ASSESSMENTS * STANDARDS By Lonnie Tucker, CHE, CSW & Ms.

Donna Wells, BS, PCWS

A dramatic transformation in what students are learning and doing in the Common Core Educational Standards began last year, and will come into full effect at the elementary level for the 2013-2014 school year As curriculum changes take place, changes in student assessment, instructional practices, and technology integration as this school year continues. There is a period to begin phasing in the new standards CCSS The Data are off the charts for advance achieving student (gifted) but the Data indicates the refined needs to reevaluations, monitoring adjustments and re-tooling approaches of the standard for improvements to needy student learning. The data has already in on those students ability scores, that has identify the supports/ assistance/tutoring for all remedial learners needs Methods of intervention support for students who are deficient Conceptual strategies to change the way students express learning • What are the Implications for implementation of the CCSS. • What about English learners and the CCSS? What expectations should we have for ELLs, and when? • What's your take on the role of scaffolding? • What are implications for PD for content teachers? Professional Cultural Development (parents, educators, and invested stakeholders) Cognitive, phonemic, comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning (words), & Verbal Reasoning What parents need to do to ensure the children are ready for these changes Pre scoring assessment reports How long to review the scoring Please link to the Common Core Standards at http://www.corestandards.org/.

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Gov. Kasich Proposes Increasing School Funding, Lessening Mandates
The governor’s plan also includes funds for a special grant, designed to encourage schools to try new approaches to increasing achievement and decreasing cost. Gov. John Kasich today unveiled his school funding reform plan, “Achievement Everywhere,” which aims to distribute funds fairly to districts and give principals more autonomy. The plan will be part of the governor’s overall 2014-15 budget proposal, which is expected to be released next week. Thursday’s proposal includes $1.2 billion in new money for schools during the next two years. Kasich told reporters on a conference call Thursday afternoon that the additional money is possible because the state has cut costs in other areas and brought in new jobs, which increases the state’s overall revenue. He said his plan would be fully funded from the start, rather than phased in over time Ohio’s school funding formula, which is based on property taxes, was repeatedly ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. Former Gov. Ted Strickland proposed a plan to address this, as well, but it was not fully funded when passed. Kasich’s plan would create a base funding level for all but the wealthiest districts, based on a per-student property tax base. Kasich said he wanted to empower principals and make sure that money was spent in the classroom whenever possible. According to a fact sheet on the governor’s website, this could mean districts would get more money to educate students with special education needs, English language learners and children whose families live in poverty The proposal also includes plans for a grant program, the “Straight A Fund,” designed to encourage districts to try new approaches to increase student achievement and lessen costs. The proposal also mentions that some mandates could be waived at the district level, but does not clarify which mandates that would be. The Plain Dealer reports that while specific funding details won’t be available until next week, no districts would lose money during the next two years under this proposal. Check out this article for a closer look at how state money would be distributed to districts under this proposal.

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The Columbus Dispatch outlines a portion of the governor’s plan not mentioned in the fact sheet—an expansion of the state’s voucher program aimed at students entering kindergarten. In the conference call, Kasich said this moved the voucher program from focusing on failing schools to focusing on helping families with low income. What part of funding will help supplement progressive well-known districts with pocket of poverty in them? Kasich’s school-funding plan attempts to reduce the wide gaps in spending among poor and wealthy school districts while calling for a sweeping expansion of the state’s tax-funded voucher program for low-income students.

The $15.1 billion, two-year education plan would increase state aid to schools by 6 percent in the coming school year, and 3.2 percent the next. Administration officials stressed that under the plan no school district would receive less state aid than it did this year. That means a number of districts will remain on what is known as a “guarantee” – meaning they get more money than the formula otherwise says they should get. “That is a huge expense and something that can’t be sustained,” said Richard A. Ross, Kasich’s director of 21st Century Education. “But we’re willing to try to wean our schools off that dependency.” During a conference call this morning with reporters, Ross added: “We came to realize that funding is really not about operating schools. It’s about educating our boys and girls,”

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See a fact sheet outlining the governor's plan The overall goals, he said, are to push resources for success everywhere – rewarding good ideas, providing flexibility for schools – and creating a “highperformance culture.” “In everything we do, dollars are going to be driven from back-office administrative services to the classroom,” Ross said. Kasich is outlining his long-promised plan to school superintendents and charterschool operators this afternoon in Columbus and will host a virtual town-hall about the proposal tonight from COSI. The governor’s proposal would create a $300 million “Straight A Fund” to provide districts with one-time grants to support initiatives aimed at improving teaching and learning and driving more funding to the classroom. It also will provide schools with $90 million to pay for tutoring and intervention services they are required to provide youngsters reading below grade-level under the newly enacted 3rd-grade reading guarantee. Kasich wants to address the ongoing disparity problem among Ohio schools, where 20 mills of property tax can raise from $900 to more than $14,000 per pupil, depending on the property wealth of the district. The state requires every district to levy a minimum 20 mills of local property taxes. For that 20 mills, Kasich’s formula will use state money to bring all districts to a level of funding equivalent to $250,000 of property value for each pupil.

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Only 24 districts in the state -- including Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights and New Albany -- currently have property values higher than that. In addition, Kasich is calling for separate equity funding for poorer districts that resembles parity aid, which had been part of school-funding formulas for much of the first decade of the 2000s. Districts would be ranked from poorest to wealthiest based on property and income, with the poorest districts getting 15 mills worth of additional funding, an amount that steadily reduces to 5 mills for districts at the 80th percentile. “It gives us a fairly equal base to build on meeting the needs of our individual students,” said Barbara Mattei-Smith, Kasich’s assistant policy director for education. “A lot of our effort is to set a base that reduces that disparity, so that ensures all of our students have an opportunity for success.” A new voucher program would provide private-school tuition starting next fall to any entering kindergartener with a household income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level – about $46,000 a year for a family of four. Vouchers would be worth up to $4,250 a year and could be used at the parent’s choice of participating private schools, which could not charge tuition on top of the voucher amount. The following year, vouchers would be expanded to students in kindergarten and first grade, and, presumably, so on. The governor’s plan provides $8.5 million for vouchers the first year, and $17 million, the next.

