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#1 of 41 Old 09-15-2011, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was looking up my school districts "report card" today and it's not pretty. 

 

Those of you who have gifted kids succeeding in public school, how does your school measure up?  I'm trying to figure out if the gifted kids who do just fine in public school are going to schools where 80% to 90% of kids are passing standardized tests, or schools where only 60% are passing.

 

I'm getting a little nervous about sending DS(2.5) to a school where he has already mastered 75% of the end of year Kindergarten skills and only 65% of students in that school are passing standardized tests.


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#2 of 41 Old 09-15-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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You have to take those "report cards" with a grain of salt. There are a lot of factors to consider. For starters, how high are your state standards? It's not universal. Some states softened their tests to allow their students to score higher. This makes comparing schools programs from state to state difficult.

 

You really need to look at your school scores by demographic. My kids schools totals tend to hover around 60 percent meeting state standards overall (which is "proficient" or "advanced and in a high standards state.) The majority remaining are at the "basic" level with 1 or 2 percent scoring "below or very below basic." However, in my own kids economic demographic, it's more like 85 percent passing. In the gifted demographic, you're looking at 98 percent passing (and I wonder if those 2 percent not passing just blew it off.) 

 

My kids elementary and middle schools housed very large "English as a Second Language" population. These kids are bright and capable but it can take them years to score well on those state tests. Another demographic, quantity of learning disabled kids and the services they are getting. Our local schools ended up soaking up large quantities of LD kids who were just not getting services in their own districts. Again, great kids getting the help they need but lower test scores. 

 

How important a school sees those test scores is a factor to consider too. There are schools that have sky-rocketing scores but teach strictly to the test. Personally, I'd rather a school care less and teach what they feel a child really needs to know. We have a district in our county that made a second year of kindergarten the standard for any child who wasn't 6 when they started K. Yes, their test scores are higher because they testing older children on lower grade material! Doubt your want your own child at 6 plugging through the kindergarten curriculum.

 

So, to answer your question, both my middle and high schooler are in schools were the total population rates about 60-ish percent of kids making proficient/advanced but they've done well working with my gifted children. Elementary and middle school in particular have been highly flexible and open to forms of accomodation that other higher ranking districts scoffed at.

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#3 of 41 Old 09-15-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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My son is in public school. Despite my concerns about his teacher, the district overall is great for gifted students. We're living in an area with a reputation for really good private schools. I think 70% proficient is about the lowest that I've seen anywhere in our district (which is the 32nd largest school district in the nation). Our school is around 75%. About half of the students come into my son's school with no or rudimentary English skills.


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#4 of 41 Old 09-15-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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I live in Canada, where there is much less difference between rich and poor, and therefore, I think, much less difference between good schools and bad schools. It's very unusual for families to move on the basis of finding a "desireable school district" and the reputation of the local schools would be a minor consideration for a family in the real estate market. We're also not big on standardized testing so there are few ways to measure and compare schools: scores on the required high school course provincial exams are one of the few indices.

 

Looking at that limited information, we don't live in a school district with a particularly strong reputation for academics. The larger high school in our district, which has a stronger academic bent than ours, gets a 5.1 out of 10 rating, which is below average for our province. I suspect that our school scores somewhat lower, though it is too small to get officially rated.

 

And yet ... my kids seem to be thriving there. While our school does not likely smell like a rose when it comes to average academic achievement, it is pretty darn unique in its open-mindedness, innovation and willingness to treat students as individuals. And that has served my kids very well indeed. They've been able to take courses at whatever level of challenge they'd like, regardless of their age and/or lack of pre-requisites, and have been granted credits for plenty of out-of-school and 'independent study' learning that they've done.

 

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#5 of 41 Old 09-15-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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My kids go to a school where 64% speak a language other than English at home and need ESL services; 78% get free & reduced lunch. Our school doesn't look great on paper because as a previous poster noted, it takes years (best research available suggests 4-7 years) for the ESL kids to catch up. Our school also houses the district-wide special ed for kids with language issues, so they rarely perform all that well either. About 2/3 of the parents in my middle class, mostly white neighborhood opt to go to different schools (private or transfer to another school).

