- Is your 9th grade child taking 2 Math/Algebra classes?
- Does your child have a reading class in addition to an English/Language Arts/Literature class?
- Have you seen a copy of your child's scores on the NJAsk standardized test taken this spring?
- Did you receive notice at home that your child was required to take a remedial course in order to raise his/her scores?
- Did anyone offer you any information regarding tutoring at Sylvan Learning Center, Kumon or anywhere else?
- Were you provided with the scores so you could arrange for private tutoring yourself?
- Did your child lose the option to take an elective because of these test scores?
- Is your child extremely interested in or gifted in Dance, Drama, Music or Art?
- Does your child excel in a sport, but does not do well academically?
- Is your child extremely good with his or her hands? A crafts person in the making.
- Has your child accepted that they will never be able to take band, dance, art, drama? Do you accept that?
Many children who have poor Math scores have a significant increase in Math scores when participating in music. Face it, children need something to excite them about going to school. I was not good in Math, or at taking standardized tests, but my undergraduate success was powerful enough to get me into graduate school without the graduate records examination. They accepted me based on the excellence of my undergraduate record.
When I taught Dance at Teaneck High School, a large number of my students were NOT great academically, but they were great dancers. AP honors and Special Education students enjoyed the same Elective classes together. Several of the special education students won Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. The remedial classes were 2.5 credits and students were allowed to test out mid year. Some of the retired Englewood school teachers remember the same option from years ago. Students had the option of testing out of the remedial course that was given in support. This testing out is an incentive and gives the student a goal for which to strive.
I was told after the board meeting on the 15th that we who have 30 years of baggage in this town must stop dwelling on the negative. Great. Tell me how, when children are being faced with the negative everyday they attend school. They are faced with what they are not allowed to do. They attend a school Choice and have very little choice. They are told what they will never achieve. And that is not negative? Give me a break. I will become positive when ALL of the children are encouraged and treated the same.
The scores should have gone home with a letter explaining why a child may not be able to take an elective. The letter should have explained that the student has a choice of taking the extra Math/Algebra class in school or to get tutoring to raise the scores. Will the students be tested again later this year or will they be banned from taking electives for the remainder of their high school lives?
New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge: Parent, Teacher and Student Information Guide
How are the children?