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Currently, nearly half of the 1.8 million students in Ohio’s primary and secondary schools come from families that would meet the income level to get a voucher. A separate figure on how many incoming kindergarteners would be eligible is unavailable. Although the setup is different, 15,702 students currently receive vouchers under Ohio’s EdChoice scholarship program, which is available to any student who otherwise would attend a low-performing public school. The governor also is calling to lift many state mandates to give schools more flexibility and allow them to focus on preparing students for college and career. For instance, districts could base their school calendar on minimum hours, not days, and they would no longer be required to pay $6.50 per child to their Educational Service Center for services, but pay only for services they chose, if any. Student health and school safety requirements would not be altered Q: What is the State of Education in Schools ? A decade ago, Schools were ranked near the bottom nationally, and our students were at a disadvantage when competing against those from most other states. Through a careful process of raising standards and measuring student progress, Schools students have made impressive gains. That same survey that once ranked Schools near the bottom now puts us at No. 11 among all 50 states. We still have further to go, and that’s why we’re raising standards. It’s the right thing to do for our students. Q: Why does Schools insist that testing is good for our schools and children?

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A: Testing by itself will not improve our schools—and that’s not what we’re advocating. But, using well-designed tests to measure student progress toward a set of clear and high academic standards is sound educational practice, and it works. The LCAT measures whether or not a student is meeting those standards. Q: While the end goal may be to genuinely prepare our young people for the future, how will teaching to the test do this? A: We do not want – or ask – teachers to teach to the test. We want educators to teach to the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards, which they helped create. If students can meet the expectations of the standards, then the test will take care of itself. These new standards require students to dive deeper into and learn more about important concepts instead of learning bits and pieces about lots of concepts. Students will need to demonstrate real skills and knowledge, not just an ability to pass a test. Our new standards require students to think critically, to work cooperatively, and to problem solve creatively—skills critical for success in the workplace and for the jobs of tomorrow. It’s the standards—not the LCAT—that make this possible. We must prepare Schools ’s children to be competitors in their local community, in the state, in the nation and the global economy, and through our dedicated teachers, new standards and assessments, that will happen. Q: Should you be worried if your child dropped in performance on this year’s LCAT? The LCAT 2.0 assesses the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards, which set expectations of what Schools public school students should learn by grade level in each subject. On December 19, 2011, the State Board of Education established new Achievement Level standards for LCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics. Spring 2012 is the first time results will be reported according to these new standards. Because the LCAT 2.0 is based on more demanding content standards and the achievement standards are more rigorous, scores may appear lower on the new scale than on the previous scale for certain grades and subjects.

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If your child’s score is now in a lower Achievement Level (e.g., if a child has dropped from Achievement Level 3 to Achievement Level 2), we encourage you to discuss your concerns with the teacher or your child’s guidance counselor. You are encouraged to use these scores as a point of conversation with the teacher or school to best determine the next steps in helping your child achieve his or her academic goals. It’s important to keep lines of communication open with your child’s teacher(s). Let them know if you are worried about your child’s score and ask what your options are to help your child improve. Please know that this is an effort to prepare your student for success after high school, in college, in the workplace, and in life. Raising standards and measuring students’ progress toward the standards is the right thing to do. You can find more information about your student’s report on the Department’s website in Understanding LCAT 2.0 Reports Spring 2012. Q: What can you do to help your child be prepared for next year? Work with your child’s teacher and make sure that your student has the support they need to move forward. There are many resources available at the state and local level that support parent involvement in education. It’s worth a trip to your school or community center to increase your level of involvement and understanding of your child’s educational needs. For additional information and resources please visit here. Q: Isn’t toughening the standards without giving kids more help and resources to meet them just setting them up to fail? No. Schools would never pursue a system that would set its children up for failure. Schools education leaders, including our commissioner of education, school superintendents, school principals and school boards are committed to providing teachers and students the resources they need to be successful in the classroom. Struggling students have access to a host of help and support, summer Reading camps, longer school days, after school tutoring, and individualized education planning involving their parents and teachers. Schools have not established new achievement levels in reading and mathematics for more than 10 years. The world has changed a lot since then, and it’s time to raise the bar. School teachers helped write and approve the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards, which will help them better understand their student’s needs and help us focus our resources in ways to better support schools and teachers.
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Q: How many third graders will be held back under these tougher standards? Some students will need additional help in reaching these new standards. We estimate that as many as perhaps 14 percent of third graders will not meet the new reading standards and may have to repeat third grade. Learning to read is the most critical skill a child learns in the early years of school, and it can truly affect their life’s trajectory. Statistics show that if a child has not mastered basic reading skills by third grade, they have a one in four chance of eventually dropping out of high school. But if you can get a third grader reading proficiently, they will graduate 96 percent of the time. Holding a student back in order to help the student master reading is painful in the short term, but is clearly the right thing to do for children over the long haul. Learn more about grade reading focus. Q: What will happen to students who may be held back? Schools are making plans to get these students the help and support they need, such as summer reading camps, longer school days, and individualized education planning involving their parents and teachers. Q: What is the state going to do to ensure schools and teachers have the resources they need to help kids meet the standards? Lawmakers added $1 billion to the state budget for schools next year to ensure that students and teachers have the resources needed to master the new higher standards. And the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards will give us honest feedback on where students stand. That will help the state, schools, and teachers better determine how and where we should focus our resources so that students get the help they need to succeed. Q: What is the state doing to hold parents accountable? Obviously, parents play a critical role in the success of their children, probably more than any other factor. A school strives to give parents the resources they need to raise happy, healthy kids. But, as educators, our role is to direct resources and efforts toward what matters most inside the school, and that’s quality teaching and high standards for all kids. Parents are important, but good schools and teachers are too.

