Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread

About ConnectEdu, their college/career division was acquired by a group called Graduation Alliance.    Some other activists and I are looking into this as the FTC had said they were not going to allow ConnectEdu to sell student data.

SPS students (and their parents) should have each received an e-mail in the last week, telling them they can take their data off or leave it, should they want to access GA's services.  I was also told that GA had sent a letter to every parent, telling them this and introducing their company.

If anyone got such a letter, could you scan it and send it to me?  I'd like to see what they said.

I am going to be on hiatus again over the next week but will try to keep up especially if there is breaking news.  It would be great if anyone attending the Work Session on the Federal Reserve building could take careful notes (especially on the recommendation) and either send them to me or write up a report yourself and send it to me.

What's on your mind?

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have multiple kids with current and past data in SPS, but I did NOT receive any such notice yet.

HIMSmom

Patrick said...

I have one kid in SPS, now in 8th grade, and I have not received such an email or paper mail notice.

Melissa Westbrook said...

We'll, your child may not have signed up for ConnectEdu; that's the only application I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

Year-round school, mandatory online (at home) education instead of in-classroom instruction, staggered classes, cross-town busing, and worst - a precipitous decline in educational quality.

That's what is happening in Clark County (Las Vegas) where planning, funding and building has not kept up with enrollment. The problem is now so severe that they have no hope of fixing the situation.

The future of Seattle?

EdVoter

Anonymous said...

Have they published the October 1st enrollment numbers yet?

HP

Anonymous said...

I Am Eleven documentary screening for those who may be interested.

Nov 3rd at 7:30 at Thornton Place movie theater. Tickets are $12

You have to reserve tickets in advance and if enough tickets are reserved the screening will go forward. You don't get charged until the screening "tips."

Link here:
http://bit.ly/1s4ZeB2

About the film:
Do you remember when you were 11?

Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey travelled the world for six years talking with 11-year-olds to compose this insightful, funny and moving documentary portrait of childhood. From an orphanage in India, to a single-parent household in inner-city Melbourne, to bathing with elephants in Thailand, I AM ELEVEN explores the lives and thoughts of children from 15 countries. I AM ELEVENweaves together deeply personal and at times hilarious portraits of what it means to sit at this transitional age. These young minds provide us with a powerful insight into the future of our world.

These children share their thoughts on a range of subjects such as love, war, global warming, music, terrorism, culture, family, happiness, religion and the future. Each of their situations allows a single glimpse into a young mind, and combine to provide a powerful insight into the future of our world. As straight up and personal as the ’7 Up’ series, and with the comedy and honesty of ‘Spellbound’, this documentary enables us to explore an age where these ‘not quite kids, not quite teenagers’ briefly linger, between the frank openness and sometimes naivety of childhood, and the sharp and surprisingly brave wisdom and knowing of adulthood. As much as it is a story about them, it is a story with them, of what it is like to be eleven today.


-katydid

Anonymous said...

Anybody with high school students attend your curriculum night and were you told that 11th graders are required to take common core tests?

HS Parent

Lynn said...

We were told that in an email from our testing coordinator. Did your school explain how they'd require it? We're opting out.

stuck said...

your child may not have signed up for ConnectEdu; that's the only application I'm talking about.

Melissa, I believe there's a gap in the system. My understanding of the process was that SPS sent "basic" information about every student in the grades of interest to ConnectEdu, creating "placeholder" accounts for every student.

Then when the counselors called in the students, they were asked to create their own accounts directly with ConnectEdu, which would be auto-filled with the initial, basic information, then the students would add more personal details over time.

If students had not yet (or declined to) create their own account, then these companies are in possession of student data, and they have no way to reach out to parents to even let them know there is an option to delete the data.

How can we get rid of our students' initial data that ConnectEdu/GraduationAlliance received from the district? I don't want them having anything about my kid.

Anonymous said...

The state public 2- and 4-year colleges and universities are reporting that students who achieve level 3 or higher on the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessment this spring will not have to take a placement test upon enrolling in the college and/or university.

This will not affect the any requirement to take and submit scores on the SAT and/or ACT.

--- swk

Lynn said...

