Songer: Is PARCC Developmentally Inappropriate for High School Students?

Very interesting lexile comparisons here.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Gerri K. Songer of the Illinois Township High School, District 214, conducted a Lexile analysis of the PARCC assessment and what she found was very alarming. The reading levels embedded in the assessment are absurdly high. Many young people will fail the PARCC test because it is developmentally inappropriate for high school students.

What exactly is the point of writing a test at a level that large numbers of students are guaranteed to fail? What will be the consequences for their teachers, who will be rated ineffective based on a test that is not written for high school students? As Songer writes: “Efforts can be made by educators to raise the level of reading comprehension, yet there is not much teachers can do to change the natural development of the human brain.” If she is right in her analysis, then PARCC is not only developmentally inappropriate but is designed…

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Secrets of Test Success at Success Academy

I think the phrase that practically jumped off the page was, “…at the expense of actual learning.”  How are we allowing this to go on in our educational system in America? After reading Diane’s blog, I feel this is all the more reason for parents to encourage their children to “opt out” from standardized testing.  If we can stop the incessant testing, many of the problems we face in education today will be diminished greatly.  “Success Charters” will have to resort to actual teaching, teachers will be able to utilize what they KNOW to be best practices in teaching and learning, students will actually return to liking school and perhaps we will still have a chance to produce well rounded, well educated, productive members of society with the ability to think critically and independently. What a novel idea.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Eva Moskowitz, an attorney who served on the New York City Council and was chair of the education committee, opened her own chain of charter schools in Harlem in 2006. Moskowitz is an interesting, brilliant woman with a Ph.D. in history. Her chain initially was called Harlem Success Academy, but has since been renamed Success Academy, presumably because it is now moving into other neighborhoods. Her schools regularly win editorial plaudits from the city’s tabloids for their high scores. In this article in The New Yorker, it appears that she has the “secret sauce” to overcome poverty and send the poorest kids to college. According to the New Yorker article, her chain spends over $1 million a year on marketing–such as direct mail, ads on buses and bus stop shelters, flyers, etc.– which pumps up the number of applicants for the schools and helps to build the chain’s reputation…

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