Author Topic: California judge says no to homeschooling  (Read 111062 times)

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Amianthus

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #330 on: March 26, 2008, 09:03:28 PM »
When the NCLB act was first enforced and set up in such a way(state handled or not) to meet certain unreasonable expectations the problems began. The NCLB act from it's birth stated that all children no matter what level, or ability, disability must be at the same point/grade level by a particular year. Blood out of a turnip. Water out of a rock.

No, it does not.

As I already said, each state is supposed to define THREE LEVELS of achievement for each grade. And each state is supposed to set REASONABLE expectations. If your state has set unreasonable expectations, that is a problem with your state, not the NCLB act, which mandates REASONABLE expectations.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

Cynthia

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #331 on: March 26, 2008, 09:09:33 PM »
No, they do not.

The NCLB act insists that ALL children read at grade level by a particular year.

Period.


Amianthus

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #333 on: March 26, 2008, 09:26:29 PM »
No, they do not.

The NCLB act insists that ALL children read at grade level by a particular year.

Period.

Please quote the section of the NCLB act that says that.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

BT

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #334 on: March 26, 2008, 09:28:42 PM »
 Making Sense of Assessments       | Print |
By Candace Cortiella

During the past decade, federal and state education reform efforts have dramatically increased both the use of and attention to student assessments. Commonly referred to as "testing," assessing student learning through the use of a standardized format can provide valuable information for schools, parents and policymakers. Used inappropriately, these same tests can have serious negative implications for students, particularly those with learning disabilities (LD).

High Standards, High-Stakes

Seeking to move student learning to new heights, states have adopted challenging academic content standards. Today, almost all states have instituted statewide testing programs to measure student achievement against its content standards and 20 states have added "high-stakes" to their statewide assessment systems. Decisions to adopt policies that attach high stakes for students, such as grade promotion and/or awarding of a standard high school diploma, to student performance on statewide assessments are made by state departments of education, boards of education and state legislatures. Such systems have generally undergone years of development, public input, and phase-in before students are held to the requirements.

Results on statewide assessments can help guide systemic changes and improvements in teaching and learning. Results can be used to compare achievement across schools, districts and various racial, ethnic, income and other important subgroups of students. And, unlike less standardized forms of measurement, like grades and teacher-made tests, performance on statewide standardized testing gives parents a true picture of how their child is progressing. This is especially important for parents of students with learning disabilities, since recent findings of a large-scale survey of special education students reveal that grades given to students with disabilities at the secondary level have no correlation to real academic functioning. (Source: Youth with Disabilities: The Achievements of Youth with Disabilities During Secondary School. Reports from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) 2003). Unfortunately, many states have allowed students with disabilities to be excluded, or exempted, from participating in statewide assessments, routinely administered out-of-level assessments (intended for students in lower grades), and/or have failed to report the scores of students with disabilities as part of the performance data.

While testing to determine achievement of required skills and knowledge based on high academic standards can provide important information about both teaching and learning, when the score on a single test is used to make high-stakes decisions about individual students, a host of issues emerge. For students with LD, high-stakes testing can lead to increases in grade retention, drop-out and the awarding of alternate types of diplomas that compromise postsecondary opportunities.

No Child Left Behind

While state-driven education reform activities have been underway for well over a decade, the past few years have also brought about major change in federal education policy. Ushered in by enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), states are now required to administer statewide standardized assessments to all students in certain grades and content areas annually.

However, unlike state accountability systems, the testing requirements of NCLB serve only as a mechanism for school accountability. Assessment results, for both total school populations as well as subgroups of students such as those with disabilities, are used to identify schools that need to make substantial improvements in their delivery of instructional services and resulting student achievement. Once identified, schools engage in the development of improvement plans and a range of corrective actions designed to help improve achievement for all students.