 

So far, the school has done an excellent job of meeting my kids' needs. Ds (5th grade) who is moderately gifted, is particularly well served. The jury is still out for dd (grade 2) who is more high achieving than ds (not sure more gifted, just more persistent and excels in reading at a young age). She got great services last year (pull out for reading and math), but the funding was reduced a bit and they don't have a pull-out teacher for those anymore, and I don't know how they're going to do differentiation for her. Right now, dd gets a lot of her intellectual needs met at home. But if she gets too bored at school, we'll have to do something. I'm really hoping they can meet her needs, because the alternative is to pull her out and enroll her in a different public school and I REALLY want to keep my kids at the neighborhood school. They're learning so much about people from being in classes where they are the ethnic minority (20 out of 25 children in dd's 2nd grade class need ESL services). We also have NO issues with materialism or 'stuff' that they need to have to fit in. When 80% of your school's population lives in or very near poverty, 'stuff' isn't important. I know families with kids in higher rated schools and 'stuff' and bullying is a much bigger problem.

 

 


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#6 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 06:10 AM
 
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I think there are differences between schools that produce high achievers (and thus have high rankings) and those that handle gifted students well.

 

I am not sure what produces a high ranking school, but what I want in a school that handles gifted kids well is flexibility.

 

I give my local school a B.  

 

Last year my DD's learning resource specialist was amazing.  She had good ideas, wrote them into the IEP, adjusted the IEP as needed, and arranged for my daughter to spend 4 days at a university with other bright and gifted children - at about 1/2 cost!!

 

On the negative side, not all her teachers were on board.  Most of them ignored the IEP.  My daughter did successfully force their hand on one issue (by literally getting a copy of her IEP and showing it to a teacher ) but that did not really change the fact they tended to systemically ignore or overlook the IEP.

 

FWIW, the schools mentionned above is a low-mid ranking school.  

 

 

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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I think there are differences between schools that produce high achievers (and thus have high rankings) and those that handle gifted students well.

 

I am not sure what produces a high ranking school, but what i want in a school that handles gifted kids well is flexibility.

 

 

 


 

I really agree with this. My kids go to a small, private, progressive school with a low student teacher ratio and lots of opportunities to DO things. It's popular both for kids who have mild special needs and for kids who are way ahead of the curve.

It's also popular with hippies. hippie.gif 

 

But the school treats each child like an individual and their work is planned around their interests and abilities, so the fact that there are several kids with LDs that effect reading doesn't have a negative impact on my child who is doing math far ahead of the standard track at school.

 

We don't take the same state test so I don't know how our average compares with public school, but I don't see how the average of the school would be relevant at all. It has nothing to do with what MY child is going to do or learn today.

 

In our city, the schools with the best rankings have an upper middle class pull area where the kids get lots of outside enrichment and even tutoring. I don't see how that means that the school is doing a better job, just that they get easier kids.


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#8 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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Try to look behind the numbers to figure out what story they tell. I know one school with a large number of ESL students from recent immigrant families. The test numbers do not look good, but the families themselves put a lot of emphasis on education. The school had a lot of programs running to involve the community. It's a good learning environment and I think they are pretty supportive of individual needs, wherever the individual falls on the spectrum. I know another school with impressive test results, but the general attitude is that all of their students are high achievers and their program is already rigorous, so no student gets special accommodations. 

 

Test numbers were only one factor when I considered a school for my dc, and a pretty superficial one. If the test results were excellent, it didn't tell me much more than that the school did a good job preparing the students for the test. If they were mediocre, it raised some questions that I would keep in mind when I visited the schools and talked to the administration, other parents and students, but I've never rejected a school based on test numbers. 

 

Some places I've lived have put a huge emphasis on test numbers and school rankings. There have been scandals about how schools manipulate the numbers to improve their scores. Mediocre students suddenly find themselves with "special needs" identifications and are excused from testing or get special test accommodations (which is absolutely acceptable when appropriate, but suspicious when it's 25 or 35% of the student population). Test questions are leaked to students in special tutorial sessions. And so on. I've become fairly cynical about the whole standardized testing phenomenon. 

 

I don't think test numbers will tell you if a school is gifted friendly or not. 

