Current Articles | Archives | Search

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
13,300 Children retained at CPS! More than Vallas ever Flunked!
By nsbyrer @ 3:45 PM :: 5483 Views :: Article Rating :: Advocacy
 
The following article appeared in the September 2002 issue of PENCIL, the newsletter of Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE). It is reprented with permission

Ten days into the school term, CPS (Chicago Public Schools) announced that a record number of children were held back after the 2002 summer school. 13,300 students have been retained in 3rd , 6th , and 8th grades. Numbers of students retained in other grades have not been announced, although we believe those totals are up, too. How can this happen after years of intensive after school, summer school, tutoring, and other well-publicized remediation programs? Is this tragic evidence of the ultimate failure of the "second wave" of reform, Paul Vallas's multi-year, multi-million dollar investment in test preparation programs? The recent CPS press statement that the retained students will receive "additional tutoring" sounds like the same old song and dance. How can they deny children a second chance when they themselves can't seem to get it right after seven years of a harmful retention program? Funny numbers: We won't join those who accuse CPS of faking or otherwise "fixing" test scores when they changed over to new norms, new test forms, and new score types (from grade equivalent to percentile and standard scores). However, all of those changes make the score reports more confusing to parents and the public, and far less useful for accountability purposes. We do believe that these shocking new failure numbers are inevitable in a system which continues to use Iowa test scores improperly, giving them far more weight in promotion decisions than they were designed to have. Multiple barriers. In addition, the "multiple measures" used by the system are in fact multiple barriers. Rather than use grades, attendance, test scores, and other information to create a more accurate picture of a student's progress-- which educators agree is the best way to assess -- CPS uses each piece in isolation as a trigger for retention. The system stubbornly ignores its own promotion policy's review process which was crafted to avoid such unsound decision making. Adopted in 1999 as a result of PURE's complaint to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the policy provides for a thorough, individualized review of each student identified for non-promotion. School professionals working with parents are to look at the student s overall skill and knowledge status, and make the best decision for that student. The continued failure of CPS to implement this aspect of the promotion policy led PURE to file a letter of complaint to OCR (see page o­ne of Tips and Updates). Perhaps these disturbing new failure numbers will finally move the system toward compliance with the 1999 agreement. Meanwhile, according to Education Week (9/9/02), an unprecedented review of research into what works in schools by the British government found that "high-stakes testing tends to reinforce the poor self-image of low-achieving students and leads teachers to resort to feeding facts to students, rather than undertaking the kind of hands-on learning that some students respond to best. " o­ne researcher concluded that, when the government asks what works, and the research shows so clearly that high stakes testing does not work, "it is up to government to act o­n it. " Hear, hear.Read more and visit PURE's web site at www.pureparents.org
Rating
Comments

News by Category

Google News

In the National Media...
Dallas Morning News
, USA
- Feb 16, 2008
- Feb 16, 2008
She raised thousands of dollars to support tutoring and mentoring of poor, struggling students. Eventually, she started another nonprofit, the I Am That I ...
Southtown Star
, USA
- Feb 17, 2008
- Feb 17, 2008
"Being a tutor was interesting because I was able to help a student go from a D to a B in one of his classes," Ramirez said. ...
Earthtimes
, UK
- Feb 12, 2008
- Feb 12, 2008
CLE professional staff members work closely with students to provide structured tutoring sessions, independent living skills training and social outings. ...
Chicago Tribune
- Feb 10, 2008
- Feb 10, 2008
Olcer learned how to prepare raw food at Cousin's restaurant in Chicago, tutored by the Turkish chef Mehmet Ak. On a trip to India, she brought greens that ...
powered by