Unfortunately, there is a growing misunderstanding that NCLB involves high-stakes decisions for students. This confusion is compounded by the fact that several states are using the same tests to both satisfy NCLB requirements and make high-stakes determinations. Currently 19 states are using the same test for NCLB and graduation and this number is likely to increase. However, such state practices should not lead to the conclusion that NCLB requires high-stakes. In fact, NCLB states that "nothing in this part shall be construed to prescribe the use of the academic assessments described in this part for student promotion or graduation purposes." [20 U.S.C. § 6311 (l)].

And, while states have allowed exemptions for students with disabilities, NCLB allows no such exemptions. Schools, districts and states are required to test all students and report the results. Test results must also be broken out by critical subgroups of students, such as those with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and the economically disadvantaged. This additional requirement has focused new attention on the underperformance of these historically poor performing groups of students.

Conclusion

As parents, educators and policymakers continue their important work of improving the academic achievement of all students and closing the achievement gap for so many who have failed to thrive, it is critical to understand the difference between state-imposed tests that may or may not carry high-stakes for students versus the testing requirements of NCLB. Many states have chosen to implement high-stakes testing for students, most frequently as a requirement for graduation, while NCLB testing carries consequences for schools and school districts. While high-stakes testing can have serious unintended consequences for students with LD, performance on such tests can provide a real picture of true student achievement and help improve instruction.


http://www.ncld.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=543


Cynthia

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #335 on: March 26, 2008, 09:35:53 PM »
      Flexibility in implementing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has been made available to states since the law was passed, but there are also firm deadlines and required actions. In April 2005 Secretary Spellings defined the ?bright lines? of NCLB, which cannot be compromised.  These include:
 
  
Performing annual assessments in reading and math for all students in grades 3-8, and at least once in high school.
Maintaining disaggregated data on student achievement by subgroup. The data must be provided in a timely manner to parents and the public in clear and understandable school and district report cards.
Meeting state standards for proficiency in reading and math by the 2013-14 school year. States must include all students in school accountability systems and set targets for all students to reach proficiency.Cultivating highly qualified teachers: States are responsible for implementing a rigorous system for ensuring that teachers are highly qualified, and providing support for recruiting and retaining the best and brightest teachers.
Providing options for families? especially those with children attending persistently low-performing schools -- including access to tutoring services, charter schools, and transfer options to better performing schools.

http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/edpicks.jhtml?src=ln


Cynthia

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #336 on: March 26, 2008, 09:36:27 PM »
No, they do not.

The NCLB act insists that ALL children read at grade level by a particular year.

Period.

Please quote the section of the NCLB act that says that.

I just did.

Amianthus

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #337 on: March 26, 2008, 09:40:48 PM »
I just did.

No, actually, you did not. You quoted from an overview, not the act itself. And besides, the section you quoted just says what I've been saying - the states are required to set reasonable goals.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

sirs

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #338 on: March 26, 2008, 09:51:33 PM »
I say that's wrong. Fix the act, let it work, but don't take away.....provide a better way....

And I have no problem with fixing things that are flawed.  But saying you simply need smaller class sizes & more money (standard Democrat/Union talking points), when our $ per pupil is already higher than many other nations demonstrating far superior results in their childrens education, all the while making it virtually impossible to fire incompotent &/or predatorial teachers & administrators perpetuates precisely the status quo you're all so up in arms with
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

BT

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #339 on: March 26, 2008, 10:11:55 PM »
Reminds me of folks who blame the cop when they get a speeding ticket.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Just to be clear from the beginning, this is not a story about a few rotten apples. In a society seduced by the individual, our cultural referees often conclude that ?bad people? make bad choices. The proffered solution is to sack the bad people or to enlist sanctions so these amoral calculators decide that the ends do not justify the means.

Rather, this is a story of how systemic incentives in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) lead educators to adopt a series of educational triage practices, practices that in many ways undermine equity.1 By educational triage, I refer to the process through which teachers divide students into three groups - safe cases, suitable cases for treatment, and hopeless cases - and ration resources to those students most likely to improve the school's scores.

