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    #395 - 08/23/06 03:32 AM School is trying to retest the students
    Prism Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/23/06
    Posts: 5
    Loc: Arizona
    We having a situation at our school that is really bothering me as a parent of a child in this school's gifted program. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas / suggestions that could help.

    The third day of school my child brought home a notice that informed us that all the children in my child's SAGE program were going to be retested for SAGE because the former SAGE teacher had used a test that had a differant copyright date then the most recent copyright of this test. The test they took was the Cognitive Abilities Test. I went on the State Department of Education website and the Cognitive Abilities Test is one of State Board of Education approved tests. It Lists The most recent addition: Form 6, 2001 then states (previous editions may be used) Why are they putting my child through retesting? PREVIOUS EDITIONS MAY BE USED! If another child came in from out of state and passed a previous edition of the Cognitive Abilities Test, My child's school, by law, would HAVE to put them into the sage program. They wouldn't retest them - this is one of the Tests that they approve!

    My concerns as a parent: My child is rather upset about having to retake the test. Please note at this point, she is doing 6th and 7th grade math and reading and has been in the sage program for the last 3 years. If she "Fails" this new test, it would be horrible for her emotionally and academically!!! She'll have to go back and do the math that she has done already! What about the children that have tested each year and finally pass, they think they'll be in sage this year and then retest and fail. What do you think will happen to these children? The school did tell us that even if the child does NOT pass the test -they say the kids can still remain in the SAGE program at the school. I have problems with this also. 1) The anxiety level when they first took the test wasn't that big of a deal because someone had said they were smart - but lets take this test to find out type of thing - they had nothing to lose. 2) Now that they have to retake the test the anxiety Level is extremely high - thinking that if they "fail" they are not considered gifted anymore and have lots to lose - she's been in the program for 3 years and knows the advantages of being in SAGE and 3) Even if they keep her in the SAGE program she's will not do her best if she "fails" this retest because anytime something comes hard for her and she finds challenging she'll have the attitude not to even try because she's not really gifted after all.

    I have talked to the SAGE teacher, the principal, and the Lady that wrote the letter from the District. I explained to them why this would be so stressful for my child. I also told them that there was a big chance that she may NOT pass because of her anxiety level in taking this retest and that other kids would be the same way. I haven't really gotten anywhere! I'm not too sure where to go from here. Do you have any suggestions? I haven't been able to find the State Laws regarding testing once only, etc. Am I wrong in thinking this isn't good for my child? What if I get her tested outside of school with a State approved test. Would they have to accept her then?

    I appreciate any help that anyone can give me in this matter.

    Top
    #396 - 08/23/06 05:16 AM Re: School is trying to retest the students
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    I wish that your daughter didn't have to face this stressful situation. Do you believe the school when it says that they will keep her in SAGE program? This matters.

    Are you looking for Advocacy Advice? If so I wish i had better ideas, but you seems to have done everything you can.

    Are you looking for Parenting Advice? If so, there are lots of active Moms here who have been through similar and can help you brainstorm how to parent your daughter through this rough time. What are your plans so far?

    Are you looking for a place to scream in frustration? If so, go ahead. Read through our past posts. We really do "get it." Parenting these children isn't easy. I hope you'll get some comfort from that feeling that you aren't alone. I know that I do while I'm here.

    How old is your daughter?

    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #397 - 08/23/06 06:43 AM Re: School is trying to retest the students
    Prism Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/23/06
    Posts: 5
    Loc: Arizona
    I am Looking for ALL of the above - lol. Advocacy Advice, Parenting Advice, and a place to scream.

    My daughter is 10. I have looked through alot of the differant posts and am glad that I actually posted. I feel a lot better.

    I guess my main concern is can they do this? and what effects will this have on my child? I DO believe that the school will keep her in the SAGE program (At least this year) But I also believe that it won't matter - because she will not strive to challenge her mind. Of course this is IF she doesn't get the 97% that she should get on the test.

    I have a son that is supposed to be tested this year also. He's 7 years old and in 2nd grade. This will all be new to him.

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    #398 - 08/24/06 12:23 AM Re: School is trying to retest the students
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Prism -
    I'm so glad that posting helped you feel better. I'll respond as best I can in the hopes that you'll feel less alone and panicy knowing that WE are out here. (wink)

    What is it about your daughter that makes you feel she is vunerable to a low test score? Does she feel that her worth is "all about" her intelligence? Does she feel that intelligence equals test scores?

    I get a little nuts about test scores because there isn't any programing for gifted in my DS10's school. I feel like no one "sees" him. I wave the test scores in their faces - it doesn't seem to make much difference. Your daughter is "walking the walk" she is DOing the math at an upper grade level. I always hoped that "walking the walk" would be enough to show a kid, and everyone else, ok, we've got a Zebra here. We've got to stop planning for "horse."

    Remember that old cliche - Pretty is as Pretty does? I think it can be adopted for some of our kids.

    DS10 and I have to talk about the difference between "smart" and "gifted" - because his teachers expect a gifted kid to be a perfect student, and though he is a good student, he's far from perfect, and he picks up the dissapointed vibe from his teachers.

    He frames his biggest challenge as developing "heart" the persistience to pursue your goal even when it isn't fun. I believe that this is the kind of pursuit that protects him from having self-esteem based on test scores.

    Have you read the parenting books of Dr. Sylvia Rimm? I think she would have a lot to say in this department.

    I wish I had a stratagy for advocacy, but I don't. I wish you weren't faced with this challenge, but since you are, you might as well use it to "get inside" your daughter's and your own doubts and fears re: value, being judged, tests, self-esteem. Wouldn't it be great for your daughter to "know herself" independent from test scores?

    Best Wishes,
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

    Top
    #399 - 08/24/06 01:18 AM Re: School is trying to retest the students
    Prism Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/23/06
    Posts: 5
    Loc: Arizona
    Yes - I agree with you totally. It's never mattered to me about the test scores. The teacher/District is inflicting this test score thing with my daughter. I've talked to my daughter and she's not afraid of "Failing" the test, she's afraid of not being in SAGE anymore. She LOVES this program. She usually doesn't get worried about tests - I've never seen it until NOW! Now, she has something to lose.

    I'm from Arizona and we have AIMS testing that you have to pass before you can graduate High School. Unfortunately it also grades the schools' performance and they get in trouble if they are under performing. The District and the School both feel that the "Gifted" kids should excell on these tests. My daughter always excells on the AIMS but a lot of the other SAGE children don't - they only meet the requirements. Every time we have a Phys. come and talked with our group the question is always brought up why the gifted kids don't excel on this test. The Phys. always explains it very well. It pretty much boils down to Boredom. The test is too easy and the kids have nothing to lose if they don't pass - therefore they don't try. They always ensure us that by the time the kids HAVE to have it to graduate (highschool) they will pass with flying colors - because then they will actually try.

    Top
    #400 - 08/24/06 03:37 AM Re: School is trying to retest the students
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    I'd love to see the numbers, kid by kid, so watch the test scores go from adaquate to excellent when the graduation test comes by.

    Good luck with the advocacy part. It's obvious that your daughter is "walking the walk," so I have hope that she won't be made to leave the program no matter what she scores.
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #401 - 08/25/06 02:37 AM Re: School is trying to retest the students
    Prism Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/23/06
    Posts: 5
    Loc: Arizona
    Do you know anything about the Cognitive Abilities test? This is the test that the school uses and used in the past. What are the differances between the Copyright dates?

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