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My daughter is in the 8th grade. She sometime comes home with so much homework that she can't do chores and is up until 11-11:30 working on it. Her teachers don't seem to consider the fact that she has other classes that assign homework either. So I am stuck with either doing her chores or a messy kitchen. There is also the fact that she is stuck doing homework and can't do other things. Some assignments she has to let go and turn in late.<br><br>
My daughter excels in Math and Science. She is also very good in English although not her favorite subject. Needless to say Social Studies is always one of the last classes she does work for because it is not as important to her. However, her Social Studies teacher knocks off an automatic 25% late work. In my opinion this is extremely excessive. I emailed him about this and was told he valued on time work. He doesn't think students should stay up late hours doing homework however. I am at a loss. Should I push this or let it go?<br><br>
Thanks
 

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Are the other kids getting as much homework as she is?<br><br>
Is it busy work or is it things like reports?<br><br>
Since she excels in some classes, I'd have her do the SS work first then do the other ones.
 

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Push it, that's no way to live. In all seriousness, that sounds like too much homework. Have you read the book The Case Against Homework ( <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FCase-Against-Homework-Hurting-Children%2Fdp%2F0307340171%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F104-5582916-4171122%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1177123083%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Case-Against-H...7123083&sr=1-1</a> ) The authors give concrete examples and tips on how to talk with the school administrator and teachers.
 

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If the teacher believes in not staying up late for homework, would he be accepting on an arrangement where if you signed off that she worked on homework until a set time, but didn't have her assignment complete, she could have extra time? It would have to involve a certain amount of trust on the teacher's part...<br><br>
OR, could she rotate what she starts with? Monday do math first, Tuesday do Science first, Wednesday ENglish, and Thursday Social studies?<br><br>
OR could you arrange it so she gets her assignments early, so she could work on them on days when she had less to do?
 

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I think the teacher has a right to take 25% off for late work - at the last middle school where I taught, most teachers took half off.<br><br>
The larger problem, though, is that your daughter shouldn't have - what, 6 hours? - of homework to do in one night. An average of two hours would seem to be about the max for 8th grade, in my opinion. Have you tried contacting anyone at the school about this? The counselor, maybe? If all of the students are needing this long to do their homework, then the teachers need to change something. If it's just your daughter, then someone needs to do some digging into why she is taking so much more time than the other kids...<br><br>
Dar
 

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What is your school's homework policy? When I taught middle school, we were not supposed to give more than 30 minutes per subject each night. It was rare that all 5 teachers would give hw on the same night (I usually didn't give hw), so it was rare to have more than 2 hours a night. If one teacher needed to give a more involved assingment, the others would agree to back off that night. We also allowed kids to turn in a note excusing them for unfinished hw if the kid really worked on it for those 30 minutes and just wasn't getting it. I wouldn't be surprised if your school has a policy that is not being followed--look into it.
 

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You're right, and long term, you're probably going to have to let it go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
As a former teacher I've seen this way too much. TRY. Try talking to the teachers and admin. But don't be shocked if nothing helps.<br><br>
good luck.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Hey! Middle School Teacher piping in here...<br><br>
I ran into this problem with my son's 7th grade English teacher. She was assigning "all the sentences in the chapter" on Monday, to be collected on Friday, for homework. I did the math...there were 78 sentences. She had 6 classes, multiplied by a (CONSERVATIVE) figure of 20 students per class...that's 9,360 sentences. Was she REALLY going to spend her weekend grading 9,360 sentences, for a homework grade that only counts for 10-20% of a child's average? I don't think so. And indeed, we never saw the papers back. She was just taking a "completion" grade, which is ridiculous in terms of the purported goals of this assignment. I brought it up at a parent conference, and I think it was a real learning experience for her. Her homework policy immediately became more reasonable.<br><br>
SO...check to see if these papers are coming back graded. If they're not, then there's a problem. As a teacher myself, I believe it's disrespectful to your students to not honor their time and their efforts by grading what you assign...and grading it FULLY. I only take completion grades on things like "warm ups," in which they are asked to respond to a thought or quote or something. At that point, the purpose of the assignment (for them to think about something) has already been met...the completion grade simply reflects that (did you do it or not?)<br><br>
I also don't give more homework than I know I will be able to grade. I would rather have them answer 3 questions thoughtfully and completely than blow off 10 questions in their rush to get through. Which one derives the greater benefit...3 good responses or 10 half-hearted ones? Twenty vocabulary words that they will forget immediately, or 5 that they will own for life?<br><br>
You might also try to find our district's policy on homework...ours states that the purpose of HW is to reinforce skills already taught and review previously taught material, and should be no more than 30 minutes per subject per night, and no more than 20% of the child's grade.<br><br>
If your child's teachers are requiring hours and hours of homework, for something that should only count for perhaps 20% of their grade, at the most, then this is disrespectful to your family. If they're not grading it fully, then I believe this is disrespectful to your daughter. Why don't you arrange a parent teacher conference and gently ask some questions? You might be able to open their eyes.<br><br>
Holly<br>
(an English teacher who gives homework once a week)
 