Math placement testing at the UW takes 90 minutes and it's not required for every student. The Compass test used by community colleges for placement takes about 2 hours (for math and reading combined.)

I don't see any point to taking this exam this year.

Anonymous said...

So WA colleges and universities are going to accept the results of a high stakes test the first year out of the box in place of placement testing? Yet many school districts/states won't use that first year of data for anything other than establishing a possible baseline (see Portland Public Schools as an example) unless that state REALLY hates its public school students and teachers and plans to use this year's results to evaluate teachers and place students in remedial programs/repeat 3rd grade, etc.
Interesting.

CT

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in Politico today by Bob Herbert, titled "The Plot Against Public Education." Mostly a recap of what readers of this blog already know -- but it is a nice summary, and will reach a wider audience than some pieces do. My apologies for not recalling how to insert the link. But if you copy the below into your browser, it should work (or just go to the politico site, if you would rather).

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/the-plot-against-public-education-111630_Page4.html#.VDRAkxY633U

Jan

Anonymous said...

From another list serve regarding the opening of a new charter school in Seattle:

"Summit Public Schools is opening a high school in the International District in the fall of 2015 and applications are now being accepted. Summit Sierra will start with a class of 100 9th graders. Our mission is to prepare 100% of our diverse student population for success in a four-year college or university, and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society. The networks’ successes include being nationally ranked by Newsweek as one of the nation’s best public high schools, and our students are graduating from college at twice the national average.

Our first open house will be held on Thursday, October 16th at the International District/Chinatown Community Center from 7:30-8:30. All interested families are encouraged to attend. Childcare and snacks will be provided.

For more information, please contact Malia Burns at mburns@summitps.org or visit www.summitps.org. -- NP

mirmac1 said...

I saw this on Facebook with Jim Belushi's face:

"Read application essays and advice from students at top schools. Get paid for sharing your own!"

The latest money-making venture
www.admitsee.com

Anonymous said...

Summit looks promising for the overpromise underdeliver of a hella lot of SPS. Yes, it's their own site, but these points from Summit are going to find an audience in Seattle.

Outperforming Local Schools
• Summit students arrive at Summit schools with slightly lower scores than their peers at local high schools, yet consistently outperform their peers.
• Summit schools have consistently performed well above the state’s measure of a successful school (800 API).
• Summit schools ranked in the top 20% of public high schools in the state of California.
• Summit Preparatory High School ranked #1 in the Bay Area and #3 in the state of California serving students with disabilities.

The school also looks like it is going to open when the high school space crunch hits.

"Considering"

Anonymous said...

Summit, from a different source, also offers student-driven interest study blocks throughout the year, higher math in earlier grades, very small classes, and daily meetings with academic mentors.

Private school perks. Public school tuition.

More winning points.

"Considering"

Anonymous said...

"So WA colleges and universities are going to accept the results of a high stakes test the first year out of the box in place of placement testing?"

I think that actually they won't.
Read the article:

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/educationlab/2014/10/07/common-core-tests-now-a-ticket-out-of-college-remedial-classes/

It makes little sense on the logistics, has no quoted source, does not even say how colleges will even access the scores and it is coming from the Times. (And as far as I can tell not published anywhere else.)


I think this is a lot of jabber around getting students to sit for this test, which will not be required for graduation until 2019. But they need kids to take it so they can test drive it so see what will happen when they require it.

Parents are being led to believe that it is required for 11th graders, in part I think because of what happened to MAPS at high school.

Don't be fooled. Opt out your 11th graders!

HS Parent

Anonymous said...

How is Summit going to open in the fall of 2015 when it hasn't been approved by the state charter commission and fall is less than one year away?

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

HS Parent, my source on the use of the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessment by state colleges and universities was not The Seattle Times. For an official source see: http://www.wsac.wa.gov/college-readiness. This is most definitely happening.

This policy has been agreed to by the presidents of all 34 state community and technical colleges and the 6 public baccalaureates.

It applies to the students in graduating class of 2016-18 --- students who are the graduating class of 2016 are this year's juniors and the first to take the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessment.

--- swk

Melissa Westbrook said...

Arh, comment got eaten.