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Q: Why will some school’s grades drop this year? For the first time in 10 years, Schools has raised the bar for passing scores on the LCAT. As a result, scores dropped this year, and so did many schools’ grades. That does not mean School’s children know less than before, or that teachers are doing a bad job. Anytime standards are raised, some students will struggle to meet the new expectations. That’s what happened this year. We are confident, though, that overtime teachers and schools will sharpen their focus and develop successful strategies to get more kids over the higher bar. These school grades provide a clear picture of where we as a state need to focus improvement so all students are receiving an education focused on the skills and knowledge today’s economy demands. Q: How do we know that raising standards is what we need to do? We know this from our own experience. When we first implemented the old Common Core States Standards, were not held in high regard—one report ranked us third from the bottom, nationally. School’s students were at a disadvantage when competing against those from most other states. Through a careful process of raising standards and measuring student progress, Schools is now 11th from the top – among all 50 states. That’s clear evidence that what we are doing is working, but it’s also a sign that improvements on this scale take a long time and require that everyone stay committed to the task at hand. We still have a ways to go, and that’s why we’re raising standards. It’s the right thing to do for our students. Q: What are Schools High School graduation requirements? Learn about High School requirements by clicking here. Q: What are Common Core State Standards? The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Mathematics (“the Standards”) are the culmination of an extended, broadbased effort to create the Next Generation of of K–12 standards to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school.

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The Standards also draw on the most important international models as well as research and input from numerous sources, including state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, professional organizations, educators from kindergarten through college, and parents, students, and other members of the public. Click here to learn more about Common Core State Standards. To learn more and continue the conversation about education in Schools please visit our Online Parent Community SCHOOLS ’s EDUCATION STANDARDS Q: What are education standards? Standards define what students should know in certain subjects from kindergarten through grade 12. Education standards provide teachers, students and parents clear goals for student learning. By having standards, we ensure teachers know what they need to teach to help every student be successful. Schools has adopted standards in eight subject areas: Language Arts (which includes reading and writing) • Science • Mathematics • Social Studies • Visual and Performing Arts • Physical Education • Health • Foreign Language Only Reading, Writing, Science, and Math are assessed on the statewide assessment test (LCAT).

Q: Why do we need standards? We need standards so our teachers know what material they need to teach each year. We need standards to ensure that all students, regardless of where they go to school in Schools , are prepared for success after high school. Standards help guide teachers in the classroom – they help teachers build their lesson plans around a set of core concepts.

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Q: When did Schools first adopt education standards? Schools had basic standards in the 1980’s. In 1993, the state began developing more rigorous standards called the Common Core States Standards. These were adopted by the State Board of Education in 1996. Q: How is Schools raising standards? Schools are raising standards in two ways: the testing of the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards that began in 2011, and the raising of the passing scores on the reading and mathematics LCAT. It’s been 10 years since Schools first set the passing scores on LCAT in reading and mathematics. Think of how the world has changed since then— smartphones and GPS devices didn’t exist and Pluto was still classified as the ninth planet. Schools is long overdue for a change . Q: Why is Schools raising standards now? It’s been 10 years since Schools first set the passing scores on LCAT in reading and mathematics and Schools are overdue for a change. Starting in the 2014-15 school year, more than 40 states – including Schools will implement the Common Core State Standards- a set of common, worldclass standards that are much more demanding than what we ask of students now? Schools are implementing new, tougher standards now to help better prepare our students and schools for the even higher expectations that they will be required to meet in 2015. For more information on Common Core State Standards, click here. Q: What are the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards? The Next Generation of Common Core States Standards are the newer, updated version of the Common Core States Standards, which were created in 1996. The Next Generation of Common Core States Standards define the knowledge and skills each student must master in eight subject areas. In 2008, every member of the Schools Legislature voted yes to have the Department of Education develop these standards to ensure that students are learning the knowledge and skills needed for college and careers in the 21st century.

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Q: Who created the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards? School educators, business leaders and parents created the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards. During 2008 and 2009, the Department of Education asked more than 1200 math and language arts teachers to participate in a process that lasted 13 months to develop Schools ’s standards. These educators were teachers in kindergarten through grade 12 and college level educators. For each content area stakeholders including business, educators from all levels and parents, provided input on their development. Thousands of teachers in math, reading English Language Arts and subject area experts participated in a process that lasted approximately 13 months. The number of education experts involved in test development includes:
• • • •

20 framer’s committee members 5 external experts 22 writer’s committee members 43,025 ratings of benchmarks through online review process from state holders including teachers and including input from all school district 1,391 raters completed the profile and included: o 50 administrators o 32 district staff o 37 “other interested persons” o 26 parents o 1,242 teachers o 15 expert review panelists o 7 reviewers from the business community o 22 depth of knowledge raters

To learn more and continue the conversation about education in Schools Q: Why do we have a statewide test? Schools has a statewide testing, the Schools Comprehensive Assessment Test in order to measure student progress toward a set of clear and high academic standards. The SCAT measures whether or not a student is moving closer to meeting those standards.

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Q: Does my child’s SCAT score impact his/her class grades or promotion to the next grade level? Schools ’s SCAT do not impact student’s grades or whether or not they are promoted to the next grade, except in 3rd grade. In 2002, Schools required retention for students who could not read successfully at the end of the 3rd grade. Students who scored at the lowest level (Level 1 on SCAT reading) are retained unless the student meets some good cause exemptions or demonstrates in another way that the student can read successfully. There are six good cause exemptions identified in law. Many of the exemptions recognize special needs of students with disabilities, English language learners or students who were previously retained. However, there are two exemptions provided because Schools recognized that one test given on one day should not be the sole factor in retaining a child . Students who do not pass the LCAT can move on to the 4th grade by scoring successfully on an alternative test, or by demonstrating reading success through a teacher-administered portfolio of the student’s work during the school year or summer reading camp. Q: Does my child’s SCAT score impact his/her ability to get a high school diploma? Yes. For more than thirty years, Schools has required students to pass an “exit exam” in order to receive a high school diploma. The current requirement is for Schools students to pass the grade 10 SCAT in both reading and math. Students have opportunities to take the exam during the sophomore, junior and senior years. Students can also meet the testing requirement by scoring at a certain level on either the ACT or SAT, which are widely accepted college entrance exams. For the 2011-12 school year, 9th grade students will have to pass an end of course exam in Algebra I in order to receive a credit. For the 2012-13 school year, 9th grade students will have to pass the end of course exams in Algebra I, Geometry, and Biology I to receive credits towards a high school diploma.

