Rick Roach, who is completing his fifth four-year term representing District 3 on the Board of Education in Orange County, Fla, may well be the most famous local school board member in the country. In 2011, he made national news when he took a test with questions used on standardized tests given to students in Florida and flunked, becoming a vocal critic of high-stakes standardized tests. Last year he became alarmed that the state was forcing severely disabled students to take alternative versions of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and helped publicize the plight of a boy named Michael, who was born with only a brain stem and not a full brain with cognitive ability. Michael, was also blind and bound to a wheelchair, was still required to take a state standardized test last year (and will have to take another one this year).Read full article >>
The growing use of technology has allowed for the collection of mass amounts of data on students. Control over personal information has been lost by students and the risks to student privacy have risen dramatically. In this post, Khaliah Barnes, director of the Student Privacy Project and administrative law counsel for the non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center, lays out a Student Privacy Bill of Rights that gives back to students control over information about their lives.Read full article >>
The Prince William School Board is considering a plan to add three days to the end of the school year, an effort to dig out of a deep, snow-day induced instructional hole.
The suburban district closed schools Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total number of snow days to 12 this school year, twice as many as last year. Schools opened with a two-hour delay Wednesday.Read full article >>
I recently wrote about a bizarre open letter to teachers that Education Commissioner Pam Stewart released that accused people who want a change in standardized testing requirements for severely disabled students of launching a political attack on the department. Stewart’s missive followed testimony before the Board of Education by an Orange County, Fla., mother named Andrea Rediske who had waged a long battle with the department over a requirement that her severely brain-damaged and blind son, Ethan, who also suffered from cerebral palsy, take an alternative version of the state-mandated Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Rediske fought for a test waiver for her son last year and won, but recently, while he lay dying in a hospital, she was required to fill out paperwork proving that Ethan could not take a new standardized test this year. Ethan passed away on Feb. 7, at home with his parents at his side. There is now a bill called the Ethan Rediske Act in the Florida legislature that would make it easier for families to obtain test waivers by allowing local authorities to exempt disabled students from taking these high-stakes exams rather than continuing the current lengthy process that involves state officials.Read full article >>