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    #186695 - 04/02/14 06:13 AM Common Core exams have begun
    cee Offline

    Registered: 01/30/14
    Posts: 74
    Good morning. I haven't seen this topic on these forums, forgive me if I missed it. In my area, there seems to be a lot of hysteria surrounding the NY Common Core standards. Friends on Facebook are pushing a grass roots movement against it. Teachers themselves are complaining, within the classroom! Eventually of course, children start to complain.

    Yesterday my 10 year old took Day 1 of ELA Assessment, continues today and tomorrow. These exams aren't new, but this year they are Common Core so a handful in the class opted out.

    I was wondering how parents of gifted children approach this issue if they are enrolled in the public schools, do their children hear negative comments at school about it, and how many of you take the tests as usual or participate in the opt-out.

    Thank you~

    #186713 - 04/02/14 07:37 AM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Honestly, I try to just ignore it. Hysteria is the only term for it in most instances, and frankly... having READ some of the standards, it's not the standards that I object to. I think those are long over-due and a fairly coherent and well-considered thing.

    It's the curriculum publishers and the testing industry that has a lot to answer for in implementation-- well, that and stubborn local districts and teachers that have bought into the hysterical imaginings surrounding it.

    No, actually, nobody's kids are being taught to be homosexual as kindergarten students. (sigh)

    No, actually, they aren't being forced to read pornographic novels in middle school or anywhere else. (sigh again)

    No, actually, they aren't being forced to embrace communism. (sheesh-- seriously??)

    Anyway. I think that CC is probably destined to fail at this point-- because the hysteria has reached a tipping point. People don't have to be RIGHT to be loud, unfortunately.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #186725 - 04/02/14 08:14 AM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    blackcat Offline

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    I worked in a school last year (tutoring) and the school went crazy with the state-standardized testing. They prepped for MONTHS, had rallies, etc. I pulled kids out of classes and one girl always looked depressed when I picked her up (I always picked her up when they were prepping for the test) and said that all anyone ever talks about is the XYZ (state) test and she doesn't understand the big deal about this test. I told her not to worry about the test and the last thing she should do is worry about it, it's just something that the school needs to focus on because they get money from it. As soon as I said it I realized I probably should have just kept my mouth shut, but I can see how some teachers might be making negative comments if they don't buy into the whole thing. At the school I was in, everyone seemed to buy into it and accepted the whole notion of extensively prepping for it, which I thought was rather strange. It really actually bothered me because these educators didn't seem to be even THINKING about it or have an opinion one way or another. Every once in a while I made a snarky comment about it in the break room and got blank stares. And we trust that they are intelligent enough to teach our kids?

    #186730 - 04/02/14 08:20 AM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Expanding on HK's point, I think Common Core is likely to fail because a whole lot of what's wrong with education today has been lumped into a single label by dishonest politicians and an idiotic media, and that label is Common Core.

    Back to the original topic, my DD9 begins standardized testing (which is not related to Common Core, since it hasn't been implemented here yet) next week, and since she's in 4th grade, which is high-stakes per NCLB, she has been hearing negative comments about it for weeks. The G/T students are being told that the learning-disabled children are counting on them to carry the school. She has been doing online study each night that is well-below her level, and she has been vocal in her objections to it. Her class did a practice exam a few weeks ago, and results were poor for the entire class, but the teacher singled out DD for remarks about how her results showed she wasn't ready to be grade-skipped last year, because this teacher has been heavily invested in her confirmation bias all year long.

    The week after testing, we're pulling DD out of school for a week and going on vacation.;

    #186753 - 04/02/14 09:06 AM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    1frugalmom Offline

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    Our school district is starting "Common Core Assessments" or whatever you want to call them. That is if they can get the system up and going. Last I heard the schools were having some issues with this.

    This is the first year of this form of testing for us. With this being just basically a test of the test, I told DD to do her best but not to worry too much about it. I did tell her she will need to do A LOT of "explaining", which she despises doing. I told her there should be a "flag" she can use to flag a question she wants to go back to later - that way if she is tired of all the explaining she can do some then go back and finish it up later. I've always told her she can take as much time as she wants with any form of state assessment, but she is more of a "get in there, get it done, and get on with it" kind of girl, so I doubt this new test will be any different.

