There are many reasons why parents are making this choice. Some of those reasons are:
- a lack of confidence in the current Commissioner of Education,
- disappointment in the new Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS),
- anger at the flawed implementation of the CCLS, and
- the rush to test on these standards even though the material is still being rolled out to students.
Parenting, in my humble opinion, is THE most challenging and rewarding job we could ever have, and I never judge a parent when they make a decision regarding their child. I also do not think we know how we do as parents until they have had a chance to take what we taught them and live on their own. Parents can also become stressed when we must make decisions for our children, even when we assist them with a decision. Sound like fun all of you non-parents out there?!?
This percentage is one of the factors in determining if a school or district has made "Adequate Yearly Progress". In a nutshell, if a school, building, or sub-group of a student population falls below the 95% participation rate, a mechanism could be enacted where Federal funds that a school receives, called Title I funds, might need to be diverted. They would then cover the costs of an outside company to provide tutoring to students, but ONLY for those students who receive free and reduced lunch (no matter what their score is).
In my opinion, no matter what negative impact this has for a school or a district, those who created this structure and these plans move forward with no repercussions. To me, this scenario qualifies as a "lose/lose". There are more factors that I have not included in this blog, but I wanted you to have some basic information.
Ninety-seven students refused to take the ELA Assessment at West Genesee, which is 4.43% of our school wide population who were eligible to take the assessment. We will not know if individual buildings or sub groups are below the 95% until later this spring and after the testing windows (the Math Assessments take place in May). If we fall below the 95%, our clock starts ticking and the financial impact will be felt at the end of next year unless a waiver is introduced, and I have not heard any buzz about that as of yet.
Again, we are not alone. However, I wanted to make the point that there can be true and unintended consequences for decisions we make once emotion is removed.
Have a great rest of the week!