 

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#9 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good thoughts all, and this gives me some other things to investigate about the school.  I know test scores aren't everything, but this school is a "teach to the test" school which I already don't like.  I just wonder how much importance will be placed on accomadation for a kid who needs little instruction to pass the test when 40% are not passing.


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Originally Posted by pranava View Post

Good thoughts all, and this gives me some other things to investigate about the school.  I know test scores aren't everything, but this school is a "teach to the test" school which I already don't like.  I just wonder how much importance will be placed on accomadation for a kid who needs little instruction to pass the test when 40% are not passing.



Honestly - I would run from such a school.

 

any other options?

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#11 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There are good private schools, and a lottery for one decent public project school.  I'm feeling like I have to make a choice between private school and having another child due to cost concerns.  I know that is certainly not the only option, but it is a consideration. 


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#12 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pranava View Post

  I just wonder how much importance will be placed on accomadation for a kid who needs little instruction to pass the test when 40% are not passing.


 

You just won't know until you visit the school, speak with the administration and some teachers and talk to some other parents. Find out what kind of enrichment programs they have. When you say they teach to the test, does that mean all of their resources are focused in-class and on extra tutoring, with no enrichment co-curriculars? Does the school welcome parent volunteers to run or help with programs? 

 

Exploring your other options is always a good idea too. If there is a local advocacy group for gifted and bright students, they may offer some insight and resources to help you. 

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#13 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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What about moving to a better school zone?

 


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#14 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pranava View Post

Good thoughts all, and this gives me some other things to investigate about the school.  I know test scores aren't everything, but this school is a "teach to the test" school which I already don't like.  I just wonder how much importance will be placed on accomadation for a kid who needs little instruction to pass the test when 40% are not passing.


How do you know that?

 

I'm finding that neighborhood lore about our local schools have not been born out in our experience.  Had I gone on what I heard from neighbors - parents to all very high achieving kids - we would have had smooth sailing throughout our school experience.

 

Our school is a A+ Blue Ribbon, Value Added, Blah Blah school.  Our experience is that the building principal can be a primary determinant in setting the tone of the school and how the teachers respond to the exceptional needs of my kids.  We had one principal at the start of our school experience.  She retired at the end of DD's second grade year.  Ohhh, folks in the community loved her and her Blue Ribbon School.  I wanted to give her cookie cutters as a retirement gift (as in, that's how she likes her kids - identical). Since then, we've got a different principal and subsequently different vice principal, and the whole tone of the school has changed.  Kids are individuals and their educational needs are comparatively unique.  Test scores haven't gone down, and there is an increased tone of optimism amongst the kids in the (highly selective) gifted program and those kids on the cusp still desperately needing differentiation.  

 

 

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#15 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

You just won't know until you visit the school, speak with the administration and some teachers and talk to some other parents. Find out what kind of enrichment programs they have. When you say they teach to the test, does that mean all of their resources are focused in-class and on extra tutoring, with no enrichment co-curriculars? Does the school welcome parent volunteers to run or help with programs? 

dd goes to a teach to the test school. but that is only during the time when testing comes up. two weeks before testing they pretty much put away everything and teach to the test. 

 

it is a school where the principal opens her speech on open nights with 'i am sure you want to know what our scores are.' the parents are v. focused in this school which requires an entrance exam. it is not the best fit of school for dd. it is a highly academic public school and even though dd is in GATE and its more challenging but its still not the same. she is a hands on learner for whom only a v. progressive school would work - none of which private or otherwise exists in our neighborhood. there is a decent charter school about 45 mins drive away but it still follows the same curriculum so wont be that much different. 

 

what makes dd's present school are her teachers. she has had memorable teachers every single grade. and its her wish to hang out with the teachers make school tolerable for her. her friends too. this is the child i purposely go 10 - 15 mins later to pick her up because she is in another teachers classroom hanging out with them. 

 

she already loves her future 5th grade teacher (i am SOOOOOOOOO grateful her school has soooo many male teachers as i notice she does much better with them) who is a man. to date her fav. teacher has been her 2nd grade teacher a man. when in third grade she found out her teacher had to go on medical leave she came home crying and cried herself to sleep at an early bedtime. 

