Monday, March 16, 2015

P is for PARCC, Pearson and Pushback (and Peeps) .... EduShyster

Before the first day of PARCC testing, the results are in. Push back against indefensible state policies and the state will crack.
peepsThe special time you’ve been waiting for has at last arrived, boys and girls. It’s PARCC testing week! Think Easter but with a few key differences. Like instead of hunting for eggs, you’re after *college and career readiness.* Also, those Peeps in your basket aren’t for realz but are being *piloted* to help determine what should go in your basket next year. Which is to say that it’s never a good idea to put all of the kids’ eggs in one basket, even if the state’s chief educational standards bunny happens to serve as the chair of an egg distributor. 


Anonymous said...

June 16, 2014-New Bedford School Committee Meeting Minutes.~

2015 Partnership For Assessment of Readiness For College & Careers (PARCC)

Dr. Durkin explained the PARCC tests by stating that the level of demands are more rigorous.
40% of all students entering Massachusetts State Colleges are in Need of remediation.
MCAS may not be providing the proper needs to students.

If PARCC is chosen, the district will align its Standards to PARCC.
Also accountability will remain the same if we decline in performance,
but the district will get credit if achieved to a better Standard. (According To Dr. Durkin)
Grade 10 will still have MCAS.

Mr. DeFalco, explained that MCAS will continue at Hayden McFadden and that
Commissioner (Mitchell Chester0 will make recommendations for the Parker School.

Committee School Member Josh Amaral voiced his concern over
Special Political Technical Issues surrounding the PARCC Test.

On a Motion By School Committeeman Bruce Oliveira and 2nd By Dr. Larry Finnerty,
the Seven (7) member Elected school Committee "VOTED" to participate in the Administration
for New Bedford's Public School District in 2015, with the exception of Hayden McFadden & Parker Schools.

The Roll Call Votes Was As Follows:
Mayor Mitchell--YES
Ms. Pollock--YES
Mr. Nobrega--YES
Mr. Oliveira-YES
Mr. Amaral--"NO"
Mr. Livramento--YES
Dr. Finnerty--YES

Anonymous said...

Well now that PARCC is in full swing at our schools......stress levels are at an all time high. Where is the research that supports that PARCC is a better assessment tool to measure achievement? Teachers in this district have had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them with no guidance or help. We are expected to test children over the next 3 WEEKS in 5 sessions of ELA and Math combined. MCAS was 2 sessions of ELA and 2 sessions of Math and they were not given at the same time. We not only have ELA and Math done at the same time but we have to test AGAIN in May both ELA and Math. Not only that, we have to take the EOY benchmark tests that the district thinks shows how well we teach!!! LMAO!! Where is the teaching? We are spending way too much time taking tests that we dont even have time to look at what information these tests could give us. Teachers and students are stressed out and are beginning to shut down. Let's not even get into the schools who have no coverage for these tests because there has to be two adults in the room. How do you do that with only one para? Hmmmmmmm? I have been teaching for a very long time and this is the first year I feel very ineffective. I have students in my class who don't speak English who still have to take the test.....ridiculous. One accommodation on the PARCC test that is allowed is the human read aloud. Not only for the questions (MCAS only allowed directions and questions) but for the passage itself. I thought part of the idea of the test was to test their comprehension of what is read? I guess that went out the window. Now to top off all of this, some parents are opting for their child not take the test and its up to the TEACHER to place the test in front of the CHILD and have them decide whether or not to take it!!! Their parent has already signed an opt out form so why put the child through that? Again, it gets put back on the teacher to put that child through that. All because the lovely school committee voted to take part in this ridiculous test. Do any of the school committee members even know what is on the test, did you have an idea of how long the test was, or even how many times a year the children tested????? Parents wake up and start fighting for your child's education!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How of the child has hit it's lowest...time for a revolution.....

Everyone needs to stand up to these idiots......

Anonymous said...

Good Luck getting everyone or anyone to stand to fight for or against anything. For months this blog has been virtually silent, with either No Comment or just a few comments on post after post. What a change from last year when this blog was on fire with posts and comments.Where has everyone gone? Is it that everyone now is content or has everyone just given up the fight?