The metaphor of triage, a practice usually employed in dire circumstances like the battlefield or the emergency room, poignantly captures the dynamics of many schools' responses to NCLB. In the name of improving schools' scores, some students must inevitably be sacrificed. The stakes are high for schools, which face serious sanctions for failing to meet adequate yearly progress targets; for students, who increasingly face retention if they do not pass state tests; and for teachers, who are judged by the number of students they ?save.?

A Hopeless Case

While this is a story about the broader consequences of NCLB on day-to-day life in schools, it is also a story about Javier, age eight and three-quarters, who has been deemed a ?hopeless case? by his teacher.
?Please! The one about the jumping spiders!? Javier squeals with an excitement typically reserved for kickball and Jolly Ranchers and a miniature girl named Esmeralda. Having traded in his fascination with Ralph S. Mouse for spiders, particularly those of the jumping variety, no other book will do. The educational platitude of our times - ?no child left behind? - seems strangely irrelevant in moments like these, where nothing could be more important than what spiders eat, and if they have teeth, and whether they bite, and, if so, how hard.

Yet every contour of Javier's third grade year was shaped by his elementary school's attempt to succeed within the confines of the Texas Accountability System. At the beginning of the school year, students were given a practice test of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Teachers then divided their students into three groups: those who would pass, those close to passing (the ?bubble kids?), and those requiring significant remediation. Javier's reading score placed him in the remedial category. While the bubble kids in his class received extra attention in class, tutoring from the reading specialist, and tutoring after school and on Saturdays, Javier did not.
   

Two other benchmark tests were given during the school year. Javier still scored below the bubble. So it was little surprise that Javier failed the third grade reading test, which Texas students must pass to be promoted to the fourth grade.

And so began Javier's downward spiral. Though he was earning Bs and Cs until he failed the reading test, he now pulled Ds and Fs. His teacher lamented that he developed confidence issues that were impeding his performance. In a lunchtime conversation, Javier confided that he worried about staying in the third grade. I asked, ?When you worry about it, what do you think about?? Javier, eying his sneakers, softly replied, ?That I'm gonna stay there forever.?

Javier's Teachers: Living with Educational Triage

The teachers at Javier's school had worries of their own. Every teacher interviewed talked about the intense pressure she felt to increase her students' scores. The majority of teachers, in discussing this pressure, spoke emotionally about an annual faculty meeting at which a chart was revealed that listed each teacher's pass rate next to her name. In other words, a competitive economy where the sole currency was test scores was established within the confines of the school. It was a competition of which teachers were painstakingly aware. In these interviews, some teachers focused their comments on the negative self-valuations that resulted from their students' poor scores. As one teacher said:

    [Last year] I was so upset when their scores came back. They did real good on reading, but only 55% of my kids passed the math. And we went to this faculty meeting and they put every teacher's scores and pass rates up on the transparency, and I just wanted to cry. I felt so bad, like I had done something wrong, like I was a bad teacher.

Other teachers emphasized that their colleagues make judgments about their professional competence based on these scores. According to this teacher:

    Everything rides on it [the test]?.You can't be a teacher who deviates from the average-you know, the average for the school. They pass out this paper with everyone's scores and they put your scores up on a transparency, so if you're on the lower side, people think you're a terrible teacher and you're doing something wrong, and if you're on the higher side, everyone says, ?Oooo, he's doing something right.? The thing is, even if you are a terrible teacher and you get high scores, that's all that matters.

Finally, other teachers simply expressed outrage that this practice occurred. As this teacher related:

    I guess they're trying to humiliate us into getting their scores up?.It's all accountability, accountability, accountability. Why don't they just strip you naked and make you stand on a table? That's the same thing as putting your scores up there.

Yet this is the favorable outcome proponents of high-stakes accountability desired, not a malfunction of the system. A teacher's professional competence is now showcased by her students' test scores. If these teachers don't want to be labeled as ?bad teachers,? it is argued, then they should work harder to become ?good ones.? But the only measure of good teaching in this system is the percentage of students in a teacher's class who pass the test. Any other notion of good teaching has been displaced. To the detriment of the students below the bubble, teachers, using a series of educational triage practices, strive to become ?better teachers.?