 

at K (different school) her teacher had a huge variation of kids and with budget cuts the teacher could not look out for the enrichment needing kids. so what she did was she put out more challenging things during choice time which was everyday. while dd didnt much enjoy the class, she went everyday coz her teacher had set out extra duties for dd and dd felt she important and that she had to help the teacher so her class would run well.

 

and the way i chose the school was by talking to parents. because when i went to visit the school i wasnt really impressed with the teachers coz they are the kind who dont have good people skills adn thus arent good with parents or look really stern and strict but they usually had a great sense of humor and were very kind. 

 

so i feel for dd the teacher is what helps her tolerate school and not be pulled down by it. 


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#16 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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the reason the school 'teaches to the test' is all those scores you talk about and those rankings everyone wants to analyze.

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#17 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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the reason the school 'teaches to the test' is all those scores you talk about and those rankings everyone wants to analyze.


I'm a Canuck, so I may not have a clue, but doesn't school funding sometimes depend on scores in the US?

 

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#18 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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I'm a Canuck, so I may not have a clue, but doesn't school funding sometimes depend on scores in the US?

 

Miranda


yes.

 

Although individual states vary, the idea is that the tests are based on the state standards, so ideally teaching the state standards for each grade is the same as teaching to the test.

 

The scores effect the amount of money the schools get, how the schools are perceived by parents and children (what child would want to be part of a FAILING school?) and property values.  Public schools must take these tests extremely seriously and do everything they can to ensure the children to well on them.

 

 

 


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#19 of 41 Old 09-16-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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I'm a Canuck, so I may not have a clue, but doesn't school funding sometimes depend on scores in the US?

 

Miranda

 

I suppose it depends on the state, since different states have different school funding systems, but I don't think in general schools with higher scores are getting additional funding.  They definitely aren't in my state.  Schools with low scores may get additional funding, though.  Last year, some of the schools in my area were eligible for federal School Improvement Grant funds because of their poor test results.
 

 

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I suppose it depends on the state, since different states have different school funding systems, but I don't think in general schools with higher scores are getting additional funding.  They definitely aren't in my state.  Schools with low scores may get additional funding, though.  Last year, some of the schools in my area were eligible for federal School Improvement Grant funds because of their poor test results.
 

 


If a school fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two many years in a row, the kids are allowed to switch to another school in their district that is making AYP or in a neighboring school district that will take them.  One of the schools in my home town is in a low SES area and has been failing to make AYP for three years. Many kids in that neighborhood go to other schools in the district. A good chunk of money goes with them to their new schools. 

 

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#21 of 41 Old 09-17-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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If a school fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two many years in a row, the kids are allowed to switch to another school in their district that is making AYP or in a neighboring school district that will take them.  One of the schools in my home town is in a low SES area and has been failing to make AYP for three years. Many kids in that neighborhood go to other schools in the district. A good chunk of money goes with them to their new schools. 

 


Yeah, I can see how that could have a financial impact on schools in some areas.  It's not an issue here in Vermont, because most districts have only a single school, so there's nowhere for people to switch to.

 

 

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#22 of 41 Old 09-17-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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Sort of. The schools in our district are sub-par, and DD is above grade level in math and a few other things. We decided to go with a home school program through a local district that would allow her to work at her own pace. If she blows through the grade-level curriculum, she can start on the next grade level's work. They base the starting point on assessments in math and language arts.

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#23 of 41 Old 09-17-2011, 05:11 PM
 
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My highly gifted 12 yo was in public school until this year. Now we are homeschooling and he is really challenged, both with the pace and with the complexity of the curriculum. He is now working at his level, and even taking a college Spanish course. What a difference from last year where he was bored to death in middle school... My other 2 kids who are moderately gifted enjoy the public school education here.

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#24 of 41 Old 09-24-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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My gifted 11 year old has always been in public school.  We are in a top ranked, California Distinguished school, 900+ API's, blah blah blah...

 

But that's not what makes it a good fit for my ds.

 

What makes it a good fit is that we are in a small program within the public school that is decidly a little hippie-dippie ;) but more importantly strongly believes in differentiation.

 

The key question to ask schools is what their differentiation looks like.  It should look deeper and broader, not necessarily faster. 

 

That's the right question to ask - not what the test scores are.

 

Good luck!