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I'm a middle school English teacher. I take off 50% for late work, but I can promise that I never assign more than 30 min a night and I assign it 2 nights a week and often things are due just by the end of the week, not the next day. So, first off, I'd talk to your daughter's counseler. I'd call a meeting with her teachers. One issue we had with dss that I didn't know about before meeting with teachers is that in addition to his HW, we was often finishing classwork at home. Is she getting classwork done in class or having to bring it home? Many teacheres offer the kids the last 10 min of class to do HW several times a week. Some kids don't take advantage of that, and some do. Many students in my class focus and use their classtime wisely and have no homework each night. Others, I'm sure, have HW for all classes each night.<br><br>
In addition, I'd ask for the school's HW policy in writing. How much time per class AND what percentage of the grade is HW? In my class it is 25% of the grade. However, our district policy is that HW cannot be more than 10% of the grade. The district has had hassles with parents at the high school level and agrees that work done outside of the classroom is an uneven playing field. Teachers cannot control for environment. Classwork and tests have to make up 90% of the grade in my district. Teachers feel like no kid will do HW for 10% of grade. No parent knows this and I don't think any teacher does this. Our principal has told us that he'll let it go till it becomes an issue, but if it comes up, HW can only be 10% of the grade. I'd want to know what percentage of the grade HW is and then make the decision night-by-night as to letting it go or making her do it.<br><br>
Is she unhappy? Personally, I liked staying in my room for hours doing HW, listening to music, just being by myself, doing assignments at my leisure. Dss gets frustrated after 45 min and his level of work goes down hill.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7913283"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You're right, and long term, you're probably going to have to let it go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
As a former teacher I've seen this way too much. TRY. Try talking to the teachers and admin. But don't be shocked if nothing helps.<br><br>
good luck.<br><br>
-Angela</div>
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Well as I was typing this yesterday he was talking to DD. He gave her until Monday to turn in missing assignments for full credit. (She would be absent and when she came back work on the missing work and miss that days work and so on so it would keep ending up late.) He was also assigning 20 point projects each day this week with a test at the end of the week. This left no time to study. DD believes she failed the test. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
He also told her if she is having problems getting her homework done due to work in other classes she needs to come talk to him and they can work something out. The problem is she is shy and doesn't like to go talk to her teachers so I will email them and let them know if there is a problem. However next year she will be in high school. So, I need to step back some and let her deal with this stuff herself. I can't always come to her rescue.. even if I want to.<br><br>
Thanks for all the advise. I will check into the districts policy on homework. It might however change as they old crappy Super (the one that flat out lied to me and told me they had enrichment programs and a real TAG program to get me to move to the district) is leaving this year. A new super starts in July. I am hoping this means changes for next year as I am not happy with the way the high school has structured their advanced classes.<br><br>
(English, Social Studies, and Science are all bundled. You can't be in advanced Science without advanced English or advanced Social Studies. To me this is extremely unfair to the students but that is another post.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Flor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7914510"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm a middle school English teacher. I take off 50% for late work, but I can promise that I never assign more than 30 min a night...<br><br>
