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Standardized Tests

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NEWS
February 16, 1989 | By Suzanne Gordon, Inquirer Staff Writer
The latest battery of standardized tests indicates that Lower Merion School District students scored equal to or higher than other suburban school districts that administer the tests to their students. The testing program, called the Comprehensive Testing Program II of the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), was given to students in grades 7, 8 and 10 for the first time last fall in an effort to compare Lower Merion students with students at similar public and independent schools throughout the country.
NEWS
February 11, 1988 | By Suzanne Gordon, Inquirer Staff Writer
In an effort to find out how its students measure up, the Lower Merion school board is considering a new testing program used by many Main Line independent schools and two other public school districts. The tests, fondly referred to as ERBs by students, are created by the Educational Records Bureau, a nonprofit educational institution based in Wellesley, Mass., and administered in 1,100 independent and 100 suburban school districts nationwide. David Hall, director of ERB's New York office, told the school board Monday night that in a pilot test of the program at Lower Merion, the students performed remarkably well.
NEWS
November 21, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
MEREDITH Broussard knew the fix was in when she saw her son's homework from first grade. "I knew my son would start taking standardized tests in third grade. If the first-grade homework was this confusing, I was really worried about [how] he or how any kid was supposed to figure out the test," said Broussard, a Temple University professor. Broussard was one of several parents, educators, elected officials and advocates who testified yesterday before City Council's education committee about the cost and impact of standardized testing during a hearing called for by Councilman Mark Squilla.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey's largest teachers' union launched a six-week television and online advertising campaign Tuesday featuring parents and teachers voicing their concerns about a controversial standardized test soon to be administered statewide. With the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) about to be presented to students in grades three through 11 starting March 1, the ads criticize standardized tests as causing stress in children, narrowing education, and taking time and resources from other subjects and programs.
NEWS
April 15, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
After school let out Monday, the first day of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, a half-dozen people - students, parents, and grandparents - picketed outside the Olney Transportation Center to protest the standardized tests. Standing on the medians at Broad Street and Olney Avenue, they held signs that read, "No PSSA for Me," and, "I Am Not a Score!!" They passed out forms for parents and guardians to sign and give to their children's principals to opt their children out of the tests.
NEWS
October 13, 2000 | By David Boldt
It may be time for someone to say a word on behalf of standardized tests. Such tests - both those used for college admissions and new "high-stakes" state tests used for promotion (and sometimes high school graduation) - have come under fire. Murmurs of protest are already audible regarding Pennsylvania's plan to put results from the state assessment on students' diplomas and transcripts in 2003. Some parents have gone as far as to keep their children home on days when the state tests are given.
NEWS
January 28, 2015 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey parents and voters say the state puts too much emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests and the amount of testing should be reduced, according to a poll released Monday by the state's largest teachers' union. Parents and voters alike said they were worried that the testing stresses students, takes money and time from other educational priorities, and forces teachers to teach to the test, according to the poll, conducted for the New Jersey Education Association. Most felt the exams were not a good measure of individual students.
NEWS
July 15, 2011 | By DAFNEY TALES, talesd@phillynews.com 215-854-5084
Education Secretary Ron Tomalis said yesterday that the state will investigate 49 school districts across the state, including Philadelphia, for alleged cheating on state standardized tests taken since 2009. An independent contractor responsible for auditing the Pennsylvania System of Standards Assessment will analyze test scores of 90 schools. The districts will have 30 days to respond to the Department of Education's request for cooperation, said department spokesman Timothy Eller.
NEWS
May 2, 2003 | By Toni Callas and Alletta Emeno INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Students who took standardized tests in math and language arts in 1999 and again in 2002 improved over the three-year period, according to results released yesterday by the state Department of Education. Scores from the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment taken in 1999 compared with the High School Proficiency Assessment taken by 11th graders in 2002 showed fewer students failing the exams. While general- and special-education students improved in math and language arts statewide, math scores of students for whom English is not a native language remained flat.
NEWS
April 26, 2002 | By Angela Couloumbis INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
Moving to overhaul the way New Jersey tests its public school children, Gov. McGreevey yesterday said the state will implement new standardized tests as well as require districts to evaluate students based on performance. The change will effectively ease the state's reliance on traditional standardized tests - long a source of controversy in New Jersey - by requiring school districts to administer programs to evaluate students in various subjects based on their performance. The two testing measures will be given equal weight when it comes time to assess how children are faring in school, officials said.