The Bubble Kids

Administrators in this school district often credited improvements in test scores to recently instituted systems of data-driven decision making. But rather than being used to address the individual needs of every student, data were employed to target some students at the expense of others. The district required teachers to use each benchmark test to set a passing target for the next text. The formula for setting this target assumed that bubble kids would become passers. Focusing on the bubble kids was official district policy, and teachers thus felt persistent pressure to focus disproportionate attention on these students.

Teachers did not describe the bubble kids in technical terms, but in a vocabulary of triage. The following were teachers' typical responses to the question, ?Who are the bubble kids??:

    The ones that will pass with a little more help. With the [the remedial kids], it's really a lost cause. They must have fallen through the cracks somehow.

    Those are the ones that you can count on to pass if you move them up a little bit. They're the ones we do one-to-one with and small group instruction in class.

    The ones who miss by one or two points-they just needed a little extra help to pass so we concentrate our attention on that group. The bubbles are the ones who could make it.

    They are your first priority, the ones whose folders you move to the top of your pile.

Theoretically, the bubble keeps moving down, and teachers eventually get to everyone. However, a kid like Javier can stay below the bubble for two-thirds of the year before he is deemed a suitable case for treatment (if he ever is at all). Ironically, the lowest-scoring children are given the least attention during the course of the school year. At this school, the number of students languishing below the bubble was sizeable. By the final benchmark test, 35% were still below the bubble.

Teachers often spoke of the need to focus on those students for whom we can have hope. Given the imperative of annual improvement, hope can be kept alive only for those students close to passing the test this year. As one teacher summed up:

    If you have a kid who is getting a 22, even if they improve to a 40, they won't be close-but if you have a kid with a 60, well, they're in shooting range. Bush says that no child should be left behind, but?the reality in American public schools is that some kids are always going to be left behind. Especially in this district, when we have the emphasis on the bubble kids. Some are?they're just too low.

There is something profoundly troubling about a law that leads dedicated educators to discard hope for children who have yet to turn nine years old in the service of saving those who have a better shot at passing this year's test.

Perverse Incentives

How did educational triage affect Javier? Javier hovered below the bubble throughout the entire year. As a result, he was denied access to the scarce educational resources reserved for the bubble kids. He failed both the first and second TAKS reading tests. Undeterred, he agreed to go to summer school to prepare to take the third and final test. He passed. But his grades had plummeted after he failed the first test, and his teacher decided not to promote him. His mother, who spoke only halting English, did not contest his teacher's decision.

In the period between the first and second tests, I once asked Javier what the worst thing about staying in the third grade would be. Javier, never one to waste words, did not hesitate.

?You got to take the test all overs again.?

It would be simple to blame educational triage on teachers. But sanctimonious exhortations that teachers are behaving badly will not stop educational triage. Nor will anemic defenses predicated on the notion that NCLB does not formally require teachers to triage their students. Perverse incentives to focus on those closest to passing are woven throughout NCLB. It is these incentives, not ethically-challenged educators, that are the problem.

When I concluded this study in 2003, NCLB was not yet fully implemented. I hoped that NCLB would not impel the diffusion of educational triage beyond state boundaries. Unfortunately, I have since received letters and emails from educators in more than 20 states lamenting that educational triage is occurring in their schools. Educational triage is not an isolated problem, but a widespread response to systemic pressures.

Without exposing the lived realities of schools grappling with the demands of NCLB, its narrow conception of accountability emerges unscathed, if only because test scores continue to rise. A closer examination of these trends reveals that the cost of these increases is the unequal treatment of children unlucky enough to find themselves below the bubble. These students, as young as eight years old, are the casualties of NCLB.

http://nochildleft.com/2005/nov05triage.html

Cynthia

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #340 on: March 26, 2008, 10:21:58 PM »
I just did.

No, actually, you did not. You quoted from an overview, not the act itself. And besides, the section you quoted just says what I've been saying - the states are required to set reasonable goals.