Anonymous said...

Beaten down.

Anonymous said...

Given up! Exhausted.

Anonymous said...

Dear Parents, Residents, Mayor, School Committee:

I am writing to you as a parent myself, an educator, and most of all a concerned resident of New Bedford. I have been an educator for almost 20 years and I have seen a lot of superintendents come in and out of this district. Some left to retire, some were not liked and were bought out, and some (one) was forced to retire. The one that replaced the last is, as we all know, Dr. Pia Durkin. Our school committee hired a company to do a search for a superintendent in 2013. After many applicants applied, the pool came down to the one and only Dr. Durkin.
How could the school committee and mayor think that a woman who does not have a reputable background be a good fit for NB? She has left every other administrative job in her history due to either non-renewal or was forced out. Why was she a good fit for us? Still trying to figure that out. When she was hired, I walked into our convocation in Aug. 2013 with an open mind. I, as well as many others, knew NB needed a change and were welcoming the change. We needed a leader who cared for the students, wanted to help a once dominating high school regain that title, and most of all we wanted a colleague (yes colleague) that was invested in our students and would listen to the ones who are in the "trenches" every day.
I sadly report, we got none of the above. We got a person who is, don't get me wrong, well-versed on education and knows her laws. She can talk the talk, but what she lacks is her dedication to the STUDENTS. She delegates to her many, many administrators but doesn't understand that just because something looks good on paper, it doesn't always work in real life.
In her first year in NB, we have had over 100 (that's being generous) teachers either retire, be let go, or left the district. Let's look at the amount of administrators she has hired since she has started. Some administrators she has come from questionable backgrounds as well. She restructured human resources so the people that were there got a cut in pay and were eventually phased out or squeezed out of their job. She hired some administrators that didn't even last the year (Anne Bradshaw). The high school lost their principal, to be replaced with a woman (Kathleen Dawson) who didn't even last 6 months. Reasons still unknown. High school still has vacancies that haven't been filled all year. What's happening with those students? What are they learning? we can't fill those vacancies but yet if you go on school spring there is a job posting for a data consultant and another human resources manager who can manage teacher grievances. If You need to hire another person to handle teacher grievances then there is obviously a problem.
This blog did once use to be on fire. Teachers were writing in every day with issues. I agree that it is extremely quiet this year. And yes, it is because we feel defeated, beaten down, not listened too. Teachers can't write to the newspaper because we have to sign our name to it and no one can do that if they want to keep their job. Who do we go to? We don't know. We are not being listened to at the moment so what do we do? Parents, what do we do?
Every day teachers go into work and try their best to give their students the best education they can. We see that some students are not benefiting from this administration but our hands are tied. (to be continued)

Anonymous said...

(continued from previous post)
We have ELLs in classrooms with no support. We have taken the SEI endorsement course but it only helps with level 3 and higher. What about the level 1 and 2 students? We are trying to figure out ways to reach them. They need to be serviced by an ESL instructor, but sadly they are not. There are not enough paras in the buildings to help out either. Every week new students are coming into buildings from other schools other countries. We are running out of desks, chairs, books, simple materials for them. We ask downtown for materials, no response.
PARCC is being administered right now. This is a challenge. Students coming from other countries, not speaking English are being made to take the test. Where's the research that says that this test is a proven valid test? There is none. It was created by Pearson. Sound familiar? It should because our new reading series is Pearson, coincidence? Mitchell Chester sits on the board of PARCC and is well connected with reps from Pearson. We are testing twice a year instead of once a year. From now until June, students will be taking a series of 10 tests!!!! Wheres the instruction?
I could go on for days about what is wrong. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, love to teach but I don't like what education has become. In order for children to be successful it takes all hands on deck; parent, educators, family, anyone involved in a child's life. They need to believe that education is a priority. They need to work with the teachers, not against them. As a parent, I respect what my children's teachers are telling me about my children. I listen and I support them. I do not expect my own children's teachers to be the only guidance my children receive. They are MY children and I ultimately are responsible for them. It's time for all parents to start taking part in their child's education.

Thank you