PUSD fails to meet 'No Child Left Behind' standards
Original post made on Oct 26, 2012
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 26, 2012, 12:00 AM
on Oct 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm
I don't respond to articles, or blogs or such normally. But this article begs for a response. Especially when " some board members joked about inviting Tom Torlakson, the state's superintendent of public instruction, to visit and see how it can be done."
PUSD being placed on Program Improvement status is a wake up call for this community and this district. As a parent with children in this district who learn differently, teaching to tests is a ridiculous waste of time and resources. Personally we have children who score in the "advanced" category in LA consistently, but they struggle with reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Why? Two reasons. First, schools spend a good deal of time preparing for the STAR test annually. If you practice enough, you will score high, but scoring high DOES NOT mean you are functioning high. Most parents are very aware of this. Most parents disagree with the amount of classroom instruction time allotted to STAR testing preparation. Parents see clearly, yet somehow the district supervisors and board of education members who are supposed to be in the know and competent to determine policy and cuts, are blinded by the STAR scores.
What PUSD needs to ask itself is: Why do we have subgroups that struggle in reading, writing and math? What is it about today's child, today's lifestyles, that make classroom learning such a challenge for many? How can education be overhauled, reinvented and done differently? As a community if all we want are higher test scores, then let's agree to spend even more educational days preparing for the tests. If we as a community want to give our children the gift of reading, writing and problem solving and a love of learning, it is time to think outside the box. Budget cuts are NOT the reason many kids are falling in the cracks. Teacher union power and keeping poor teachers, that we all know are poor, over newer, eager, hungry young teachers is sinful. All kids can learn, some faster, some slower, but all can learn. Make learning fun and interesting, make learning real and tangible and watch the lightbulbs turn on! Too many kids are having to be privately tutored at parental expense, or privately placed in this district.
Let's take a survey: Do any of your children receive tutoring (Huntington, Sylvan, parental, mentor, or other form?) Do any of your children NEED tutoring, but you cannot afford it? What does needing tutoring do to your child's self-esteem? What would NOT tutoring your child to keep up do to his/her self-esteem?
Great schools teach all. Good schools teach some. PUSD needs to quit patting itself on the back and dig in, the gig is up. So what if PUSD is #1 in the state? CA is still 47th in the nation! So what are we patting ourselves on the back for? Being the best of the worst.
on Oct 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm
PUSD is doing great. The federal standards are ridiculous to anyone paying attention. We would have been fine if we joined race for the top, but the unions didn't let us. Our children are being educated. Probably one student didn't pass the test as well as the others. That happens, people move in and out of the district etc.
Overall well done PUSD - horrible times and you somehow did better than last year. Cudos!
on Oct 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm
While tests scores aren't everything, to me they are the most important thing. I'm talking about SAT, ACT, and AP exam scores and the like (not so much STAR tests, but they are better than nothing). You don't get in to Cal Tech with low test scores, no matter how you learn. That said, I agree that we should make learning fun and interesting, and much could be done in that area.