue or convince a legislator or Governor that your public schools need to do any testing beyond ESEA section 111(b)(2(B)(v)(I)-(II)), they are bluffing. 

You must call their bluff now because our Legislatures and Governors have been trusting them for two decades.

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The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced NCLB and explictly returned to states and communities the freedoms they had before NCLB.

 

Are the experts still insisting on "criterion-referenced" questions, rubrics, a state-specific test, excessive High Stakes Testing and other failed PARCC and Common Core ideas? 

 

Inform the "experts" that you won't let them get away with their bluffs anymore. Federal Statute frees us from the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top nonsense that has been abusing our children for two decades.  It's time to move on and let schools try to repair the damage the experts and elite have inflicted on our children. 

 

The 2015 Every Student Succeed Act declares:

"The Secretary shall not require a State....to include..specific academic standard, such as the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative or any other standards." Sec. 8013

"It is the sense of Congress that States and local educational agencies retain the rights and responsibilities of determining educational curriculum, programs of instruction, and assessments for elementary and secondary education." Sec. 8549A

"It is the sense of Congress that a student, teacher, school administrator, or other school employee of an elementary or secondary school retains the individual's rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States during the school day or while on the grounds of an elementary school or secondary school." Sec. 9202

Excerpts from ESSA 

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Do the experts in your state still have excessive testing in the "Consolidated Plan" they submitted to the Federal Department of Education? 

 

Point out to your state "experts" that YOU don't want the excessive testing to be part of their "Plan" and NEITHER DOES THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION!

 

The Federal Fact Sheet: Testing Action Plan calls out their testing plans as malpractice:

  • "Done poorly, in excess, or without clear purpose, they (state tests) take valuable time away from teaching and learning, draining creative approaches from our classrooms."

  • "In the vital effort to ensure that all students in America are achieving at high levels, it is essential to ensure that tests...take up the minimum necessary time"

  • "In too many schools, there is unnecessary testing and not enough clarity of purpose applied to the task of assessing students, consuming too much instructional time and creating undue stress for educators and students."

  • "What follows is a set of principles and steps to correct the balance...unwinding the practices that have burdened classroom time or not served students or educators well."

Fact Sheet:  Testing Action Plan, U.S. Department of Education, October 24, 2015

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Has your State Department of Education told you to stand down and shut up because they are the experts and you are just parents, teachers and communities? 

 

Call their bluff.  These experts have a 20 year track record of messing up - and their current activities are no better.  This is not just our opinion, this is the declaration of the Federal Department of Education. 

"'ESSA was enacted partially in response to the widespread calls from state school chiefs - including many in this room - to give you the flexibility and opportunity to address your state's unique challenges,' DeVos said to those gathered for the Council of Chief State School Officers legislative conference. 'Well, this law gives you that chance.  The trouble is...I don't see much evidence that you've yet seized it.  At least not in the ESSA plans I've thus far approved.'"

 

The Fed ripped the "Consolidated Plans" that the State Departments of Education experts submitted to them to report on how the states are implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Here are some excerpts from the Federal critique of our States:

  • "Disappointed in how the plans fall short on ways to improve public education systems,"

  • "Just because a plan complies with the law doesn't mean it does what's best for students,"

  • "Compliance mentality in dealing with schools where students are bullied, stepping over rats, breathing in mold, dodging fists, and lacking the teachers and technology they need to learn,"

  • "Takes no advantage of ESSA's flexibility,"

  • "Does not collect reliable data,"

  • "Racially and economically discriminatory,"

  • "They have repeatedly said they're committed to equity between student groups, though a growing chorus of civil rights groups say that's not true based on the evidence they see."

Betsy DeVos RipsState ESSA Plans in "Tough Love" Speech to Chiefs, Education Week, 3/5/2018

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