Summit is coming - it was approved in the first round of Charter Commission charters that were approved. Now we know they will be in the International district.

Of course they will have smaller class sizes; they control the size of their school. Of course, as a parent you will have zero input on anything about the school but there are tradeoffs to everything.

Summit is a Gates supported charter (I suspect GF helped to find that space for them).

I may get some clarity in a couple of hours on the Smarter Balanced tests; I suspect there is more to it than get a B and no remedial class for you.

I agree, that was an oddly written Times' article.

Anonymous said...

Great.

http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2014/10/07/teen-raiders-arrested-after-lunch-break-break-in/

Teen Raiders Arrested After Lunch Break Break-In
Written by Detective Drew Fowler on October 7, 2014 2:39 pm
Police arrested two 15-year-olds Monday afternoon after the teens took a long lunch break to burglarize a home near their North Seattle high school.
The homeowner heard someone running through his house shortly after 12:45 PM and spotted the teens fleeing down the street. The man hopped into his car found and confronted the two young men at 40th Ave Northeast and Northeast 113th Street.
One of the two teens bolted toward nearby Nathan Hale High School, but the other stayed behind with the homeowner, who called 911.
When officers arrived, the penitent young man returned several stolen Blu-Ray DVDs from his backpack and gave police the name of his partner in crime. Police went to the school and, with the help of school security officers, arrested the second alleged burglar. The second teen informed officers he had hidden a stolen laptop under a pile of pine needles in the yard of another home.
Police called the suspects’ parents before booking the boys into the King County’s Youth Service Center for investigation of burglary.

HP

Anonymous said...

Read the FAQs closely:

http://www.wsac.wa.gov/sites/default/files/CCSS_SBA_Counselor%20One%20Pager%20FINAL.pdf

You will see that it is just being used as a guideline, no guarantees:

For example:
"If an 11th graders earns a 3 or 4 they are likely to avoid courses in college, saving money and time."

Vague. Noncommittal. Reads like a PR release.



HS Parent.

Anonymous said...

My child was told to set up a connectedu account in class. I had not heard of connectedu to warn her ahead of time & she did what she was told. She has since graduated. Neither she, nor I, have received any communication allowing her to remove her information.

-concerned

Anonymous said...

HS Parent, are you purposely cherry-picking the information you find to support your point? The FAQ document to which you linked IS essentially a PR release put together by Ready WA.

The official documents can be found here:

SBCTC Agreement

and

Council of Presidents Agreement

These are firm agreements.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

@swk, looks official to me, too. However, your original statement that "students who achieve level 3 or higher on the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessment this spring will not have to take a placement test upon enrolling in the college and/or university" doesn't appear to be wholly accurate.

Such scores basically just exempt someone from remedial placement. Additional placement testing may in fact still be necessary.

For math, the agreement includes this:

"Students who achieve Level 3 or Level 4 may enroll in more advanced mathematics courses through university placement testing."

Double the testing, double the fun?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

HIMSmom, you are absolutely correct. That's what I get for trying to be concise in my description. When writing my own policy documents/summaries, I tend to be overly specific. I should follow my own rules here on this blog as well.

Good catch.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

skw-
You stated:
The state public 2- and 4-year colleges and universities are reporting that students who achieve level 3 or higher on the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessment this spring will not have to take a placement test upon enrolling in the college and/or university."

I found verbiage that says your statement is wrong and you tell me I am cherry picking prove my point. Then you add some non-working links.


HS Parent

Anonymous said...

HS Parent, you're right. Nevermind. Because I screwed up the links, this means the colleges and universities made no such agreements. I am just absolutely wrong --- completely and utterly wrong. It's all just a bad dream.

--- swk

P.S. I need some work on posting hyperlinks, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Let me try this again:

SBCTC Agreements

and

Council of Presidents Agreement

--- swk

Anonymous said...

Third time's a charm:

Council of Presidents Agreement

The link to COP Agreement in the above post links to the Ready WA document HS Parent already posted. Sorry.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

swk: lesson please! How do you post hyperlinks? I always end up just copying out the zillion character link.

Jan

Anonymous said...

