Parent and taxpayer response

JUST SAY WHEN ...TO ANYONE SAYING YOU HAVE NO SAY IN YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. We are Citizens for Public School Education. We are Board Watchers. We want a Board of Education that follows the Law, because following the Law works for everyone. The purpose of this site is to help close the controversial Achievement Gap that is the subject in many educational arenas. Teachers are invaluable when dedicated individuals and are entrusted to encourage, nurture, and teach each child to achieve to the best of his/her individual abilities. Principals, Superintendents, Business Administrators, Support Staff, School Board Members, Attorneys and everyone else in the district must be dedicated to making certain that teachers have whatever they need in order to perform at their best. Teachers must be willing to go the extra mile like millions have done before them. This blog promotes an active, accurate & objective telling of history that includes ALL cultures and their literary, cultural and historical contributions to building America. We are Board Watchers.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are Our Schools In Crisis?: Why is it Important to Know How Your Child Scored on the NJAsk?

  1. Is your 9th grade child taking 2 Math/Algebra classes? 
  2. Does your child have a reading class in addition to an English/Language Arts/Literature class?
  3. Have you seen a copy of your child's scores on  the NJAsk standardized test taken this spring? 
  4. Did you receive notice at home that your child was required to take a remedial course in order to raise his/her scores? 
  5. Did anyone offer you any information regarding tutoring at Sylvan Learning Center, Kumon or anywhere else? 
  6. Were you provided with the scores so you could arrange for private tutoring yourself?  
  7. Did your child lose the option to take an elective because of  these test scores?
  8. Is your child extremely interested in or gifted in Dance, Drama, Music or Art?
  9. Does your child excel in a sport, but does not do well academically? 
  10. Is your child extremely good with his or her hands? A crafts person in the making.
  11. 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.
Now lets get to the real problem here. Where are the scores? Why are they being kept so close to the chest of the EPSD? Who is concealing them? Parents need to know in what areas the children are weak. Parents are being accused of not being involved.  How can a parent arrange for tutoring if they do not know where the child is weak? Let us get even more specific. Last year, some students who did poorly on this test qualified to get remedial help at Sylvan Learning Center. The students who did poorly have clearly already been identified, because they have been placed in remedial classes that stop them from being able to take electives. Sometimes the electives are what motivates a child to get out of bed and go to school.

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?

It really is time to send the scores out to the parents. A very important piece of information has been withheld. At the same time, this information has been used to exclude the students involvement in certain activities. Below is the link to everything you need to know about the New Jersey Ask assessment tool. Parents must begin to prepare students to succeed on this test now. One bad day on one standardized test may very well change a child's life forever.

New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge: Parent, Teacher and Student Information Guide

                          How are the children?