Here is a link with contacts & paperwork on who and why and whom to contact about getting your child exempt from taking the MEAP. IT may be older though- so the guidelines may have changed.
Hope this helps! Your best bet may be to call the MEAP offices and see what your options are and to make sure you fill out the exemption properly.
Originally Posted by mamatoady
I don't want my child compared to others
They will do this regardless. Assessment in varied forms will occur in public schools no matter what. Actually- MEAP type testing is the one type the kiddos usually are unaware of the results. Ask any 1st + kid and they can tell you what sort of comparison in the class (who is good at reading, who is a good artists, etc).
They are a complete waste of time
In some ways they are, but somehow someway the schools have to be accountable for grade level material. Is the MEAP and other testing the right way- no I dont believe so. But right now it is all they have.
They encourage teaching to the test
Depends on the school/teacher/atmosphere. Some teach to test more than others. Technically- the grade level curriculum IS supposed to be what is on the test (not the other way around- the test being the basis for what to teach for the grade).
It encourages kids to focus on learning that is not important
I agree somewhat. But so far, no one has a better alternative to assess the student masses.
They have YEARS to learn "how" to take a test
Agreed- again. In 3rd grade it seems a bit overmuch. But in High School- it is a good skill to know going into college where similar tests may be common.
It can become stressful and overwhelming for kids
It can be. This is the biggest reason I dont like them. For SOME kids it is very stressful. I worked with kiddos that struggled with learning and the MEAP was an awful experience. Although, the state does allow for kiddos with IEPs/504 to have extra time, a reader, a scribe, etc to help alleviate some of the anxiety for some parts of the testing.
Would it be better to just keep my 3rd grader home while explaining to the teacher my beliefs or request that she be allowed to have reading/library time?
Dont keep her home. They will simply have her make it up another day.
Some areas are more lenient than others. Some you need particular documentation (the school has to turn this in to the state) and it may be more difficult. But waivers are out there and parents do exempt their kiddos.
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom
I can't say I agree totally. I'm no fan of testing but we've been through it 8 times now and it continues to be no big deal. Our district has not resorted to teaching to the test and very little time is spent on test prep. There is no comparison. The kids don't even know their scores in most cases. The staff take it with a grain of salt and most parents do too. I tested every year when I was in school too and again, just no big deal.
However, to answer your question, it's fairly easy to opt out in our district. Certainly discuss it with your teacher and principal. Just keeping your child out will result in them wanting her to make-up the testing later. They won't be happy as it does affect their standing and their money but they can't force your child to test. I do know a few parents who opted their kids out for stress. Their kids were struggling students though and so it was quite understandable.
Ditto above. It is a disliked, but right now-- needed for schools to get funding related to student performance.
Teachers dislike it, parents dislike it, but until there is an alternate solution the administration has to administer it in order to get funding and be able to prove accountability under NCLB act it is the only route to funding.
Do I think it is an accurate judge of learning? NO. Does it allows kiddos that may learn differently express what they know? NO It is an age appropriate way to express learning for 3rd graders? NO
A small percentage of students with Special Needs can be exempt (I *think * 2%), but otherwise if a school has too many kids that dont take it- they lose out on funds. If a large majority of children did not take it at a particular school it could devastate the schools operational budget and may allow for the lose of teachers/programs.
Even some homeschoolers take the tests as part of their annual assessments.
I would do a search on test exemption or standardized test exclusion and see if any older threads pop up.
Good Luck! I hope you get an exemption for your kiddo.
Hopefully, in the future they will be able to do portfolios or some other form of accountability for Elementary kiddos that is more age appropriate.
Edited by KCMichigan - 8/9/11 at 8:33pm