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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
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
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
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
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
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
March 4, 2016
ISSUE | STUDENT TESTING It could get worse The opt-out movement has had a real impact, with more parents refusing the tests for their children ("As testing increases, so do calls for an end," Sunday). Even President Obama has spoken out about the negative impact of over-testing. But the testing industry is striking back: The new plan is to replace end-of-year standardized tests with what could be daily testing. The core of education will consist of modules of programmed instruction that students will work through online and be tested on, which will drastically diminish the role of teachers and increase profits of technology companies.
NEWS
February 29, 2016 | By Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer
Last year, a small, angry band of parents and teachers in the Lower Merion School District took on a big challenge: convincing their neighbors that the intensifying emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests was harming their children's education. This year's challenge: coming up with enough yard signs so converts to the cause can broadcast their displeasure with the coming Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, tests given in grades three through eight. Their opt-out message - "Our kids & schools are more than a score" - has popped up on curbsides around the affluent Main Line suburb.
NEWS
December 17, 2015
By Walter Bowne These writers may have all failed a standardized test for any number of "infractions. " Sandra Cisneros: "My grandmother. " Michael Kaufman: "This story is about prejudice and stupidity. My own. " The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "But this is not the way out. " Fragments. One-sentence paragraphs. Use of dialogue. Too much voice. Not directly answering the prompt. Use of contractions. As a teacher of journalism, composition, and rhetoric for almost two decades, I spend the first semester reteaching writing.
NEWS
October 6, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
An open revolt against standardized testing is spreading among some Pennsylvania school boards and administrators - but not in at least one Chester County district. In fact, most of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District's board members actually like standardized tests and are enthusiastic boosters of the Keystone and Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests. One even publishes a blog extolling their virtues, says they improve performance, and criticizes their detractors.
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.
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