LWV Hot Topic on Testing

by Marilyn Wills

pat levesqueThis must have been a highly anticipated Hot Topics event in Tallahassee.  On one side was Patricia Levesque,  the Executive Director for his foundation, Foundation for Excellence, founded by Jeb Bush.  On the other side rosanne wood was Rosanne Wood, former principal of one of the nation’s top 6 innovative high schools.  Ms. Levesque touts Florida’s education gains.  Ms. Wood wonders about shifting denominators in statistics and the impact of testing on students and teachers.


Why we should test and why we should reconsider how tests are used was the focus of the meeting.  There was some agreement, but the perspectives on testing were very different.  These are the talking points.  We need to know them inside and out.  Read the report from the Leon County League.Continue reading

Toeing the Line at KIPP or Side Stepping a Little?

toesChildren in KIPP schools toe the line.  The schools are interesting because they are so often cited as one of the most successful charter school chains for students from low income, minority families.  Students are recruited from urban schools–some of which have major discipline problems.  KIPP takes these problems head on.  They have high expectations for learning and behavior.  Of course, they have high suspension and attrition rates as well.

The article in this month’s Atlantic reports how KIPP discipline practices are evolving.  Can they realistically move from a no-nonsense approach to a more moderate but equally successful experience for more students?  Or, is this educational approach only for those who can survive?

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Achievement Testing Power Points: Orange County LWV

by Terry Gillam, Orange County League of Women Voters

oranges-602271_1280The Orange County League of Women Voters is doing a local study of the State achievement testing issues.  They have prepared power points for presentations at local events.

The presentation is informational and does not represent Florida or National League positions.





These slides are chock full of information.  They ask:

  • Why are people so upset about testing:
  • How much is taking place?
  • What are high stakes tests?
  • Who decides about testing?
  • What are the major concerns?
  • What can we do?

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New Mexico Proposes Better Charter Management

nm2The New Mexico legislation has strong provisions relating to the charter school management and facilities.  SB 236 Beffort strengthens these provisions.  The proposed bill is instructive because it highlights corrective measures to improve the regulations and oversight of charter facilities and conflict of interest.

These proposals can inform the regulations in other states.


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New Mexico to Audit Teacher and School Evaluations for Validity???

legislation1You can think of this bill SB 263 by Howie Morales as the “It is time to check the checkers” bill.  It appears that some legislators want real data with valid results.  It has just been introduced, so passage is a ways off.

The summary of the bill states that the “State Auditor shall adopt quality and accuracy audits of teacher evaluations, merit pay, and school ratings conducted by the Department of Education.  Look at what the auditor be required to do.  It will bring a smile to many.  It makes me think that others have read “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics”.


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