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#25 of 41 Old 09-24-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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My kids haven't been given a "gifted" label, but this is their first year in public school, so they haven't had the opportunity before this year. Our local public school where they're going did not meet AYP this past year. They have struggled with it for several years — sometimes meeting it and sometimes failing to. There are a lot of non-English speakers in the school population, though, and I think that is the main thing that holds them back. In general our school system, as a whole, is highly regarded in terms of gifted education.

 

There are 4 different programs at the elementary level in our schools. One, Academic Nurturing and Enrichment, is designed to help kids who are not achieving all that they could. I think this is primarily targeted at the kids (maybe ESL) who show a lot of promise, but need a little extra help to get there. This program is K-12. Standard Gifted Education is gr 3-12 targeted at the kids in the top 5% of grade level peers nationally, Highly Gifted Education is K-12 targeted at the kids in the top 1-2% of the general population nationally, and LEAP is gr 4-8 and is for kids performing 2 or more grade levels above across the board.

 

So, although, my kids have not been evaluated yet, I feel confident that their needs could be met in our school even though our school did not meet AYP. I think my dd2 might get a standard gifted eval at some point. My dd1 shows some signs of being gifted also, but she has some other things going on that hold her back a little bit, so while she could be 2E I think it's unlikely that we would pursue a gifted label for her. We're actually looking at a smaller charter school for middle school next year where she won't have the academic pressure that comes with the upper level schools in our system.


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#26 of 41 Old 09-26-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pranava View Post

I was looking up my school districts "report card" today and it's not pretty. 

 

Those of you who have gifted kids succeeding in public school, how does your school measure up?  I'm trying to figure out if the gifted kids who do just fine in public school are going to schools where 80% to 90% of kids are passing standardized tests, or schools where only 60% are passing.

 

I'm getting a little nervous about sending DS(2.5) to a school where he has already mastered 75% of the end of year Kindergarten skills and only 65% of students in that school are passing standardized tests.



I think you really need to look at the specific school.

 

My kids (both gifted, one with special needs and one NT) both just started in a public school setting. They both really like it. This school does not have a gifted program, but does in class differentiation for different subjects. Youngest son (who is NT) says scornfully that they just do "baby math," but likes the fact that there are 60+ kids just in his grade level. Oldest son says the work is to easy, but he likes being the smartest kid in the class. I think he's getting some slack for his spectrum traits from the other kids because he's clearly smart. We do enrichment through extracurriculars outside of school. (We were doing that when they were in a private Montessori as well.) This school is the best elementary school in a high performing, high SES school district.

 

I have friends in my home town whose gifted kids attend schools in a school district that is a low performing district. However, they have a gifted program that starts in 1st grade and by the time the kids get to 6 grade, they are in all gifted classes for academics.  They really like the schools there for their kids. a lot of the low performance in that school district can be tied to having kids who are growing up in poverty. The schools are fine. The home life for a lot of these kids is difficult. 

 

 

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#27 of 41 Old 09-26-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

I think you really need to look at the specific school.

 

 

Yes, and not just at its standardized results. They can be ridiculously poorly associated with actual learning. An anecdote: 

 

My experience with standardized testing is minimal, having homeschooled most of the elementary years, but my eldest did do a popular nationally-normed standardized test in 3rd grade as part of a homeschooling study. I watched her do the reading comprehension section, where she answered most of the "What would be the best title for this story?" questions wrong. Of course I knew that the testers were wanting her to use these questions to show that she knew what the story's main idea was. But at age 8 with no school or testing experience whatsoever, not even really understanding the aim of the testing, she didn't realize that was their intent. She was a creative writer with a fabulous imagination that had been nurtured like crazy, an interested consumer's understanding of the publishing industry and a taste for off-the-wall humour. She would look at one of the suggested titles like "A Picnic with Grandmother" and think "Who would ever pick up a story with that title to read?" and instead check off the quirky and enticing title like "A Crazy Squirrel" that referred to a subthread of the story, knowing it would pique prospective readers' interest and engage them. Her reading comprehension score came in at the 95th percentile, probably 2 or 3 standard deviations below where it really was. Because rather than teacher her lock-step "show me the main idea" strategies, I had chosen to let her soar where her gifts were leading her. 