So -- here is my take on Summit (I too spend some time noodling around on their site today):
1. This is going to happen whether I like it or not, so it seems to me time to do that lemonade from lemons thing -- combined with some Reaganesque "trust but verify." We certainly could use some space for hs kids. They are not (or don't appear to be) thankfully, a conversion.
2. They are having public board meetings. The public is invited, and there is some ability (I didn't spend much time on this, as I am unlikely to use it) to request time to talk or publicly comment. It looks as though, to date, no one from the public has attended.
3. They state somewhere (sorry, I am no longer on the site, so I can't quote) that since they are public, they share publicly the stuff they develop. Not sure what that entails, but I would like to know more.
4. If they are going to educating "my kids" (mine as in Seattle public school kids -- not mine biologically), I want this to work for those kids, and I want it to work in a way that helps, or furthers, public education for all Seattle kids (at a MINIMUM, it cannot make things worse, as it has done in other places). I have no clue exactly what my "want" looks like in real time. Yet.
5. Because of their location -- and the fact that they have to take kids by lottery, I am assuming there will be good cultural and ethnic diversity. But I want to see academic diversity (in terms of inclusion of, and success with, SPED kids as well. Hm. Maybe I have something to talk about in one of their board meetings after all.

I would be curious to know whether anyone is thinking of some "follow up" legislation -- to fix some of the obvious problems in the charter law -- including the fears in Tacoma that too many charters are coming on line in one community too quickly -- and the thought that charter schools should be geographically spread through the state. I would also like to see changes to the conversion provisions, some teeth put into compliance with SPED and behavioral inclusion, and some additional rigor in determining when and how charters that fail are to be terminated. I would also like to see someone (maybe this gets done privately -- but maybe it gets done by the state) do some evaluation of the effects (financial and budgetary) of charters on the districts where they are located. I think this feeds into the "geographic placement" issue. For example -- I could be wrong, but I am not anticipating huge amounts of financial harm from the existence of First Place School as a charter. But clearly this has become an issue already in Tacoma.

I didn't want these, particularly, but if they are going to be here, I want them to do as much good, and as little damage, as can possibly be made to be the case.

Jan

Lynn said...

Jan,

Try this link.

Charlie Mas said...

The agenda for the October 9 Finance Committee meeting has been posted.

I notice that a Title IX update is now a routine item on the agenda. It is presented by Mr. English and has been allotted five minutes.

Of the promised reforms, we have seen none. Repeat: none. It has now been revealed that the revised field trip procedures are a mess (per Mr. Howard). The training wasn't done (per Mr. Howard). There is no updated sexual harassment procedure and there is no updated sexual harassment policy. Neither the current sexual harassment policy nor the current procedure is being followed. I think the only thing that has happened is that some unlucky people have been stuck with the Title IX responsibility and no clue how to fulfill it.

Dora Taylor said...

Let's talk a little bit about Summit Charter Schools.

This Blogger site still sucks so I will provide the title and you can check out all the details about Summit. Google
"Summit (Sierra) charter school: The skinny on the Gates-backed school set for Seattle, Brad Bernatek (remember him?) and a host of others"

Here's an excerpt:

Bill Gates will be bringing yet another grand experiment onto public school children in Seattle soon in the form of a charter school “Sierra” which is part of the Summit charter school chain.

Charter schools? Every time we hear the trumpets blow about a charter school that is successful, we find out that there was a lot of behind the scenes shenanigans going on…students being counseled out or expelled if they can’t make the grade, a demand of cash or an inordinate amount of volunteer time required of the parents (see below re: Summit), long application forms that weed out those parents who might not know English, ELL students need not apply, and other parents who don’t have the bandwidth, for whatever reason, to fill out the form.

So let’s look at Summit.

The (Gates) foundation also awarded $4 million to Summit Public Schools and $4.2 million to Green Dot Public Schools, both California-based charter management organizations looking to expand into Washington. Both organizations have been engaging with communities in the western part of the state, where they hope to adapt their existing models to the needs of local communities.

So I got on the horn with my fellow edu advocates, writers, activists and educators and received a plethora of information.