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NEWS
July 9, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
Charging that standardized tests harm students and waste government resources, a group of teachers and parents took to Independence Mall on Tuesday to promote the small but growing movement to opt out of such testing. The 25 protesters were joined by Jesse Turner, an education professor at Central Connecticut State University, who set out from Connecticut on June 11 on a march to the federal Department of Education in Washington to highlight and protest testing policies. Turner denounced the exams alongside teachers who held up signs - "Real Education, Not Data" - and used a microphone to call on Pennsylvania to divert its testing budget to arts programs and libraries.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
On the first day of the spring Keystone exams, some Philadelphia high school students walked out while others "opted out" of the tests that soon will be required to graduate. "It's important to fight against standardized tests," said Gian Carlos Rodriguez, 16, a sophomore at Penn Treaty High School in Fishtown, who identified himself as an organizer of the Wednesday protest. "Some people are bad test-takers. " About a dozen students showed up at Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, then left the building while the test was being administered first thing in the morning, principal Lisette Agosto said.
NEWS
April 15, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
After school let out Monday, the first day of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, a half-dozen people - students, parents, and grandparents - picketed outside the Olney Transportation Center to protest the standardized tests. Standing on the medians at Broad Street and Olney Avenue, they held signs that read, "No PSSA for Me," and, "I Am Not a Score!!" They passed out forms for parents and guardians to sign and give to their children's principals to opt their children out of the tests.
NEWS
March 14, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - As a controversial new test has come under scrutiny in recent weeks from students, teachers, and parents across the state, Gov. Christie's education commissioner on Thursday defended it with an appeal to "social justice" for New Jersey's children. During a two-hour legislative hearing, Education Commissioner David Hespe sought to quell concerns about the state's administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. Opponents worry that schools do not have sufficient resources to prepare students, that the test limits instructional time, and that it will have consequences for students who don't perform well.
NEWS
February 21, 2015 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
From a Washington Township third grader to grandparents, educators, and parents, speaker after speaker at a public hearing Thursday rose to voice displeasure - or worse - with New Jersey's emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests. Most had come to complain about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a new and controversial exam aligned with Common Core curriculum standards. It will be given to third through 11th graders statewide starting March 2. "PARCC is a not-yet validated test that is wasting valuable classroom time for both teachers and students," said Natalia Reyes, an Eastampton mother of three, speaking to a state student assessments study commission at Camden County College in Blackwood, where the hearing was held.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey's largest teachers' union launched a six-week television and online advertising campaign Tuesday featuring parents and teachers voicing their concerns about a controversial standardized test soon to be administered statewide. With the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) about to be presented to students in grades three through 11 starting March 1, the ads criticize standardized tests as causing stress in children, narrowing education, and taking time and resources from other subjects and programs.
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
As a new, highly controversial standardized test draws near, the ranks of New Jersey parents opting their children out of the exam are growing, as is the number of school districts scrambling to draft policies on how to deal with the budding revolt. It's all about PARCC - the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two tests developed with $360 million in federal funds and aligned with the Common Core curriculum standards. PARCC's proponents say it is a more rigorous test than the New Jersey state tests it is replacing and will help achieve the goal of high school graduates who are career- and college-ready.
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the affluent Lower Merion School District proposed cutting music and art instruction in elementary schools, some teachers and parents saw it as part of a scheme to increase prep time for state-mandated standardized tests. The loudest voice was Todd Marrone, a popular Welsh Valley Middle School art teacher, who started a blog to encourage a broader revolt against the growing role of high-stakes testing, which he called "the greatest threat to the humanities. " Marrone died in late 2013, but his protest has taken root in Lower Merion and is connecting with an increasingly powerful nationwide movement for kids to "opt out" of standardized tests such as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA.
NEWS
January 28, 2015 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey parents and voters say the state puts too much emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests and the amount of testing should be reduced, according to a poll released Monday by the state's largest teachers' union. Parents and voters alike said they were worried that the testing stresses students, takes money and time from other educational priorities, and forces teachers to teach to the test, according to the poll, conducted for the New Jersey Education Association. Most felt the exams were not a good measure of individual students.
NEWS
January 28, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
ADMINISTRATORS at the Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences are investigating six teachers who have informed parents about the option to "opt out" of standardized testing. Since the teachers' efforts began last fall, 17 percent of the school's parents have opted their children out of testing, said Kelley Collings, one of the six teachers who will meet Thursday with principal Michael Reid. Administrators in the district have a right to call for an "investigatory conference" as part of the due process outlined in the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers contract.
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