Advanced Learning Update

From a parent: Finally got an email from AL: 
"Students who did not receive a testing appointment notice for Saturday October 17 will be rescheduled for another date and time as soon as possible. All referred students will be tested. Our new interim system successfully scheduled almost 400 SPS and private school students for our first Saturday testing event. Circumstances beyond our control prevented some families from being notified in a timely manner. We apologize for the inconvenience."


Anonymous said…
Did anyone else receive an appointment confirmation, but it was for someone else, not for your child? I did and it even came with the student ID number for that other child. So there's a data breach issue, and also the possibility of test scores being assigned to the wrong child!

Anonymous said…
Same thing happened last year. My son received an appointment for a girl at his school ... including ID number.

North by NW
Anonymous said…
Yesterday's testing at Cascadia/Lincoln was such a mess! Of course, it began that way as noted in this post. We got an appointment time email on Thursday for the Saturday testing. Showed up and they couldn't find my child's name - kept rifling through these not in order pages of student last names (each page of names in alpha order, but they kept shuffling the pages so, for instance, the Z's might be in the top, middle, or bottom of the stack). Didn't find my child's name, so gave us a blank name tag to fill out. Never asked for ID or anything - like what if I'd had another child testing for my child? Apparently the 8AM test was running an hour behind (yes - the very first testing group started an hour late) and our student and her group got called 30 minutes after the scheduled time. Then they said they were dividing the total group there into two classrooms, but took one group of around 25 kids and the other group had 3 kids. What a mess!

Also, what is equitable about testing on Saturdays?! I see that advanced learning is proposing a revised appeals process — looking at it through an "equity lens." Ironic when the first step of getting a student tested and into an advanced learning program is harder if you work on Saturdays, don't have transportation, etc. Are they trying to drive us away??!!

Anonymous said…
I agree that it's not equitable. Sending out the appointment times on late Wednesday night is really short-notice for those who need to work out time-off with their employers. And for the testing appointments to be running an hour late? That's potentially jeopardizing parents' jobs.

What a mess. :(
The bulk of AL money goes to testing. So I have no idea - beyond sheer numbers - that it should be going this badly. But no one in senior management cares about AL so....
Anonymous said…
They said they were trying out a new method where kids are no longer testing at their own schools because schools are getting so crowded there is no longer any room for them to test there. Overcrowding issues are impacting us all even beyond the classroom it seems.

Anonymous said…
Why not test by region then? If a five year old has to be at Lincoln for testing at 8am - how early might they have to get up to get there on time by Metro? The same problem exists for families at the south end of West Seattle who have to get to Thurgood Marshall. AL staff will be shocked next fall to realize that once again, kids from poor families aren't joining the program.

Ticked off
Anonymous said…
Were the testers competent? In the past they've been very unprofessional. Also, groups are supposed to be limited to 10 for younger students...hopefully these are older kids that were in a group of 25?
Current parent
Anonymous said…
When we tried to have our student tested two years ago, we only received a notice sent to one parent's email--no paper notice in the US mail, and not sent to both custodial parents emails. That resulted in us not knowing about the testing assignment. Very frustrating.

And then there was the whole saga of not receiving accurate test results, and then receiving NO test results.
Anonymous said…
Parents had to pay $140 per pupil for the advanced learning assessment. Private assessments cost around $500 but are done one-on-one with an experienced psychologist. $140 seems reasonable for mass testing arrangements. What would cause anyone to believe that the advanced learning office was spending much of their budget on testing, particularly if they already own the schools where the testing occurs?

Lynn said…

That has always been the excuse for not providing an appropriate curriculum. Also - the testing is free for children enrolled in public schools. Revenue isn't as high as you are thinking.
Maureen said…
There is a thread open on the HCC blog discussing potential changes in the IBX program at Ingraham. It seems to me that the major question is if the one year acceleration of the IB diploma is valuable and necessary to make IB an appropriate pathway for HCC identified students. It would be interesting to hear from families who have IB/IBX students currently enrolled or graduated.
Anonymous said…
Current parent - it was the older students (I think4-8th graders) who were in a group of 25ish and a group of 3.

Yeah - capacity does seem to drive everything and I can see how it would be hard to continue implementing testing at specific schools during the school day (or at least they were still doing that at some schools), but as everyone has said, it's definitely a barrier to test on a Saturday.

I hope the next few weekends are better than what we experienced.

northseattlemama said…
We were one of the families who didn't get our appointment email last week. Just got our appointment email for 8:00 am this Saturday down at Thurgood Marshall even though we're in up NW Seattle. Figuring out childcare for my other children now and feeling very grateful that I have a working vehicle and that I'm able to support my child in this way. At the same time I'm keenly aware that there are other kids whose families won't be able to pull this off.
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