Regarding Bill Gates and Summit:

… in 2011 the Gates Foundation gave $50,000 to Summit Institute: “TO ACCELERATE THE IMPACT AND QUALITY OF THE CLASSROOM ROTATIONAL BLENDED MODEL OF INSTRUCTION FOR 208 9TH GRADE STUDENTS AT SUMMIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS: RAINIER AND TAHOMA IN SAN JOSE CALIFORNIA”

According to Summit’s own report titled Washington State Fundraising Summary which was sent to me by a parent in California who has been looking into Summit:


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:

Funder Information: Have funded Summit through a variety of channels over the last 3 years- $150,000 total for Optimized, $450,000 from NGLC, have requested funding for Personalized Learning and more this year.

Current Proposal: (The Gates Foundation) Have requested a proposal from Summit for $8M for 4 Summit schools in WA, as well as access to a newly formed Gates Facilities Fund.

The report goes on to mention the usual set of donors who like to fund all things ed/corporate reform including the Bezos Family Foundation.


Bezos Family Foundation

Funder Information: Run by (Amazon’s Founder and CEO) Jeff Bezos and his parents and other family members. They funded KIPP and Stand for Children, and donated $975,000 to the most recent 2012 charter school measure in WA as well as to previous attempts to introduce charter schools in WA.

...According to the report, Jim Spady of Seattle’s Dick’s Burgers has pledged $50,000 to the cause. Chris Korsmo with the League of Education Voters offered to connect Summit with “prospective funders in Washington”.

Connie Ballmer, whose husband was CEO of Microsoft, and Tonya Dressel with Partners for our Children were also on the list.

Dora Taylor said...

"Blended learning", by the way, means putting children in front of computers rather than real teachers and expecting them to have the full experience and advantages of an education such as the type provided to Bill Gates' children.

For more, google "Online (blended)learning".

It's not a good thing.

Dora Taylor said...

More about Summit:

You know there was a money interest in all of this, didn’t you?

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation paid for a glossy report on online learning, oop’s, “Blended Learning”, and Summit is a featured school.

Michael Dell is founder and CEO of Dell Inc. Dell, Inc. is a multinational computer technology company based in Texas where the foundation is located. Dell, Inc. “sells, repairs and supports computers and related products.”

Adding another string to the web is Brad Bernatek’s involvement with the report. (His name is on the cover of the report.)

Remember him? He was the Broad graduate who our former Broad superintendent, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, brought in as a “Broad Resident” to watch over the hen-house as Director of Research, Assessment and Evaluation. He was also put in charge of implementing the MAP test for the superintendent who was on the NWEA board that produces the MAP test.

Dora Taylor said...

What Summit demands of parents: (Which probably weeds out a lot of students. This is called “cherry picking”.)

According to the Everest Parent Organization website which is the parent organization associated with Summit-Everest, it is required that parents or guardians put in 30 hours of volunteer time with the school each year, 50 hours if you have two students attending the charter school. That’s a lot of time if you’re working full-time or holding down two jobs as many are doing to make it through these difficult financial times. It also helps keep the school’s cost down. Yes, parental involvement is important and ideal but many parents hardly have the time to work, return home, make dinner and help with homework. As a working single mom while my daughter was in school, I know what that’s like that firsthand.

Along with volunteer time, they ask that parents “donate” $450 for each student attending this charter school.

Dora Taylor said...

I truly wonder what the Charter School Commission was thinking when they approved this school for Seattle. Did they actually read the website?

The Summit charter school in Seattle is to be located in the south end of Seattle and supposedly drawing on minority students who live in the area.

How many parents do you think in the low-income area will be able to come up with $450 per student and at least 30 hours of volunteer time?

And they call themselves a “public school”?

Dora Taylor said...

Summit’s attrition rate:

Summit Prep lost 18.86% of its class of ’13 between freshman year and the beginning of senior year — I don’t have information on the number who graduated. It lost 26% of its Latino students (the most significant nonwhite group) in that time. Again, we don’t know how many graduated.

Standard charter practice is to push out the less successful students before graduation and then tout the percentage of the remaining number who graduate and go to college, so even though not all of them presumably do that, those claims have no credibility whatsoever and should just be shrugged off.