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Q: Who develops the SCAT questions Every year, the Department of Education uses a professional test development company to develop new SCAT questions. Then, committees of educators and other experts review each and every test question before the question is ever placed in front of a student as a part of the test. Over 300 Schools educators serve on these committees each year. Q: How are the SCAT questions reviewed Committees of educators review each and every test question before the question is ever placed in front of a student as part of the SCAT test. Annually, more than 300 Schools educators serve on these committees. The questions go through a two-year development process before they are included on a student’s test. They are also thoroughly reviewed for accuracy, alignment to standards, bias, sensitivity, and validity. There are 5 subject area review committees: reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and writing. The teachers who serve on these subject area committees review each question and make sure the questions are accurate, appropriate for the grade level being tested, and aligned to the state standards for that subject and grade level. All questions then go through a bias committee, comprised of teachers, principals and parents. This committee reviews questions to make sure no question is biased for or against students based upon race, gender or geographical location. For example, a question that asks students what does the expression “that dog don’t hunt” mean would be determined to be biased in favor of students in North Schools who are more likely to hunt and against students in South Schools where hunting is not as common. All questions also go through a sensitivity committee, comprised of teachers, principals and parents. This committee reviews questions to make sure no offensive language or situations are presented within the question. For example, after Hurricane Katrina, questions related to hurricanes or to girls named Katrina may have been removed from the test because of the stress that question may cause on students taking the test.

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Any one person on these committees can raise concerns about a test question. Those concerns are seriously considered and addressed before deciding whether to use the test question. When the question first appears on a student’s test, it is called a “field-test question” which means the students are asked to answer the question, but that question is not used/calculated in the student’s overall score on the L SCAT . All of these field-test questions then go through a final, technical validity review committee. This committee reviews the “statistics” of the question – how did the students actually do answering the question. If too many students miss the question or too many students get the question correct, the question could be eliminated because it may be too easy or too hard. This thorough process for how SCAT test questions are developed and reviewed has become a model that other states try to use in the development of their state tests. Q: Who serves on the SLCAT review committees? The SCAT review committees are primarily made up of Schools teachers; however, principals, subject-area experts, and community leaders are asked to serve each year as well. Committee membership is balanced, based on where each member lives, their ethnic origin individual and the size of the county they represent in order to ensure a diverse and representative group of test question reviewers. To learn more and continue the conversation about education in Schools please visit our Online Parent Community Writing Test Q: When did Schools first begin to measure a student’s ability to write? Schools began measuring student performance in writing in 1992 on the Schools Writes exam.

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Q: What changed on this year’s SCAT Writing test? Since 1992, Schools ’s writing test was simply an essay. Students were scored on a scale of 1 to 6 and the “rubric” or scoring system was based upon things like: Does the student present a main idea? Does the student use multiple arguments to present his or her main idea? Does the student’s essay have a conclusion that restates the main idea? Student’s essays were not scored based upon spelling, vocabulary, correct punctuation or grammar. In other words, a student could have a very high writing score even though the essay may have been filled with misspelled words and incorrect grammar. This year, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar are included in how the student’s essay is scored. Additionally, scorers look at whether or not the student made logical supporting statements in their essay, not just that students made multiple supporting statements. The new method for scoring SCAT Writing will ensure Schools ’s students are better prepared for success in college or in a career. Q: How are Schools ’s writing tests scored? Two different individuals independently read each and every student’s essay. If the two reviewers score the student’s essay with the same score, that is the score for the student’s essay. If the two reviewers score the student’s essay within one point of each other, the student gets an average of the two scores. In other words, if one reviewer gives the student a 3 and the other reviewer gives the student a 4, the student will receive a score of 3.5. If the two reviewers score the student’s essay differently, but their separate scores are more than one point different (i.e., one gives the student a 3 and the other gives the student a 5), then a third reviewer is brought in to review the student’s essay. If the third reviewer matches one of the prior reviewer’s scores, then that is the score the student receives. If the third reviewer scores within one point of one of the prior reviewers, the averaging process is once again used.