In addition, I'd ask for the school's HW policy in writing. How much time per class AND what percentage of the grade is HW? In my class it is 25% of the grade. However, our district policy is that HW cannot be more than 10% of the grade. The district has had hassles with parents at the high school level and agrees that work done outside of the classroom is an uneven playing field. Teachers cannot control for environment. Classwork and tests have to make up 90% of the grade in my district. Teachers feel like no kid will do HW for 10% of grade. No parent knows this and I don't think any teacher does this. Our principal has told us that he'll let it go till it becomes an issue, but if it comes up, HW can only be 10% of the grade.<br></div>
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Flor, I only ask because this is outside my experience.<br><br>
How do you know that when you assign work it will only take 30 mins? Is this like an average you are able to take based on student's that you've taught? I just wonder, when teachers say they assign X minutes of hw each night, how they come up with that figure. (When my ds was in public school, hw always took longer than they said it would.)<br><br>
Also, it's considered ok for teachers to violate the district rule about hw because "No parent knows this?" This strikes me as odd. I questioned my ds 2nd grade teacher when she told me that the district only wanted to assign 20 mins of hw each night, but she admitted to assigning close to 40 mins.<br><br>
Thanks for reading. I'm not judging, I just really want to understand why teachers and admin would not follow a policy, when student's are then penalized when they violate a policy.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Sharon, RN</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7914973"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Flor, I only ask because this is outside my experience.<br><br>
How do you know that when you assign work it will only take 30 mins? Is this like an average you are able to take based on student's that you've taught? I just wonder, when teachers say they assign X minutes of hw each night, how they come up with that figure. (When my ds was in public school, hw always took longer than they said it would.)<br><br>
Also, it's considered ok for teachers to violate the district rule about hw because "No parent knows this?" This strikes me as odd. I questioned my ds 2nd grade teacher when she told me that the district only wanted to assign 20 mins of hw each night, but she admitted to assigning close to 40 mins.<br><br>
Thanks for reading. I'm not judging, I just really want to understand why teachers and admin would not follow a policy, when student's are then penalized when they violate a policy.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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The weird thing is, this policy was put in place years ago, and nobody knew it. The district didn't tell anyone and never asked an teachers what the policy was in their class, just made a change on some document somewhere. In fact, the math department had a department-wide policy of make homework 90% of the grade. Most teachers and admins would strongly disagree with the policy. I'd guess that most think the HW should be about 25% more or less. I think everyone is waiting it out to see if something happens. Usually, teachers are a part of the converstion when it comes to classroom policies. Some of us were told this information at a meeting 2 years ago. I was a little 5 minute talk from the principal who did not agree with it. <b>Most</b> teachers in my district have no idea there is any policy. I suppose I agree it isn't "right" to violate the policy. If the district decided to enforce it, I expect that teachers wouldn't assign anymore homework. It isn't really worth the effort to complete it, or teachers' time to grade much for 10% of a grade.<br><br>
As far as how do I know I assign 30 min or less. Well, they are supposed to read for 15 a night, so that of course is a straight 15 minutes. Since I see the students every day I feel like I can gauge how long it takes them to work. In fact, scheduling is a big part of planning the classroom-- knowing how long it will take most of the class to complete the assignments and then having a plan for those who haven't completed it as well as those who finish early. I would assign for additional 15 of homework an activity that would take 15 min or less in the classroom. I never assign anything that is terribly important for HW because most of my students don't do any HW, or they are copying it from someone else. I'm assign little because I'm often unhappy with the results.<br><br>
Again, aside from their reading log, I assign very little HW, but we work hard in the classroom, from bell to bell. If I felt like they could do more at home, we could be a bit more relaxed in the classroom.
 