Also, by the way, when “Waiting for ‘Superman'” trashed Woodside High School (with a false portrayal) to aggrandize Summit Prep Charter, there was HUGE pushback from Woodside parents. They bought a big banner and put it across the outside of the school — I’ll have to go look at the wording, but it was something like “We love our teachers — man, you’re super!” It was there for a long time and may still be.

Dora Taylor said...

Summit’s rollout plan for Washington State:

In a field report titled “Greenlighting 2015″ that was sent to me regarding Summit’s plan for our children’s future and was discussed at a Summit board meeting, their plan is to establish four schools in seven different districts in Washington State, two in the fall of 2015 and two in 2016.

The facilities will be paid for by Gates through the Washington State Facilities Fund and leased to Summit at “sustainable rates”.

Eric Premack with the Charter School Development Center is being funded by Gates “to look at Washington State and prepare the groundwork for entry”.

According to this field report, Summit has questions about how much of the Seattle school levy budget they will receive. “The thinking is that the first charters approved will be the first ones to get access to the levies.”

Bill Gates is spending $8-$10 million on bringing charter schools to Washington state per the report and the Washington Charter Schools Association has paid for “all trips”, approximately $3.75M, to fly charter groups into our state to check out the terrain, and Premack is the main figure in all of this.

They see Teachers United as helping the cause of establishing charter schools in our state. (Long story about Parents United. For now, know that it was established with Gates money, is anti-union and they are all about all things ed/corporate reform.)

The Charter School Commission didn’t do their homework on vetting Summit charter schools but maybe that isn’t the point of the commission.

dorainseattle said...

Any more questions about Summit?

All I have to say is "Don't send your children there."

Dora Taylor

Lynn said...

Tomorrow's work session on the downtown school and executive session have been cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Great info Dora! Thank you for each and every post daylighting what is going on.

-fedmomof2

Anonymous said...

So Gates Foundation is willing to fund the site of a charter school downtown, and to solicit others to donate to the cause, but the same business set is unwilling to step up to offer/raise money for a space for the downtown SPS grade school they want so badly to make the area marketable.

They are willing to destabilize SPS enrollment and funding, while demanding more from SPS.

Right. Got it.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

@ Dora: I'm with you until I hit the diatribe on blended learning.

One underpaid teacher for a SuperSize load of students and a profit motive behind the setup is ghastly. But as an addition to classes, or to provide enrichment, or extra help, or access to subject efforts, it can be pretty great.

Like most things in education, the proof is in the classroom implementation.

I think quite a lot of blended learning holds promise. But I'd rather see it in traditional public schools and not supplied via shiny computers funded by Gates and Charterpreneurs.

SavvyVoter

Anonymous said...

Any word on why today's work session (Downtown School) was cancelled?

Will it be re-scheduled?

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Just announced -

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024727916_schoolsettlementxml.html

ST Reader

Reader47 said...

Live link to ST story on Garfield trip settlement

$700,000 settlement reached in Garfield High field-trip case

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jan, I think that it's too early to tweak the charter law (at least for the Legislature). That Tacoma is unhappy is not the Charter Commission's problem.

Meanwhile over the Washington Policy Center, they moan that the Commission is not moving fast enough.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Dora. Just total ugh! Looks like we have our work cut out for us! Thanks for all the info though. Melissa, I thought the legislature had to wait 2 years from the date of an initiative to either repeal (which of course won't happen) or amend it. Does that sound right?

Jan

David said...

Seems Gatewood got good news tonight:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Grassroots-Effort-Saves-West-Seattle-Teacher-278600191.html

Anonymous said...

Lynn, can you post the email from the testing coordinator stating that students will be required to take the Smarter Balanced assessments?