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There are quality checkpoints all through the process of scoring student’s essays to ensure that all the individuals reviewing the scores are accurately and faithfully following the scoring guidelines. Q: What are the qualifications of the individuals who score the SCAT writing test? Individuals who score the writing test must have bachelor’s degrees in a related writing field. For example, they could have bachelor’s degrees in English, in Creative Writing, in Journalism, etc. Approximately 20 percent of the reviewers have degrees in education. Every reviewer goes through a detailed training process on Schools ’s writing test and the scoring guidelines. These scorers must qualify to score student essays and maintain high standards to remain a scorer in good standing. And there are quality checks throughout the scoring process to ensure each student’s score is accurate. To learn more and continue the conversation about education in Schools please visit our Online Parent Community FOR PARENTS OF THIRD-GRADERS Q: What are the Grade 3 SCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics Achievement Level ranges? Q: Does my child’s SCAT score impact his or her grades or promotion to the next grade? LCAT does not impact student’s grades; however, it does impact whether or not a 3rd grade student is promoted to the next grade. In 2002, Schools required retention for students who could not read successfully by the end of the 3rd grade. Students who score at the lowest level on SCAT reading (known as a Level 1) are to be retained unless the student meets a good cause exemption or demonstrates in another way that the student can read successfully. There are six good cause exemptions identified in law. Many of the exemptions recognize special needs of students with disabilities, English language learners or students who were previously retained. However, there are two additional exemptions provided because Schools recognized that one test given on one day should not be the sole factor in retaining a child.
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Students who do not pass the SCAT can move on to the 4th grade by scoring successfully on an alternative test, or by demonstrating reading success through a teacher-administered portfolio of the student’s work during the school year or summer reading camp. Q: How many 3rd graders will be held back under these tougher standards? Keeping in mind that some students will be promoted to 4th grade through a good cause exemption, historically less than 10% of all students enrolled that score at Level 1 will be retained. Those students will need additional help in reaching these new standards, and will be required to repeat 3 rd grade. Learning to read is the most critical skill a child learns in the early years of school, and it can truly affect their life’s trajectory. The fact is, students who can’t read in the 3rd grade typically don’t “catch up” in later grades. Instead, they fall further behind. Promoting students who don’t have the skills to succeed is the wrong thing to do. Q: How can one test on one day determine if a 3rd grader is retained? One test does not determine whether a 3rd grade student is retained. There are six good cause exemptions identified in law. Many of the exemptions recognize special needs of students with disabilities, English language learners or students who were previously retained. However, there are two exemptions provided because Schools recognized that one test given on one day should not be the sole factor in retaining a child. Students who do not pass the SCAT can move on to the 4th grade by scoring successfully on an alternative test, or by demonstrating reading success through a teacher administered portfolio of the student’s reading tests during the school year. Q: What will happen to retained students and how will schools handle the increase? School districts are already required by law to give intensive reading instruction to students who are struggling readers in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Schools are constantly working to provide these students with the help and support they need. Summer reading camps, longer school days, and individualized education planning involving their parents and teachers are just some of the ways that teachers meet the needs of struggling readers.
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Children who have not mastered basic reading skills by 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than those children who are reading on grade level. However, if you can get a 3rd grader reading proficiently, they will graduate 96 percent of the time. Holding a student back in order to help them master reading can be painful in the short term, but is clearly the right thing to do for children over the long haul. Q: Is there research on the impact of retention? Yes. Research on retention policies that are based on a student’s test score and include intensive reading intervention during the retention year, shows positive effects. In fact, researchers who have studied Schools ’s retention policies have found that retained students perform better in reading and math – even through the 7th grade – than their socially promoted classmates. The interventions in that second year in 3rd grade improved their reading skills enough to make a big difference. Q: Why does Schools have a 3rd grade reading policy? Researchers at the Annie E. Casey Foundation have found that 88 percent of the students who dropped out of high school could not read by the end of 3rd grade. Students who cannot read successfully by the end of 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school than students who can read. Low-income African American and Hispanic students who can’t read successfully by the end of 3rd grade are 8 times more likely to drop out of high school than students who can read. From kindergarten through 3rd grade, students are learning how to read. Beginning in 4th grade the text and assignments that are required for students to read and complete are more difficult. Textbooks become more difficult to understand, reading passages are longer, and questions are harder. Students use reference books, websites, and other written materials to do research for history reports, science projects, and other schoolwork. Students who have trouble understanding what they read find it very difficult to keep up. Many students become frustrated when they try to tackle this schoolwork without the necessary reading skills.
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So, Schools adopted a policy to guarantee our students have the fundamental reading skills in order to be successful in 4th grade and beyond, where the rigors of reading in other subject areas increase drastically. To learn more and continue the conversation about education in Schools please visit our Online Parent Community COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS Q: What are Common Core State Standards? Common Core State Standards are a state-led effort to establish clear world-class educational standards for English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt. More than 45 states have adopted Common Core State Standards in these two subjects. In 2009, Schools adopted Common Core State Standards. Common Core standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Q: When will Common Core State Standards be used in Schools ’s classrooms? In the 2014-15 school year, all Schools ’s schools in grades kindergarten through grade 12 will be using Common Core State Standards. Q: How are Common Core State Standards different from Schools ’s current standards? Both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards have been described as being “fewer, higher, and clearer” than our old standards. For example, under Schools ’s old Common Core States Standards, students in kindergarten needed to count from 1 to 36. Under the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards, kindergarten students must be able to count to 20 out loud, in writing, and using objects (baseballs, blocks, etc.).

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Under the Common Core State Standards, students in kindergarten need to count up to 100, starting at any number. And they need to be able to count backwards starting at 10. Q: Who created the Common Core State Standards? The Common Core State Standard Initiative involved governors and state education commissioners from 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia. Common Core standards have been designed by a diverse group of teachers, experts, parents, and school administrators. • Teachers have been a critical voice in the development of the standards. The National Education Association (NEA), • American Federation of Teachers (AFT), • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), • And other organizations have been instrumental in bringing together teachers to provide specific, constructive feedback on the standards. Q: Does the SCAT measure Next Generation of Common Core States Standards and Common Core State Standards? The SCAT has been changed to measure how our students have progressed on the newer standards – the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards. Building a case for evidence, education evaluations and professional Competency In 2014-15, Schools will use different tests to measure how our students have progressed on the Common Core State Standards. Schools is part of a group of states called the Partnership for Assessments of Readiness in College and Careers (PARCC). This group of states are developing common tests to measure the common set of standards. Q: Why is it important that we have Common Core State Standards? Common Core State Standards are benchmarked to international standards to guarantee that Schools ’s students are prepared to be competitive with students from other countries. In today’s economy Schools students will
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have to compete in a global marketplace against students from China, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Most of the top jobs in America today did not even exist a decade ago. These new standards will ensure that we maintain America’s competitive edge, so that all of our students are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with not only their peers here at home, but with students from around the world. Q: When will Schools begin testing Common Core State Standards? Schools ’s schools will begin testing Common Core State Standards in 201415. But Schools ’s students will be well-positioned for this change because of the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards. Basically, Schools is taking a step toward Common Core State Standards now, so our students will be even better prepared when 2014-15 arrives and most of the country moves to the new Common Core State Standards. To learn more and continue the conversation about education in Schools please visit our Online Parent Community

WHAT TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW Q: Why is Schools changing standards? Schools ’s old standards (Common Core States Standards) were described as “an inch deep and a mile wide.” In other words, teachers used to have to cover many skills, but did not have the time to explain any of them very deeply. Both the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards and the Common Core State Standards have been described as being “fewer, higher, and clearer” than our old standards. Now, Schools teachers will have fewer specific standards to cover in a given year, but they will be expected to cover them more intensely so students will have a deeper understanding of the critical material.
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Q: Does the SCAT measure Next Generation of Common Core States Standards and Common Core State Standards? The SCAT has been changed to measure how our students have progressed on the newer standards – the Next Generation of Common Core States Standards. In 2015, Schools will use different tests to measure how our students have progressed on the Common Core State Standards. Schools is part of a consortium of states called the Partnership for Assessments of Readiness in College and Careers (PARCC). This consortium of states is developing common tests to measure the common set of standards. These PARCC tests will replace the SCAT in reading and math in 2015. Q: How do the drops in their student’s test scores affect teacher performance evaluation? Beginning in 2013-2014, fifty percent of a teacher’s evaluation will be based upon data. This measurement will be based upon a complete look at the “progress” of all the students the teacher taught over a 3-year period of time. For teachers who teach in tested subjects and grades, the state and your school district will be able to compare gains from the old and the new.

