Friday, March 16, 2012

My kids attend a failing school

Yes, according to NYS my children's elementary school is a "school in need of improvement".  Of course this label is a surprise to the parents of our community. We have a strong school because we have a community that values education and have an excellent, caring faculty.  Springville Elementary accomplishes this feat despite a poverty rate(15%) that is twice the state average. Yet despite the tremendous education that is possible at Springville Elementary, NYS perceives our school as a failure.

This label is a result of a very small subgroup of special education students not reaching their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).  This is not a surprise as students with learning disabilities will struggle with high-stakes exams for many reasons.   This "label" caused a colleague of mine with  preschool children to ask why I send my children to a "failing school"?  This individual, like myself is not a Springville native, and is unaware of the excellent school we have in our small town and is considering a private school.  All this individual knows is the NYSED view of our school.  Sad, but this is how the corporate reformers are breaking up the public school systems and our children are caught in the middle of this horrible experiment gone awry.

The bizarre nature of NCLB and RTTT tells schools that all students must be "proficient" by 2013-4.  This is when public education will reach its breaking point.  Will the reformers that are trying to destroy public education be successful?  Or will people realize that high-stakes testing is wrong and that all students learn differently and we cannot punish schools for this fact.  We cannot afford to take any chances, we need to take back public education now!  Boycott the state assessments this year, OPT-OUT your child.