Press-Republican

Local News

June 17, 2013

Forum airs state-test frustrations

(Continued)

‘DISTRICTS IN DANGER’

Several parents opted their children out of this year’s state exams against the advisement of the State Education Department.

One of them, AVCS English teacher Michelle Doorey, who attended the forum, told the Press-Republican in a separate interview that between state and other tests, including interim, benchmark and weekly Pearson exams, her son Brady’s third-grade class was subjected to more than 500 pages of assessments this school year.

“I’m estimating that about 30 percent of his 180 days at school were spent on testing in one way or another,” she said.

While Brady is a top student and avid learner, she added, he has started to dislike school.

Still, said panelist and AVCS Board President Scott Bombard during the forum, the tests are mandated by the state, and though he has his own personal thoughts on the matter, “it’s up to the School Board to uphold the law.”

Bombard also pointed out that when parents opt their children out of the assessments, they risk putting their districts in danger.

Schools are required to test 95 percent of their test-age students, and those that do not will fail to meet “adequate yearly progress,” which could result in loss of certain funding.

“That could mean jobs, so from a School Board standpoint, we don’t want to lose any more jobs, and we also want to do what the law says,” Bombard said.

FEEDBACK TOO LATE

“We’re essentially being bullied,” Selwyn said, noting that it’s as if the state is saying, “‘You do what we tell you to do, or you won’t get the money that you need.’”

Savage said his district administration respects parents’ right to keep their children from taking the exams and doesn’t take it personally when they do.

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