In other words, teachers will still be able to get credit for making progress with a student even if the student’s overall achievement scores dropped during the transition to the old and the new . The same progress measures will be able to be calculated when Schools transitions from SCAT to PARCC assessments in 2015. Q: What professional development is available to teachers so they are successful in teaching Next Generation of Common Core States Standards? Research based subject area workshop trainings provided by the department and local school districts
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Q: What resources are going to be available to teachers in failing schools? Title I dollars and School Improvement Grant funding may be used by local school districts to support teacher professional development

Q: What resources are going to be available to teachers as they transition to teaching Common Core State Standards GE Foundation has provided $18 million to Student Achievement Partners an organization that will provide free professional development and resources to states to transition to the Common Core State Standards. For more information please visit DOE’s special website just for teachers. ALGEBRA 1 END OF COURSE ASSESSMENT Q & A Which students participated in the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment in the 2011-12 school year? All middle and high school students enrolled in and completing the following courses were required to take the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment: Algebra 1 – 1200310 Algebra 1 Honors – 1200320 Algebra 1B – 1200380 Pre-AICE Mathematics 1 – 1209810 IB Middle Years Program – Algebra 1 Honors – 1200390 Students who retook the test How are scores being reported for the 2012 Algebra 1 EOC Assessment? The Algebra 1 EOC Assessment is being reported using scale scores and Achievement Levels. The new score scale and Achievement Levels (see
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below) for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment were approved by the State Board of Education on December 19, 2011. Scores for the winter 2011-12 Algebra 1 EOC Assessment administration were the first scores reported on the new scale. Level 3 indicates satisfactory performance. If a student is required to pass an EOC assessment to earn course credit, the passing score is the minimum scale score in Achievement Level 3. Level 4 or higher indicates the student is high achieving and has the potential to meet college-readiness standards by the time the student graduates from high school. Algebra 1 EOC Assessment Scale Scores (325 to 475) Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Passing Level 4 325-374 375-398 399-424 425-436 Level 5 437-475

What are the passing score requirements for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment? Students who entered grade 9 in the 2011-12 school year and have not previously earned a high school Algebra 1 credit must earn a passing score on the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment. The passing score for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment is the minimum scale score in Achievement Level 3; therefore, students must earn a score of 399 or higher to pass the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment. This scale score was identified through a standard-setting process in fall 2011, which established the scale-score ranges for all of the Achievement Levels. What happens if a student fails an EOC assessment when passing is a graduation requirement? Students who are 9th graders this year must pass the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment in order to receive credit for Algebra 1; this credit is required for graduation. A 9th grader who does not pass the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment should receive remediation in Algebra 1 to help them master the standards before retaking the assessment. There are several different options for students who need remediation in Algebra 1. If the student passed the Algebra 1 course but did not pass the EOC assessment, then the student may go on to the next higher mathematics course and also take a credit recovery course that provides remediation in Algebra 1. This credit recovery course is not based on seat time, so the student would only stay in the course as long as necessary to master the standards.
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If the student did not pass the Algebra 1 course, the student could retake it. This could occur over the summer or in the first semester of the next school year. Alternatively, a district could provide intense instruction over the summer to help the student master the Algebra 1 standards.

In addition, students can access Algebra 1 practice lessons in the LCAT Explorer and through the Schools Virtual School. In 2012-13, students will have three opportunities to take/retake the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment, with each district selecting administration weeks within this schedule: July 23 – August 10, 2012 November 28 – December 19, 2012 April 29 – 17, 2013 Please contact your local school district to find out when the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment will be administered.

Which students are required to have the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment results calculated as 30 percent of their final course grade? Students who entered grade 9 in the 2010-11 school year and were enrolled in Algebra 1 or an equivalent course must have the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment score calculated as 30 percent of their final grade in the course. Districts received a conversion table that may be used to convert the new scale scores into T scores, which are the scores that were reported in spring 2011. The T scores should then be factored into the student’s course grade in the same manner as in spring 2011. *T Score—the score that students receive the first year that an EOC assessment is administered. T scores are reported using a norm‐ referenced score scale, known as a T‐score scale.

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May a student who is subject to the 30 percent course grade weighting requirement retake an EOC assessment to improve his or her course grade? Yes; however, this option is only available in certain school districts for students who are eligible to do so under the grade forgiveness policies of their district. For additional information about grade forgiveness policies, please contact your local school district. May a student, who is required to pass an EOC assessment for course credit and has already earned a passing score retake the assessment to improve his or her score? No. Are EOC assessments computer-based or paper-based? The EOC assessments are computer-based. Exceptions are made for students with disabilities who need to take EOC assessments on paper because the available computer-based accommodations are not appropriate. The paper-based accommodation must be listed on the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan. Is there any evidence to indicate whether students perform better or worse when testing on a computer? Prior to moving to computer-based testing, the Department studied whether there is a difference in performance between assessments taken on the computer and on paper. The Department’s findings are provided in What do we know about choosing to take a high-stakes test on a computer?. Students are required to participate in a practice test prior to testing in order to become familiar with the online testing tools. For more information about End of Course Assessment Click Here School Grades Q and A Q. Why do we grade schools? Schools grades its schools to show how well students in each school are learning what they need to know to be successful. Assigning a letter grade (A-F) is a way to report a school’s effectiveness in a manner everyone can
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understand. Used along with rewards for improving schools and support for schools that need to improve, grading schools encourages them to make student achievement their primary focus. Grading schools has a track record of success in Schools ; our students have shown continuing achievement gains since the first year of school grading in 1999. Additional information on school grades for all of Schools ’s schools and districts is available at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org. Q. Isn’t it unfair to label a school as failing? No. An “F” is a way to identify schools that need additional assistance, support, and direction in order for students at these schools to have the same opportunities for growth and success that exist for students in other schools. If we do not identify schools that are most in need of assistance and support, we would be failing the students attending those schools and the communities where those schools are located. Q. How do we grade schools? We grade schools using a point system based on student achievement and progress. All schools are graded using state assessments that measure student performance in reading, math, science, and writing; • student learning gains in reading and math; and • reading and math learning gains for the lowest performing students. Middle school grades also include participation and performance on highschool level end-of-course (EOC) assessments.

