PARENTS and TESTING:Myth or Reality(What they really think) Presenter: David Bryant, Parent Liaison Division of Accountability Services, NCDPI 2008 Accountability Conference February 11-13, 2008
Introduction • This session will provide the opportunity for participants to gain insight into the world of testing from the parents’ perspective. • How differing state and local policies create confusion • What parents view as myths versus reality in the local school districts • Review of North Carolina General Statutes and SBE policies • Available resources to help address their concerns
Frustrated Angry Resentful Stressed Confused Grateful Anxious Understanding Satisfied
Sources of Inquiries • Telephone • E-mail • Letters • State Superintendent’s Office • State Board of Education • NCDPI’s Main Switchboard • Legislators (State and Federal)
Protocol for Responding to Parent Calls • Know that you may not be able to accurately ascertain the caller’s actual identity. • Limit your comments to questions designed to help you understand the details of their concern. • Assure them that you are hearing their concerns but also understand that the caller may not have complete information or may not provide you with all the details. • Remain neutral in your comments.
Protocol for Responding to Parent Calls • Encourage the caller to work through the leadership structure in their school and school system. • Many calls involve issues that are local and over which the Department of Public Instruction does not have authority. • Examples: Student school assignment, student grades and placement, student discipline, local policies regarding promotion and retention decisions and the like. • After screening information, direct the caller to the appropriate division within the agency. • If the caller says that he or she has tried to engage the leadership structure in their school or school system without success, offer to share the caller’s concerns with the local school district.
Protocol for Responding to Parent Calls • Make no promises • Share the concern with the appropriate local school district superintendent’s office. • When responding to parents or guardians, be sure to provide contact information that includes your name and title.
Available Resources • State Board of Education policies • North Carolina General Statutes • Division of Accountability Services • The “For Parents” website • Testing Policy and Operations • Regional Accountability Coordinators (RACs) • Local Test Coordinators • Division of Exceptional Children • Policy, Monitoring and Audit • Dispute Resolution Consultants
Typical questions or comments • Will my son/daughter fail if they don’t pass the test? • Why can’t they be promoted if they have maintained an A/B report card all year? • Can I see the test so I can help my child do better? • They told me I can’t see the test. • Can I see my child’s writing paper?
Typical questions or comments • They said the State Department said……. • Why do they have to take the course over because they failed the test? • My child can’t go to college because of that @#$@#% competency test. • They’re just teaching to the test.
What’s myth or reality for parents and students? • All students must score level III to be promoted. • Promotion/retention is based on a single test score • Any student not scoring level III must go to summer school. • Principals not allowed to make promotion decisions • Teachers are teaching to the test. • Students with disabilities must take the same test. • Tests can’t be viewed by the public. • Students must pass the competency to receive a diploma.
Why can’t they be promoted if they have maintained an A/B report card all year? • Curriculum pacing • Delivery of curriculum content • Rigor • Teacher experience • Student retention
Will my son/daughter fail if they don’t pass the test? Review Procedures for Promotion Requests (HSP-N-005) • Students shall be given retest no later than three weeks from receipt of results. • Teachers or parents may request a promotion for students after the second or third test. • Teachers shall provide documentation • Student work samples, other test data, information supplied by parents, for students with disabilities, information that is included in IEP, and other information that verifies that a student is at grade level. • Students not promoted after the second or third administrationshall be given focused intervention. • The LEA shall appoint a committee to review student promotion requests. The principal makes the final decision regarding promotion. Note: There are parents unaware of the review process.
Local Accountability Procedures(SBE Policy #HSP-N-006) • Promotion decisions shall be made according to local policy and discretion • Shall include statewide student accountability standards • Local Board of Education shall adopt procedures to ensure that students are treated fairly • Policy shall recognize the authority of the principal to make promotion decisions • Local Board of Education policies shall be consistent with statewide student accountability policies • Shall include notification and involvement of parents and agreement of parental expectations signed by parents • School districts shall provide focused intervention to all students who do not meet statewide student accountability standards • NC standardized high school transcript shall certify a level of proficiency in high school courses through both grades and test scores
Can I see the test so I can help my child do better?“They told me I can’t see the test” (Process for Stakeholders to View Secure Test Materials) • Request directed to NCDPI Test Development Section Chief. • Stakeholder contacted by staff member to set review date • May not view secure materials at the district or school site • Secure test materials include, but are not limited to: • Test blueprints; test layout forms; item pools; operational or field test books, test questions, or test book sections; operational, field test, or make-up writing prompts; answer documents; and test administrator manuals. • If the stakeholder is a parent they will be informed: • The test will be a parallel and equivalent form of the test, but not necessarily the same test form • The parent will not be able to view child’s completed answer document or actual test book. • The completed test books and answer documents are maintained at the district level and are securely destroyed soon after the test administrations are completed.
(Process for Stakeholders to View Secure Test Materials) • Stakeholder may take notes on information shared prior to viewing the secure test materials, no note taking is permitted during the actual viewing. • Prior to viewing secure test materials, the stakeholder is required to read and sign a test security agreement form. • While viewing secure test materials, the stakeholder may not duplicate, scan, copy, photograph, or otherwise create a record of information contained within the secure test materials.
Can I see my child’s writing paper? Confidentiality of Student Scores (Writing) Note: The following information is based on The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). • Schools are not to send home copies of the student writing responses. • If schools print copies of students’ actual written responses to the test, the copies should be placed in the students’ cumulative folder and should not be sent home with the student score reports. • Parents may view their child’s writing at the school. • If a parent requests a copy of their child’s writing, schools should require written permission from the parent prior to releasing the actual writing. • The parent letter of request should be kept at the school as documentation.
Why do they have to take the course over because they failed the test? (Graduation Requirements and High School Exit Standards) • Students entering the ninth grade for the first time in 2006-2007 and beyond will be required to meet new High School Exit Standards. • Students entering ninth grade prior to 2006-2007, EOCs are to count 25% of the students final grade. What’s myth or reality for parents and students? • Local policies require students to score Level III who entered ninth grade prior to 2006-07. • Level III cut scores made higher for students in honor classes.
What This Means • Better communication • Distribution of state and local policies • Access to local policies • Information in student handbook • Direct parents to websites for information • Available resources • Staffing for focused intervention • Scheduling • Programs
Contact Information David Bryant Parent Liaison/Education Consultant Accountability Services Division Help Desk: 919-807-3775 or 1-800-431-7373 E-mail: email@example.com or End-of-Grade-Testing@dpi.state.nc.us Web Address: For Parents http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/parents/