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Flor- thanks for the reply! I see your point.<br><br>
May I ask: You seem to feel that the hw you assign isn't of much value. But, it sounds like you work really hard to make sure the students learn during class. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> So, I guess, why assign homework at all? Is it a district requirement? What is the goal?<br><br>
Thanks again for reading my ?'s. Like I said, this is not really in my experience and I love to learn more about it.
 

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Sharon- I know that I am not Flor but I am a teacher in grade 3. I assign a small amount of homework for my kids. When I have tried to not assign homework parents become upset. They feel that their child has to have homework. If a child is having problems then they want to know why they do not have homework. I would rather the child be playing outside but parents need homework. If there is no homework then their child is obviously not learning cause I guess I don't teach in the class.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Sharon, RN</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7918852"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Flor- thanks for the reply! I see your point.<br><br>
May I ask: You seem to feel that the hw you assign isn't of much value. But, it sounds like you work really hard to make sure the students learn during class. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> So, I guess, why assign homework at all? Is it a district requirement? What is the goal?<br><br>
Thanks again for reading my ?'s. Like I said, this is not really in my experience and I love to learn more about it.</div>
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Hmm. Why do I assign it. Well, the only requirement from the district is that I complete the book by the end of the year. So, I have to look through the week's asignments and decide, inorder to move quickly, what can they do at home? What do they need a teacher, quiet environment, or extra supplies to complete? What can they do with no help, with only a pencil and paper, in front of the TV with a house full of distractions? Usually some kind of "busy work" but if I didn't feel it had ANY value, I wouldn't assign it. I guess I assign the work that still has some value, but can be completed at home.<br><br>
I feel pressure to assign homework not from administration, but from parents. That is always the big question during back to school night. It seems like it's all parents want to talk about <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: . When we have parent meetings it's always, "but he does all his homework. . ." or, "but he says he never has homework. . . " as if they think the entire grade is based on HW. When I taught first grade I swear the parents were insane to get "Homework! When will they start getting homework? Can they do extra? Is that <i>all</i>?" If we go a week without HW, I guarentee some parent calls to to check and see what is going on. I think a lot of parents equate learning with homework. Middle school = lots of homework.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Flor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7921270"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Middle school = lots of homework.</div>
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Middle school should not equal lots of homework. DD has spent all weekend at grandma's working on her homework. Less distractions over there. She had planed on having some friends over to stay the night since her sister was gone to GS camp but she had too much work to get done.<br><br>
I am really tried of life revolving around homework. There is no time for DD to do her chores. I either have to do them or they don't get done. With six people in the house everyone needs to do their share for the place falls to hell. (example I spent the weekend cleaning DD2 room while she was gone. We pulled out FOUR BAGS OF GARBAGE! Sigh. I just don't understand it.<br><br>
Anyway... These poor kids need a life that does not revolve around school.<br><br>
Oh and btw... this teacher is assigning projects that need to be done but gives them no time in class to do it because he is too busy going blah blah blah. Other classes might get more class time depending on how long he talks in that class. So, here is a 20 point project, it is due tomorrow.. then he proceeds to talk the entire period.
 

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Have you evaluated how hard she is truly working? I'm not trying to say your kid isn't working efficiently, i dont know you or your kid, but I'm just asking if that could be an issue.<br>
I know that my stepsons will come home with maybe 1 hour of actual work, and take ALL NIGHT to do it, becausae they hate it, don't want to do it, and will do like 1 question, get distracted, and half an hour later they are still on the same question...etc.<br><br>
If your child legitimately has 6-8 hours of homework a night, I would take a very fact-oriented approach to the principal or whomever is appropriate. Show him/her a REAL night's worth of assignments, and ask him/her how ling she believes it should take, and if it really is 6-8 hours worth of homework, then I would think that person would be happy to get involved and help change things. I don't know any school administrator who would ADMIT to giving their students that amount of work.<br>
Also..are ANY of the kids getting ALL of their work done? how are they doing it?<br>
Are they cheating? Do they just read/work a lot faster than your child? Are they just not as conscientious and do crappier work? Is the advanced work maybe just too hard for her?<br>
The rationale of "it's just too much" tends to not hold water (in the eyes of the school people) if 90% of everyone else somehow manages to get it done......<br><br>
Talk not only with the schbool people, but other parents...do their 6th graders take 6 hours to complete their homework? if not, how long does it take them?<br><br>
hopefully you can work something out.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bobandjess99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7924464"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you evaluated how hard she is truly working? I'm not trying to say your kid isn't working efficiently, i dont know you or your kid, but I'm just asking if that could be an issue.<br>
I know that my stepsons will come home with maybe 1 hour of actual work, and take ALL NIGHT to do it, becausae they hate it, don't want to do it, and will do like 1 question, get distracted, and half an hour later they are still on the same question...etc.<br><br>
If your child legitimately has 6-8 hours of homework a night, I would take a very fact-oriented approach to the principal or whomever is appropriate. Show him/her a REAL night's worth of assignments, and ask him/her how ling she believes it should take, and if it really is 6-8 hours worth of homework, then I would think that person would be happy to get involved and help change things. I don't know any school administrator who would ADMIT to giving their students that amount of work.<br>
Also..are ANY of the kids getting ALL of their work done? how are they doing it?<br>
Are they cheating? Do they just read/work a lot faster than your child? Are they just not as conscientious and do crappier work? Is the advanced work maybe just too hard for her?<br>
The rationale of "it's just too much" tends to not hold water (in the eyes of the school people) if 90% of everyone else somehow manages to get it done......<br><br>
Talk not only with the schbool people, but other parents...do their 6th graders take 6 hours to complete their homework? if not, how long does it take them?<br><br>
hopefully you can work something out.</div>
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My daughter is a TAG student. She doesn't have a problem with piddling. (that would be DD#2.) I think part of her problem this trimester is she no longer has study hall and instead has speech. Which she hates. But they FORCED her to take it. (I thought the point of electives was that you ELECTED to take them. ) So she is used to having a whole period at school to get work done and now it is gone. Also this isn't an every night thing. But it seems the teachers all want everything due at once. It's like they all decide to assign homework on Wed. and not the rest of the week. They also have a bunch of projects due because it is getting close to the end of the year. babe crying... later
 

