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    #178230 - 12/29/13 11:56 AM Parents not allowed to see test results?
    apm221 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/23/13
    Posts: 249
    I'm curious is anyone has insights about this before I arrange another meeting with my daughter's teacher. About once a month, the kids take a STAR assessment to monitor their progress. I know because my daughter tells me when they take it. I tried e-mailing the teacher to ask for her scores, but received no response. When I actually stopped by, I was told they are not allowed to give parents the scores and can just say general things like "your child is improving."

    I thought parents were generally always allowed access to educational records, unless maybe this is a school assessment issue? Are there legitimate reasons why a school would not share these types of scores with parents?

    I'd just like to understand the issues involved before I talk with them more. It's not really critical for me to see the scores, but I don't think she is really working at the right level and have been trying to negotiate with them.

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    #178232 - 12/29/13 12:20 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    Loy58 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/13
    Posts: 816
    My DC's schools are the same way about test scores - drives me bonkers! Actually, under FERPA, you have a right to access your DC's academic records. I'm no expert and I have not had to resort to quoting the law to obtain records, but the schools are very slow to share them, and when they do they are often incomplete or partial. I try to limit my requests, but this has been a consistent problem and I think it probably partially due to some school personnel being unaware of the law - JMO.



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    #178234 - 12/29/13 01:11 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4228
    I share your concern. It is important for parents/guardians to have data and information to track their children's academic growth. This best positions them to coach their child, partner with the school, or independently address at home any potential underlying issues, such as vision, hearing, potential LD, need for remediation/tutoring, experimenting with a different learning style, or need for greater academic challenge.

    Interested parents may wish to check the website of the test company. STAR assessments are from Renaissance Learning (Renlearn.com). There is a parent's resource tab. The downloadable resource states
    Quote:
    How will I know how my child is doing? Please ask your child’s teacher for the results from any of the STAR assessments. Teachers can run a Parent Report for any of the STAR tests. Often teachers may share this information during a parent/teacher conference.
    Sample reports, and a book selection website are also shared.

    As a concerned parent, you may wish to check your school or district website to see if there is any information to manage your expectations about how frequently parents/guardians may receive pupil records, assessment results, progress reports, etc.

    You may also wish to check online to see what rules may be in place in your State regarding a pupil's education records.

    With the recent introduction of longitudinal data collection and student information systems, policies and laws may need to be developed regarding the handling of the many data points which may be collected.

    If you do not find policies or laws in place which list each piece of data collected and recognize the rights of parents/guardians to have access to review and correct each piece of information, you may wish to consider contacting a local school board member and/or state legislator who may be able to introduce such a policy or bill. Some possible reasons to include in an impact statement may be: fostering parental involvement, student support, and home-school partnership.

    In an educational system focused on benefitting the child, parents need to be fully informed with "primary source" data, not merely a summary of it.


    Edited by indigo (12/29/13 01:43 PM)
    Edit Reason: added paragraph about parent resources by RenLearn

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    #178236 - 12/29/13 01:30 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    apm221 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/23/13
    Posts: 249
    These are not state mandated tests; they do those separately in the spring. This is something the school does to monitor progress and I'm just not sure why they wouldn't share the information. I will have to look up the legalities more if I can't get access, but I'm just not sure why they wouldn't want to share it. The teacher was actually looking at it while talking with me, so it wasn't difficulty of accessing the information.

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    #178239 - 12/29/13 01:38 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    somewhereonearth Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/17/13
    Posts: 351
    Originally Posted By: apm221
    These are not state mandated tests; they do those separately in the spring. This is something the school does to monitor progress and I'm just not sure why they wouldn't share the information. I will have to look up the legalities more if I can't get access, but I'm just not sure why they wouldn't want to share it. The teacher was actually looking at it while talking with me, so it wasn't difficulty of accessing the information.


    My DS's school does this from time to time. The reason that they haven't wanted to share information with me (sometimes) is because DS was doing so well, always 99th percentile. So, in their eyes there is nothing to show me. Of course, the first time I poked around and looked at my son's scores I realized that he was also scoring in the 99th percentile a few grade levels up. So, he was inappropriately placed in his classroom environment. Of course, this revelation began the year long conversation that we are currently having about how the school needs to meet my son's needs as he's demonstrated them.

