Sunday, June 3, 2007
Four to seven parents are needed to represent the MCSM parent community on the C30 panel. Anyone interested should contact Steve Koss as soon as possible by posting a comment to this blog entry, or by emailing him at email@example.com. Parents can also contact Parent Coordinator Julia Valentin at MCSM to express their interest in being part of the C30 committee.
On May 31, the New York Times published an article by Julie Bosman about the DOE's plans to add another group of annual standardized tests for all NYC public school students. The first three paragraphs of this article are shown below.
"Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced yesterday that the city school system would spend $80 million over five years on a battery of new standardized tests to begin this fall for most of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students.
The contract awarded to the testing giant CTB/McGraw-Hill will involve a significant expansion of exams, known as periodic tests, which monitor students’ progress and are supposed to help predict how students will perform in the annual state exams. Mr. Klein’s announcement immediately rekindled the debate over whether such testing is emphasized too much or is even a useful tool for teachers.
Pupils in Grades 3 through 8 will be tested five times a year in both reading and math, instead of three times as they are now. High school students, for the first time, will be tested four times a year in each subject. In the next few years, the tests will expand to include science and social studies."
If this article is correct, MCSM students will be required to take eight standardized tests next year, four in English and four in Math. Worse, in a few more years, the DOE plans to double this testing program by adding science and social studies exams. Thus, in addition to PSATs, SATs, SAT IIs, NYS Regents, and AP exams, our children will be taking the equivalent of about one extra City-mandated exam every two weeks! Of course, this means our teachers will also need to worry about preparing students for these exams as well, since regardless what the Chancellor says about how the exams will be used, they will undoubtedly be factored eventually into teachers' and principals' evaluations and school report cards. These extra exams will also foster another boomlet in tutoring services, cram classes, and study aid books like those from Barron's and Kaplan.