 

The really wonderful schools tend to do a lot of the "let them soar where they want to go" thing rather than concentrating on teaching a good test-taking mentality. Which means that testing results may fall far short of demonstrating the true value and effectiveness of the education they're doing.

 

Miranda


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#28 of 41 Old 10-24-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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my kids are in a public charter school.  our test scores are not great, but I don't really care.  I've seen the schools that get great scores and they are very rigid, teach to the test (and don't really teach anything else) have very limited recess, and too much homework (which is more worksheet test prep crap). 

 

Visit the school.  Spend a few hours in the classrooms.  Go to the lunch room, library, etc.  Observe, observe, observe .  If you can visit more then once and more then one classroom (and grade level).  If there is a parent group --ask parents what they like about the school and what needs improvement.  I know that seems like a lot, but really that will tell you more then a test score.


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#29 of 41 Old 10-24-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

Yes, and not just at its standardized results. They can be ridiculously poorly associated with actual learning. An anecdote: 

 

My experience with standardized testing is minimal, having homeschooled most of the elementary years, but my eldest did do a popular nationally-normed standardized test in 3rd grade as part of a homeschooling study. I watched her do the reading comprehension section, where she answered most of the "What would be the best title for this story?" questions wrong. Of course I knew that the testers were wanting her to use these questions to show that she knew what the story's main idea was. But at age 8 with no school or testing experience whatsoever, not even really understanding the aim of the testing, she didn't realize that was their intent. She was a creative writer with a fabulous imagination that had been nurtured like crazy, an interested consumer's understanding of the publishing industry and a taste for off-the-wall humour. She would look at one of the suggested titles like "A Picnic with Grandmother" and think "Who would ever pick up a story with that title to read?" and instead check off the quirky and enticing title like "A Crazy Squirrel" that referred to a subthread of the story, knowing it would pique prospective readers' interest and engage them. Her reading comprehension score came in at the 95th percentile, probably 2 or 3 standard deviations below where it really was. Because rather than teacher her lock-step "show me the main idea" strategies, I had chosen to let her soar where her gifts were leading her. 

 

The really wonderful schools tend to do a lot of the "let them soar where they want to go" thing rather than concentrating on teaching a good test-taking mentality. Which means that testing results may fall far short of demonstrating the true value and effectiveness of the education they're doing.

 

Miranda



I totally agree with this.  when we homeschooled very briefly I was going to have to have my son take a standardized test in California.  Reviewing the test, there was really no way to have kids pass it without feeding them the info.  The test was so stupid, I honestly didn't understand 1/2 of it. 

 

There are far better ways to assess children then these tests. 


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#30 of 41 Old 10-25-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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I don't think I would be concerned about giftedness as a parenting issue if my child weren't in public school. We picked a program that claimed to be all about individuating curriculum, but somehow, that's not happening, and I think it's because my DS is strong in math and analytical skills rather than in language arts and reading. I actually had a teacher tell me that my son couldn't go on with arithmetic until the rest of the class was ready. It's almost like they don't know what "individuated curriculum" means, or understand that they committed to it, ha ha. (It's precisely that, actually.) 

 

 

 

I think he's enjoying school at least as much if not more than I did at his age, even though my public school was a lot better at the whole individuation thing. Well, it's easy to individuate curriculum for a strong reader and independent writer with weak arithmetic in an open classroom, and my school in the 1970s had open classrooms. It's much harder to do it for someone who is ridiculously interested in and good at math, but needs help with reading and writing, in a totally regimented, here's-your-desk-sit-down classroom. His teachers keep some fun advanced math problems on hand for the kids after they finish the regular math work, and that's about the size of it. 

 

On the plus side, though, my son enjoys standardized testing (!) loves the reward system they have for behavior management because it's all money and counting, and is getting a lot out of the few special innovative programs this school does have. The school is diverse and he's meeting all kinds of kids, and that's really great. He wouldn't be if we were homeschooling, or sending him to Jewish day school as we'd originally intended to do. It's probably a good thing we decided we didn't have the money to do the latter, considering where and what his intellectual gifts are. 

 

So we're getting something out of school, and what we're not getting there, we're finding other places. 

 

 


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