Friday, September 20, 2013

Did you have something planned besides testing?

If you did, you should say so, because Pearson has other plans for you!
Today as part of our Friday letter from Superintendent Boone, we received a list of the number of classes that the state wishes to take part in PARCC field testing for Pearson this spring with how long that field testing will take. You can scroll up from that link for responses by PARCC to Frequently Asked Questions.

And, my, doesn't Pearson need a lot of them!

Not surprising, really, when you remember that they started with 20 states and now are down to 13, but still need to run a field test.

Let's do a little math:
Each session lasts two hours.
Thus if you take the far right column and multiply by two, you get how many HOURS of testing these classes of children are going to spend being guinea pigs for Pearson.
In addition to whatever testing we usually do.
And instead of spending their time on getting an education.
And without compensation.

It looks as though the two groups who have particularly hit the Pearson jackpot are: 
two classes of sixth graders at Quinsigamond Elementary and 
two classes of third graders at Canterbury Street 
                                                  .....with TEN HOURS of testing each!

This is appalling in both cases but is particularly appalling for the Canterbury Street kids, as third grade is the first time kids face the MCAS exam, and these classes would be taking these field tests IN ADDITION TO the MCAS.

Their peers at Jacob Hiatt and Woodland Academy have it nearly as long, with eight hours of additional testing for two classes each of third graders at those schools. 

It also seems that Pearson's need for field testing is more important than: 
  • eight hours of fourth grade for two classes of City View students
  • more important than eight hours of fourth grade for two classes of Goddard students
  • more important than eight hours of fifth grade for two classes of Tatnuck Magnet students
  • more important than eight hours of education for two classes of Algebra I level students at Worcester Tech.

It goes on from there:
note that not all students will necessarily be tested
Six hours for: fourth graders at Elm Park Community, third and fourth graders at Flagg Street, fourth graders at Gates Lane, fourth grades at Grafton Street, fifth graders at May Street, fourth graders at Midland Street, fifth graders at Nelson Place, fourth graders at Norrback, sixth graders at Rice Square, seventh graders at Sullivan Middle.
Four hours for: eighth graders at Burncoat Middle, tenth graders at Burncoat High, fifth graders at City View, seventh graders at Claremont, ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders at Doherty, seventh and eighth graders at Forest Grove, fifth graders at Heard Street, sixth graders at Lake View, sixth graders at Nelson Place, eleventh graders at North, Algebra I students at South, sixth graders and eighth graders at Sullivan Middle, third graders at Vernon Hill, fifth graders at West Tatnuck, third and sixth graders at Worcester Arts, seventh and eighth graders at Worcester East Middle, and eleventh graders at Worcester Tech.

No results of these tests will be given to the schools or to the students or their parents. 
Neither the students nor the faculty and staff of the school will be compensated for their time doing work for the Pearson company.
The students will not be able to regain the time lost to testing (nor will their teachers).
We will not as a district be gaining any special insider look at the test, as the state intends to distribute sample materials statewide this spring.

No one--not the WPS administration, not the School Committee, not the teachers and principals, and certainly not the students or their parents--signed up to be Pearson guinea pigs.
I've had it. Enough of this. 
If you've had it, as well, you should let us know. We take this up on the 3rd. 

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