The Smarter Balanced assessments are the state assessments now and OSPI allows for opt-outs. As I've mentioned previously, the district/school is required to administer the assessments (and per NCLB to at least 95% of all students and each category of students) but this doesn't mean students are required to take the assessments.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

Gatewood raised enough money to keep their teacher. Articles in ST and West Seattle blog. - NP

Lynn said...

swk,
It was a long email - here is the section on state testing:

What follows is a brief overview of the types of tests, who takes them, and the schedule for testing this year. State exams this year will include:


EOC (end of course exam) given in algebra, geometry, and biology. Students have to pass one math EOC and the biology EOC in order to graduate. These tests are given pencil/paper.
HSPE (High School Proficiency Exam) given in reading and writing. Students need to show proficiency in reading and writing in order to graduate. The HSPE is one way they can do that. These tests are given pencil/paper.
DAPE (Developmentally Appropriate Proficiency Exam) given in reading, writing, math, and science. This test is only for students with qualifying IEPs. Those kids can meet testing requirements via the DAPE instead of EOC or HSPE. These tests are given pencil/paper.
ELA (English Language Arts) Exit Exam - reading and writing. This test is temporary while SBAC is being phased in and HSPE is being phased out. Kids in 10th grade will take it and if they pass it meets graduation requirements. 10th graders next year will take it also but after that kids will only take the SBAC. This year the test will be pencil/paper - next year it may be computer adaptive.
SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) in math and LA. This is the new state assessment system that is being phased in for math, reading, and writing. The tests are all given on computer and are adaptive.

Who takes which tests:
9th graders: They may take an EOC (algebra, geometry, biology) if they have not yet passed one of these and if they are enrolled in that specific course.
10th graders: They may take an EOC if they haven't yet passed and are in the specific course (mostly biology). They will ALL take the new ELA (English Language Arts exam) exit exam that is based on the Common Core standards. Right now this will be given paper/pencil much like the HSPE has been. If kids pass this exam it meets the graduation requirement for reading and writing. This test will be given over two days - May 19th and 20th.
11th graders: They may take an EOC if they haven't yet passed what is needed for graduation. If they haven't passed the reading or writing HSPE then they will take that in March. They will also be REQUIRED to take the new Smarter Balanced exams in both ELA and math - even if they have already passed all state testing requirements. Why? Because the new accountability piece of testing has been moved from 10th grade to 11th grade. Eventually all testing will be ONLY in 11th grade so this is part of the phase in process.
12th graders: They don't have to test at all but they will take exams for whatever they still need for graduation. They can take EOCs, HSPE, ELA, SBAC - as many tests as they want.

Testing Schedules:
As we have done in the past we will have a delayed start for many of the testing days when a test is only given on a certain day (EOC, HSPE and ELA exit exam).
DAPE exams are given twice during the school year. The first time in November kids will test during the regular school day and may need to be pulled out of their classes to test. We only have 19 kids scheduled to test so hopefully the impact won't be too great. In the spring DAPE happens on the HSPE days and then there are two other days for math and science when kids will be pulled out of classes to test.
AP exams follow the schedule determined by the College Board. Students will miss classes when they have to take an AP test. More on AP later when details are finalized.
SBAC exams need to happen during the testing window set by OSPI (April 6 - May 29). It is tricky because during that window we have spring break, AP exams, and also the new ELA exam on May 19 and 20. Students will likely test within a class and during the school day with no change to the daily schedule. I am beginning to work on a draft schedule that I can present to committee in October.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lynn. My response doesn't change. They have no authority to require that students take the assessment.

If you (or others) have concerns about this, I would encourage you to contact Kimberly DeRousie at OSPI at kimberly.derousie@k12.wa.us to let her know that you received this communication from SPS and to get her confirmation that students and families may still opt out.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

"Students will miss classes when they have to take an AP test."

Correction: Students will miss class when they have to any of these tests.
(I know cherry picking again, but it is such a glaring omission I can't help myself)

My 11th grader is also being told they have to take the Common Core test. I will be emailing OPSI to get the written confirmation that they don't need it to earn the diploma.

I am not very concerned with college placement based on a test that will have been taken a year and a half before college starts.

Here is the 11th grade test schedule for those who don't opt out:

SAT
Common core
AP or IB exam(s)


HS Parent




Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know OSPI's response.

--- swk

Lynn said...

Graduation Toolkit See pages 7-10 for state testing requirements.

Principal Letter Template

Smarter Balanced Test Refusal Form (From the Washington Educational Research Association)