    So, they may not want to give you the scores because you will want to know how the school is going to meet your child's needs. And if your school is anything like my school, the school has zero interest in meeting your child's needs and in fact will do everything they can to knock your child "down to size".

    I hope for you, though, that the reason is something far more innocuous.


    Edited by somewhereonearth (12/29/13 01:39 PM)

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    #178240 - 12/29/13 01:43 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    Loy58 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/13
    Posts: 816
    I don't think that this is usually the teacher's fault - again, my DC's teachers are clearly told to share limited information with parents. If you've already asked the teacher, you may need to ask the principal next. I had to do this to get one set of test scores - then I had to set up a meeting just to get them. The meeting was actually COMPLETELY unnecessary, but I jumped through their hoops in an effort to avoid an adversarial situation. I want the school to feel like my partner, not my adversary - so I was firm (as my child's first teacher, wouldn't I be the person MOST interested in my child's scores?), but as completely NON-adversarial as possible. Keep FERPA in your back pocket, and use if necessary. I "enforced FERPA" without outright mentioning it, if that makes any sense.

    In our case, there was nothing unusual going on - the school simply decided not to send out the scores to parents (I guess they have since changed this for this particular test). DD was above-grade level in her scores, but the school simply had chosen to not share them with any of the parents - which is wrong, IMO.


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    #178242 - 12/29/13 01:56 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    kelly0523 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/15/11
    Posts: 187
    My DD takes the STAR test to assess her AR Reading Level several times a year and the kids are told their score and the parents most certainly would be given the score if they asked.

    I would simply ask your child what AR level they are asked to search in when they visit the school library.

    The level is their score.


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    #178243 - 12/29/13 01:59 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: Loy58]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4228
    Originally Posted By: Loy58
    I don't think that this is usually the teacher's fault - again, my DC's teachers are clearly told to share limited information with parents. If you've already asked the teacher, you may need to ask the principal next. I had to do this to get one set of test scores - then I had to set up a meeting just to get them. The meeting was actually COMPLETELY unnecessary, but I jumped through their hoops in an effort to avoid an adversarial situation. I want the school to feel like my partner, not my adversary - so I was firm, but as completely NON-adversarial as possible. Keep FERPA in your back pocket, and use if necessary. I "enforced FERPA" without outright mentioning it, if that makes any sense. HTH!
    Agreed.

    Just one small difference in how this was explained to me - FERPA covers records maintained by a school... whereas some of the new longitudinal data collection and student information systems may maintain the data elsewhere (such as at a test provider or in a state-wide or national database, etc). As I understand it, this is why some school districts and states may be considering introducing new policies and laws in regard to student data and information.

    While considering or undertaking advocacy at various levels, I definitely agree it is in everyone's best interests to not be adversarial toward the teachers (or anyone). Researching, gaining background information, keeping records at home of when DC took various assessments, can all be done peacefully and pleasantly. smile

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    #178247 - 12/29/13 03:06 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    apm221 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/23/13
    Posts: 249
    Thank you, everyone, for your help. I don't want to be adversarial, and the main reason I posted this was to try to understand their policy before trying to push for the scores.

    It actually isn't just a question of her reading level; they seem to assess other things with it as well. I haven't been able to get much information, though. She says they assess math and I'm especially interested in that because she is supposed to be working ahead and doesn't seem to be doing so,

    They use AR, which is another source of frustration. She has a huge range and always gets books at the minimum sixth grade level because she likes fiction and there is so little at the high school level (by AR standards) in their library that is relaxing reading material. She doesn't like the books intended for older children because they are often about issues that she finds upsetting; they don't have classics that would be more challenging.


    Edited by apm221 (12/29/13 03:29 PM)

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    #178250 - 12/29/13 05:06 PM Re: Parents not allowed to see test results? [Re: apm221]
    kelly0523 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/15/11
    Posts: 187
    apm, just a suggestion, but if she likes to read non fiction, it will offer her a wider variety of books to choose from. Non-fiction books often have higher AR levels. After my DD brought home a fiction book that was within her AR level, but content was completely inappropriate for her age (at the time she was 7), I spoke to the school librarian and we agreed that she could select one fiction book that was within any AR level and one non-fiction book that matched her AR level. My DD actually ended up enjoying learning about historical people and I was surprised at how she rose to the challenge in her reading.

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