High school grades include measures based on overall and at-risk student graduation rates, participation in and performance on advanced coursework, and college readiness in reading and math. For more information on the separate components of school grades, see the links to the School Grade Guide Sheet and the School Grades Technical Assistance Paper at the bottom of the Web page at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org. Q. Won’t including students that are very far behind or students with disabilities or English language learners unfairly penalize a school?
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Improving the progress of the lowest performing students has been a part of school grades for the past decade. Students with disabilities and English language learners often have additional needs for assistance in order to have the opportunity to learn and achieve, which is why it is especially important to include these students in the school grading formula Beginning in 2011-12, the school grading formula will give extra weight (“extra credit”) for low-performing students who make greater-thanexpected gains. Q. When did we start grading schools? The A-F school grading system began in 1999. Q. How many A and B schools have there been? The number and percentage of A and B schools have varied over the years. For most of the past decade, more than 70 percent of elementary and middle schools were graded A or B. For more information, see the “Press Packet” link at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org. Q. How many D and F schools have there been? The number and percentage of D and F schools have varied since school grading began. For most years during the past decade, less than 10 percent of elementary and middle schools were graded D or F. For more information, see the “Press Packet” link at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org Q. What support does the state give to D and F schools? Schools that are graded D or F are classified as Focus and Priority schools in the state’s Differentiated Accountability system. These schools are targeted for additional assistance and support through the Regional Support System including professional development, supplemental academic services, reading coaches, and other support. There are more details about the Regional Support System at http://flbsi.org/DA/regional.htm. For more information on assistance, support, and direction for lowperforming schools, contacts the Bureau of School Improvement at http://flbsi.org/contactus/index.htm. Q. What rewards does the state give to A schools or schools that improve their school grade?
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The Schools School Recognition Program provides public recognition and financial awards to schools that have sustained high student performance or schools that demonstrate substantial improvement in student performance. Schools qualify for the award if they
• • • •

receive a grade of “A”; improve at least one letter grade; or improve more than one letter grade and sustain the improvement the following school year; or are designated as Alternative Schools and receive a school improvement rating of “Improving” or improve at least one level.

For 2011, each recognized school received $70 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student. Q. Why do we no longer use Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)? Schools no longer calculates and reports AYP outcomes, a federal measure of accountability, for schools because the state received approval from the U.S. Department of Education to base all school improvement requirements solely on school grade performance. In the past, AYP performance as well as school grade performance was used to determine school improvement measures. This resulted in conflicting and confusing information about school performance. Going forward, Schools will be able to use school grades as the sole basis for identifying Schools ’s lowest performing schools – those schools most in need of support and assistance. AYP reporting will no longer be needed in classifying schools for school improvement purposes. Q. How can I help my school if it earns a grade of D or an F? Parents can help schools by becoming involved in their children’s education, keeping communications open with their children’s teacher(s), and participating in parent-teacher meetings and organizations. Here are some specific suggestions:
• • • • • •

Equip your child with necessary school supplies. Provide a home environment that encourages learning. Encourage positive school feelings. Meet with your child’s teacher. Communicate regularly with your child’s teacher(s) by phone/letters. Talk with your child about school activities every day.
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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Encourage your child’s efforts and be available for questions. Insist that all homework assignments be completed. Provide a quiet, well-lighted place to study. Support the school in developing self-discipline in your child. Encourage your child to read at home and monitor TV viewing. Read with and let your child see you read. Get a library card for your child. Provide tutorial assistance for your child if needed. Stay aware of what your child is learning. Sign and return all papers to school. Visit your child’s classroom. Volunteer in a needed area at school. Volunteer to assist on field trips. Send materials or supply items to assist in classroom activities. Attend at least three PTA/PTSO meetings a year Become involved in planning school activities and fund raisers Attend all parent-teacher conferences

Q. Why did my child’s school grade go down? A school grade can decrease for a number of reasons but in general, the grade may go down if the school had a smaller percentage of students scoring at satisfactory levels on assessments or if a smaller proportion of the school’s students made expected learning gains. In terms of the calculation, changes in the school’s points total from the prior year to the current year can affect the assigned grade. Schools earn school grades points based on the percentage of students who score at certain levels on assessments and for the proportion of students who make expected learning gains. Here are some examples of changes in school performance resulting in a lower grade:

The school’s earned points total for all school grading measures declined from the previous year. A decline in points earned for one or more of the school grade measures can result in a lower point total for the school. The school may have earned enough points for an A but did not test at least 95 percent of eligible students, a requirement for earning an A.

Detailed information on points totals for each school’s grade is provided in the downloadable Excel files titled “All Districts: Non-High Schools” and
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“All Districts: High Schools” at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/. The interactive report at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/default.asp allows users to review total school grade points for multiple years.