 The states are REQUIRED to do what ever they are doing BASED ON BECAUSE OF the NCLB act. That's what I have been saying here.
The original ACT was set up to threaten and provide more punitive actiosn than support. Why? For those who felt and still feel that vouchers and homeschooling are the only way to go in this arena? You all tend to complain more about that point than anything else. I don't hear you speaking up about the fact that Bush/Kennedy..whomever wanted ALL KIDS TO READ AT THE SAME LEVEL AT THE SAME TIME.


What a way to make a run for the bank of more private schools, vouchers, charters, etc.

Any school or home environment-classroom can always benefit from improvements. Of course.



 

My argument is that there seems to be a push to keep the public schools from becoming a total and working system.  There is no microscope focused on how to make such improvements and still assure best practices in terms of a well rounded education. The point is that the GOVERNMENT be it the local governemtn or the  FEDERAL government is at the root of this dental problem....Talk about needing a good endodondist. The ACT stated so...at least it did in the beginning. Oh, and you are going to shed light on the fact that it has healed and become one with all??

In the formative years of the NCLB act, it was clear to many that the expectations were that all children, no matter the level, or need, or disability must read at a certain level and by a particular date.



Perhaps it has loosened such expectations and listened to teachers overall. I hope this is true. Good for Bush's team. This one for the gripper slipper of BS that has slowly made its way into the mainstream.  ha. Ok trying to make a bit of light.
Sirs, btw, I would never have "teased you", if you hadn't made a personal remark to me much earlier in this thread which I found to be insulting.
I'll keep it at that.
 We are IN DANGER OF losing children?s minds and creativity.

Amianthus

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #341 on: March 26, 2008, 10:26:34 PM »
The original ACT was set up to threaten and provide more punitive actiosn than support.

Please quote the section of the act that defines the "punitive actions" to be taken.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

Cynthia

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #342 on: March 26, 2008, 10:28:12 PM »
I say that's wrong. Fix the act, let it work, but don't take away.....provide a better way....

And I have no problem with fixing things that are flawed.  But saying you simply need smaller class sizes & more money (standard Democrat/Union talking points), when our $ per pupil is already higher than many other nations demonstrating far superior results in their childrens education, all the while making it virtually impossible to fire incompotent &/or predatorial teachers & administrators perpetuates precisely the status quo you're all so up in arms with

Ok, well then you stand on that premise, Sirs. IT's all about the unions and the dems. NOT.

I can see right through your need to put people in a box in that regard, and you proved me right.

OUR $$'s I thought this wasnt' about money. I thought this was about bad teachers and getting rid of academic second class subjects like EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT BASIC?

Your need to switch thoughts in the midst of a thread is only showing your need to prove a conservative point of view...You still do not have a clue, but I dont' expect you too.

We agree on one point here....our system can not able to compete in the world...not at the rate you are driving the car. We need more, not punishment, not rhetoric like I read on the government website. We need visionaries who understand when  system isn't working.
Professors, teachers, and many in the community see the broken system as it has turned out to become....full of the BASICS? NO...we are falling away from the basics when we insist that our kids stepFORd up to the plate....

BT

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #343 on: March 26, 2008, 10:39:49 PM »
Quote
Professors, teachers, and many in the community see the broken system as it has turned out to become....full of the BASICS? NO...we are falling away from the basics when we insist that our kids stepFORd up to the plate....

Hard to build a house without a solid foundation.


Cynthia

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Re: California judge says no to homeschooling
« Reply #344 on: March 26, 2008, 10:49:53 PM »
Quote
Professors, teachers, and many in the community see the broken system as it has turned out to become....full of the BASICS? NO...we are falling away from the basics when we insist that our kids stepFORd up to the plate....

Hard to build a house without a solid foundation.



The house is built with the professional efforts of all, BT. When ALL come together with the same realization taht children are not engaged enough in the learning process, there is a weak house ...only the big bad wolf can win.

Perhaps, HE has. I hope not.

Cynthia