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Honestly, I'd blame the NCLB crap. Teachers are forced to teach X, Y and Z and if it isn't mastered by test time, the school gets in trouble for it via funding, etc. I think many are just trying to keep up with what is expected and are not doing it efficiently. It's damaging to the students and the family's (less quality time together).<br><br>
That said, the general rule of thumb for homework used to be 10 mins. per night per grade. So Kindy had none, 1st had 10 min., 2nd had 20 min. etc. Now Kindergartners have homework, so I'm sure this has changed.<br><br>
I think you need to find out if other kids have this much homework (I figure they do, but good to be sure). Has your DD asked other students how/if they get their homework done?<br><br>
If the principal won't help, take it to the district level. If she is working efficiently (social studies should be done first - if she struggles with it, it will take the most time. The other subjects, since they come easier, should take less time - never leave the hardest for last). then the district needs to know something's wrong.<br><br>
I'd also take up the issue of the forced speech class. That's ridiculous and contributed to the problem by taking out the study hour.<br><br>
One other thing I'd look at is your DD's shyness. It's already costing her help from the social studies teacher. If she doesn't learn to open up enough to ask for what she needs, it may cost her a lot more later on in life. I don't mean that as a criticism at all - I understand some kids are painfully shy.<br><br>
Jenn
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rabrog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7925064"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, I'd blame the NCLB crap. Teachers are forced to teach X, Y and Z and if it isn't mastered by test time, the school gets in trouble for it via funding, etc. I think many are just trying to keep up with what is expected and are not doing it efficiently. It's damaging to the students and the family's (less quality time together).</div>
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Oh get this. And I am so damned POed about this.<br><br>
Our state has a law that says they cannot just up and offer a contract to anyone company. You have to place bids and the lowest bidder wins. This is good so that someone can't give their buddy a contract.<br><br>
Well we had a contract with Vantage Learning. It expired and there was bidding for a new contract. Vantage did not win the new contract. Our old contract was up in June of 2007. Well as soon as they did not win the contract they send the state of Oregon a bill for something like 2 billion PAST DUE. Apparently the first contract we had with this company charged per test, but had been updated to unlimited test. As soon as they lost they contract they decided nope we never updated and it is per test.<br><br>
Ok anyway the state says nope we are not paying the 2billion dollars. So the online state tests that kids start taking in late Feb or March was on and off up and down throughout late Feb. and Early March. My dd WAS able to take and "exceed the benchmark" on the Math and English tests already. However, Vantage learning decided on March 15th to TURN OFF the system and ALL THE TEST SCORES WERE LOST.<br><br>
Now to comply with federal mandates Oregon has to come up with a paper and pencil test in like a month so the kids can take the required test. And all the kids who have already taken and passed or exceeded the tests have to take it again because their "scores have been lost."<br><br>
Ok sorry for the rant that the mention of NCLB sent me on. But how screwed up is this?
 
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