    As for opting out - We thought about it, but our school really plays up the testing with parties, certificates, even a special fieldtrip, etc. If a student scores high enough they get a big recognition celebration with lots of pomp and circumstance. I know she won't get that this year since no results will be sent out, but she could next year and if we opt out this year she wouldn't have any experience with the test for next year. (hope that all makes sense)

    There is a practice test online for at least ELA and Math -

    #187195 - 04/05/14 03:17 AM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    thestr0ng1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/27/12
    Posts: 22
    Here in Florida, kids will take the state-based standards test (FCAT) for one last time -- Common Core supposedly next year, but we'll see... loads of pushback on CC here in FL (for political purposes, if nothing else).

    DS8 is in 3rd grade (skipped 1st) and will take the standardized test. His teacher texted me that she is ready for him to "rock the test" -- I definitely have gotten the feeling all year since I put him back in school in October (he was homeschooled for 2nd grade) that his teacher plays up his smarts a great deal in class, and treats him like some sort of messiah who will lift up the entire school.

    I haven't thought about opting out at all. He's already taken IQ tests, achievement tests, SCAT test (for Johns Hopkins CTY), and at some point he'll take the Explore test to see if he qualifies for DYS... what I stress instead at home is plain old smart test-taking strategies, being relaxed and confident and not buying into the hysteria around him. He is naturally laid-back, so the mania at school amuses him more than anything else.

    For the standardized writing test in February (which 3rd graders don't take), they actually had the other kids line up in the halls cheering the fourth graders on!!! I was momentarily speechless when he told me, and had to settle for clamping my mouth shut and rolling my eyes.

    He did say his teacher yelled at the class earlier this week after grading the sample math test, which only 3 kids passed -- one "by the skin of her teeth" (DS8 asked me what that meant!). DS8 missed one question on the sample test, and when it was sent home there was a sticker on it for parents to sign reminding them that a Level 1 on FCAT means your kid will be retained.

    Cue the eye rolling...

    #187202 - 04/05/14 07:15 AM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    Saritz Offline

    Registered: 09/06/12
    Posts: 80
    We have 2 gifted kids in public school. I have a friend who told her son to not stress out about the tests because "they are just fundraising for your school, honey."

    I think that for a parent of a gifted kid (one who does well in school, of course), that's the attitude to take. It's going to be lots of quiet time and waiting, and more than a little boring, but it's a week out of the school year.

    Do I approve of all the testing? NO. But in the grand scheme of things, public school has been a better fit overall than I ever dreamed of, not perfect, but pretty good. And in our market with 2 kids its saving us at least 40 grand a year in tuition.

    Edited by Saritz (04/05/14 07:17 AM)
    Edit Reason: eta "of the testing" to clear up ambiguity

    #187211 - 04/05/14 09:17 AM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: thestr0ng1]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4508
    Sorry to hear of these testing (pre-testing?) experiences.

    Originally Posted By: thestr0ng1
    ... at some point he'll take the Explore test to see if he qualifies for DYS...
    EXPLORE is being discontinued: Previous threads here and here .

    #187253 - 04/05/14 03:55 PM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    thestr0ng1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/27/12
    Posts: 22
    Thanks indigo for the update on the Explore test. Good to know!

    #187900 - 04/10/14 05:15 PM Re: Common Core exams have begun [Re: cee]
    Aqx3 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/21/10
    Posts: 24
    My 4th grader is scheduled to take the online Social Studies test this year, being administered by Pearson. There is a sample test for 4th graders to take, to get adjusted to the format and style of question. It is a dry run this year so no jobs on the line this time.

    I tried it myself, and I think the entire 4th grade will fail if the real test is like that. It is poorly written, using vocabulary most 4th graders will have no clue about ("opportunity cost," "economic incentive" are examples). It requires a level of inference and logic that would challenge most high schoolers and perhaps college students.

    And the kicker is that the local temp agency hires test evaluators from ads on craigslist. You don't have to be a credentialed professional to grade these, just a college grad without a job willing to work for $11/hr. How rigorous is that?

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