June 2018 Shuffle


There is plenty of stuff I could write about education today.  But I don’t want to.  I’m in one of those “need to purge” moods.  I haven’t done one of these in almost a year.  Right now, I’m sitting in my kitchen typing away.  Aside from the music playing, it is quiet.  As always, these tend to be personal but every once in a while I may sneak in an Easter egg here or there.  This time is no exception.

Utah Asked USDOE for ESSA Testing Waiver to Honor Parents’ Rights; USDOE Said (Wait for It…) No.


deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

On May 01, 2018, Utah state superintendent Sydnee Dickson sent this waiver request to Betsy DeVos’ USDOE regarding parental rights to opt their children out of state tests– as protected by state law. The Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA) (the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, or ESEA) requires that 95 percent of eligible students participate in state tests in order to qualify for Title I funding.

A primary concern is that scoring opt-out students’ tests as zeroes skews test-based school accountability and potentially misidentifies “low performing” schools– with opt-outs “highest” at charter and virtual schools. Some excerpts:

The waiver request, if granted, would enable the state to maintain one coherent accountability system, allow Utah to more accurately identify schools in need of improvement, and avoid undermining the transparency of our accountability system, including the ability of policymakers, educators, parents, and students to make informed…

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