Q. How can my school get a better grade? Schools can improve their school grade by focusing efforts on improving student achievement in areas of greatest need, which can be identified by looking at the school grade measures where the school earned the fewest points. Districts and schools can use the District Improvement and Assistance Plan and the School Improvement Plan to establish strategies and action steps to address those areas. There is a range of plans and support to help schools improve. Check with your school and district leadership and ask them about their plans. Q. Why are we changing how schools are graded now? Wasn’t it working fine? Schools ’s school grading system has periodically changed over the years to include more students in the school grading system, to expand components measured for school grades, and to increase expectations for achievement by Schools ’s students, teachers, and schools. While Schools ’s students have shown increases in achievement during the period in which school grades have been in effect, there is still much room for improvement. And improvement will be needed if Schools ’s workforce is to meet the challenges for attracting businesses and growing the state’s economy to provide the best outlook for all Floridians. Recently, Schools has transitioned to higher academic standards and new assessments, which are now used in measuring school performance for school grades. In addition, Schools is now fully including all students in the school grade performance measures for reading, math, writing, and science – including students with disabilities and English language learners with at least one year of instruction in the U.S. As a result of this change, the U.S. Department of Education will allow Schools to discontinue use of the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) measure to determine school improvement requirements, so that the school grade will be the sole measure of a school’s progress. This change benefits Schools ’s students, schools, teachers, and communities by simplifying requirements for school improvement and eliminating confusion about school performance.
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Each time that Schools ’s school grading system has changed to increase expectations, Schools ’s schools have responded over time to raise student achievement, which is the primary goal of the school grading system. Increasing student academic achievement is the primary goal of the school grading system because reaching this goal means maximizing opportunities for Schools ’s students to succeed on multiple levels: in education, in work and in life. Q. What if my child attends a school that has received an F grade? Your child may be eligible for an Opportunity Scholarship if he/she attended a school that received an F during the 2011-12 school year or is assigned to that school for the upcoming 2012-13 school year. Your school district will notify you within 15 days of your choices for other schools in your district. If other schools are at capacity, there may not be an option to transfer. Please call your school district office with any questions you may have or visit http://www.Schools schoolchoice.org/to learn more. Q. What if my child attended a school that received a D three years in a row? Your child may be eligible for an Opportunity Scholarship if he/she attended a school that received its third consecutive D during the 2011-12 school year or is assigned to that school for the upcoming 2012-13 school year. Your school district will notify you within 15 days of your choices for other schools in your district. If other schools are at capacity, there may not be an option to transfer. Please call your school district office with any questions you may have. Q. Did including the special populations of English Language Learners (ELL) and Students with Disabilities (SWD) impact my child’s school grade? Test scores for all full-year-enrolled students have an impact on school grades. Test scores for ELLs and SWDs have been included in learning gains in school grades since 2005. Beginning in 2011-12, scores for these students were also included in the current-year performance measures for math, reading, science, and writing.
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For information on the performance of students in these subgroups, you may want to check the AYP performance of subgroups using the School Accountability Reports site at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/default.asp. Additional information on subgroup performance will be available in a report on Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for 2012 that will be posted at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org. The performance of subgroups is also included in the School Public Accountability Reports at http://doewebprd.doe.state.fl.us/eds/nclbspar/index.cfm. These reports will be updated for 2012 this summer. Q: Why does the department release high school grades in the fall instead of the summer? Performance components other than state assessments are included in Schools high school grades (listed below). The department does not receive these data until the fall of each year. Once the data are collected, reviewed, and grades are calculated, the department makes the information available to the public. Graduation rates (four-year federal rate; modified five-year rate), Graduation rates for at-risk students, Participation in accelerated coursework, Performance in accelerated coursework, Postsecondary readiness in reading and mathematics, and Annual growth in performance of each of these components.

What are the Parents requiring from the teachers and educator leadership? Parents Would Like to be identified as equal partners regarding their children education, behaviors, the culture and attitudes of educators. And not to be taken lightly when it comes to their children needs and services to achieve. Parents too are their children experts, and understands that educator need to understand that . and as educators they should understand the expectations of parents expertise beyond the classrooms, counseling , core services and state
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mandated requirements to be informed on about how their children learning, development, behaviors, and interactions with others in the classrooms. Educators need to understand that children are not a number but should be recognize as someone they do not mind teaching, despite, age, race, challenges, behavior, and ability to learn. Parents see their children when there are now activities, during emergencies, overnight situations, their illnesses, and their children difficulty in trying to blend in social situation beyond the controls of the instructions, confinement, situations, circumstances and environments. Parents ask educators to work with them closely as the extended partnership to ensure all children are embraced by the expertise of their partnerships. Parent want and look for suggestions, not demands, scolding, disrespect, or putdowns If there is a problem or difficulty with any child, parents need the comfort in knowing that the person in charge aren’t going to hurt their child, or take their ability to learn away with selfish acts, torments, public ridicule, or peer embarrassment. . This uneasiness bring concerns to how other teachers has handled children in the past? You could go through files, call around, send e-mails, try to network. Or you could ask me. I've been working with teachers and observing their techniques for as long in all school activity. As we as parents are talked about the works and professionalism it take Parents just want the partners that works. As Terri, one of the community parent stated “ I've do have the based and collective wisdom as a parent and teachers. Use me, and allow me to be useful to the teachers who come before and after my child has move on in their education I understand the need for homework to reinforce skills learned during the day, but please understand that after a full day of holding it together at school, my child may have a hard time refocusing for large amounts of work at home. We may also have therapy sessions and doctor appointments that eat up after-school time. But if you work with me, not because of policy, laws, or mandates but because we are the parents, we can together establish a way of working out such schedule where the works you ask for meet both our demands for the childes academic success

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So let us communicated in a respectful way that connect us to trust , great conversation, an ease in stress, and creative strategies where what we believes are accurate with a face to face discussions for progress as we communicate with each other Please establish an easy way for me to communicate with you, whether it's a notebook or an e-mail address or a phone number. I will try not to abuse the privilege of conversation that makes us human, but allow us to clear remove any misunderstandings can be prevented us from interact directly without the pitfalls of interpretations of emotions and feelings for what other may convey. What Happens at School Doesn't Stay at School: Often, the stresses of the day get played out in tantrums and outbursts at home. And that's okay; I'd rather my child lose it at home, when she's safe, than in school. But don't assume that I don't want to know about problems that occur during the day, or that you're protecting me from disappointment by not sharing stories of frustrations and failures. I'm Not Grieving: Or if I am, it's my business. Please don't dismiss my demands for services or progress as driven by sorrow over my child's shortcomings. I'm motivated to get the best for my child just like every other parent. We may sometimes disagree on what that is, or how close to it the school is obligated to get. But I don't need anyone’s sympathy or your psycho-analyzsis, we need each other respect, collaboration and inspiration towards those things we seek for any child ability to learn and thrive.. I'm In This for the Long Haul: And you're not. My child will be important to you for a year, and I'm grateful for the work you will do and the changes that you will make. But the course we choose for his future in IEP meetings, and the distance you bring him toward his goals, will affect the rest of my life and the rest of my child's. That is why I have to fight for what I think is right, and why I need you to listen. I promise to listen to you as well, and give your views serious consideration. And as a parent stakeholder, I need to have a voice in any matter of ceoncerns regarding my child. I am an Advocate, Too: I'm a fighter. Instead of fighting with you, why don't I fight for you? Let me know when you're not getting the support you need from the school district. Let me know if you need supplies that I can help provide, or if you have a project that might be funded by the school's parent organization. Let me know if there's something you'd like a parent to bring up with the school administration. There's so much we can
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do, for my kid and all kids, if we can just work together. please visit: http://specialchildren.about.com/od/specialeducation/p/wanttoknow.htm?nl=l

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