Posts Tagged "Chicago Public Schools"

Why PARCC Testing Is An Option

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

PARCC testing is next week for our school. The more I am reading online, from blogs, other parents and public education teachers, the more I feel better with our decision on why my daughter is opting out of PARCC. What I have also learned that most didn’t realize that PARCC is an option. So yes, they can opt have their child opt out of the test altogether. Here is why you may want to consider opting out too. I have yet to talk to one teacher, in the city or in the suburbs that fully supports PARCC (some say it needs improvement, some schools don’t have computers, so kids are at a disadvantage taking an online test). “Everyday curriculum at most schools does not prepare them for what they encounter on this test.” says another teacher in the same forum. (Unless your teacher is doing 3-hour study sessions on Saturday mornings. My child is not a robot and memorization does not equate to learning…so, no thank you)   2. In a Facebook forum I am in, one teacher stated this: “I teach 3rd grade; the first year the kids have to take it (or really anything like it). It’s awful. I have kids panicking, crying, begging me for help during the test. It’s completely unnecessary and useless. There will be topics on the test that we haven’t even covered yet. It doesn’t close any gaps, if anything it just makes them more it more defined.” Sounds like that is PTSD for kids 3. PARCC is at best a litmus test to see if Common Core is working…it is no way to see if they are “college ready”… there is no test anywhere that provides an objective measure of progress toward college-and-career readiness…none and being told this is what it will take is not true. Creators of the test never intended it to be used in this high stakes fashion. It is ANOTHER standardized test in a year full of tests and steals actual instructional time. It is not an accurate measure of my child’s successes. The results do not come in time to address deficiencies…We can better use that money and time that is being spent on PARCC and put it back into the schools. It is not secret that the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago are in major financial troubles. (We really need to do a better job of voting people into office on both sides). 4. Thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act, it preserves the mindset that says that standards, testing and accountability are the keys to student success. That is not what I want my children to learn about success…success comes from failure, making mistakes, being persistent, not being perfect, working hard, remaining humble, being a servant leader, having a servant’s heart, using your words wisely (and oh yes, being accountable for your actions), etc…not memorizing test answers at best. 5. For the 2015-16 school year 11 states were on board to administer PARCC… Only 32% of public school students are in states that administer PARCC/Smarter Balanced, down from 46% last year. 27 states have chosen an assessment other than PARCC/SBAC. Only 6 states plus DC still using PARCC, so that means 5 states dumped the test since Sept (I didn’t need Common Core to do the math either…). So It makes me wonder why the other 44 states are not fully participating or not participating at all? Why should my child waste her time taking a test that is failing in its own system? What value does that teach her? I’d...

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Character vs. Knowledge: Where do I send my daughter for school?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 in Chicago Public Schools, Faith, Family, Parenting | 2 comments

Who would have thought the decision on where to send my daughter to kindergarten would be so difficult? I feel like I am scouting colleges or something. Last week Crain’s Chicago Business wrote an article about how slow home sales are forcing parents to find the right school in the city. For my husband and I, us leaving the city was never an issue, we decided long ago to raise our family in the city. But I’ll be honest, I have been quite ignorant about my where my daughter will be going to school. Thankfully I have friends that have kept me in the loop. Skinner West built a brand new school less than a mile from where my husband and I have been living for 1o years. It is a fantastic school and neighborhood moms rave about it. (Skinner has both classical and neighborhood programs, in which we qualify for neighborhood program). In December at my daughter’s PreK Christmas celebration, moms were telling me the deadline to apply to the magnet programs was that day. I freaked out, my husband was out of town for work and filled out the forms to get the postage stamped. I did not realize it was NOT test the kids. I was applying for the lottery. *sighs* But there is something I did not mention, I absolutely LOVE my daughter’s preschool and they are adding a new year each year. I have invested much of my time in volunteering at my daughter’s school, heading up the PVO (which some of you may know it as the PTO/PTA) and I feel part of a wonderful Christ-loving community. The director has been so instrumental in helping me with my son’s Sensory Processing Disorder. When I broke down and cried from being so overwhelmed, she prayed right there for me. I felt strength again. That is powerful. This is where I want my daughter (and eventually my son) to go. BUT…last week, we got our “acceptance” letter from the schools we had chosen. While denied the lottery for Skinner’s classical, she was accepted to both Andrew Jackson and Galileo, both within 2 miles from our condo. (yes, we have quite a few schools within a 2 mile radius) Again, both fantastic schools. The thing I really wanted to do was to tour the schools and get a feel for where my daughter may fit best (My heart already knows) . One school was super friendly, real nice to me and said to stop on in whenever, the other school was flat out snooty. And I was very, very disappointed and felt let down because this school is in my neighborhood. No excuses, no matter what your front line tells a story… Part of my problem is that I feel I am getting WAY to caught up in the academic part of where she goes, where my husband is more concerned about her character development. We are not on the same page right now, our taxes goes to a top 10 school which is free for us. Or we can pay for an excellent private school in which my college tuition costed me 16 years ago. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are pros and cons to all the schools, I won’t lie, each school excels academically. But the kindergarten homework rumors scare me in CPS. How many 5 year olds do you know that get 1.5-2 hours of homework each night? Yes, they do and some have already instilled a longer school day, which is a hot topic for our teachers...

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