Philadelphia students in District-run schools lag 7 to 14 percentage points behind the average for big cities in math and reading achievement in 4th and 8th grades on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the only test that compares students across the entire country.
Two icons of the progressive education movement spoke in Philadelphia on Wednesday night to decry standardized testing and urge that a “justice-oriented framework” drive school reform instead.
“Test score gaps are used to label schools as failures without providing resources or strategies to eliminate the gap,” said Stan Karp of Rethinking Schools, an education journal and publisher.
This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared on Parents United for Public Education's website.
by Tomika Anglin
On Dec. 13, 2012, the School District of Philadelphia recommended 37 schools for closure. There were impassioned pleas and hard-worked proposals. There were well-written reports of community input. There was anger. There were tears. There were rallies, chants and marches. There was organization, mobilization and solidarity. And then the School Reform Commission voted to close 23 schools. They voted against our children. Against their safety. Against their education. Against their future. So what do we do now as parents and a concerned community? How do we impact this bureaucracy that is called the School District of Philadelphia? How do we impede this assault on our children’s future?
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has taken over the probe into possible widespread cheating on state tests at Philadelphia's Wagner Middle School in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The investigation had previously been the purview of the School District of Philadelphia. District spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed the switch, saying the state informed the District of its plan at the end of September. No reason for the change was given, Gallard said.
Superintendent William Hite says the Philadelphia School District is "close to wrapping up" its piece of a far-reaching investigation into cheating on state tests, adding that some city educators may soon be disciplined.
"I feel very strongly about the evidence that is there," Hite said.
"We're intending to send a very strong message publicly about individuals who are found to have participated in cheating our students."
Pennsylvania’s investigation of possible cheating on state tests in Philadelphia is entering its second year with no results announced and with little information about its scope and depth.
So far, no area educators or school officials have been publicly charged with wrongdoing. Both the School District of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (PDE) have vowed to take disciplinary action, but those actions can take place behind closed doors.
Heightened security measures are expected to again be in force throughout the School District of Philadelphia when state standardized tests are administered next spring. Changes are unlikely at least until current cheating investigations are brought to a close, according to Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) spokesman Tim Eller.
1) Ayudar a los estudiantes más allá de alentarlos y darles instrucciones generales. A los estudiantes de educación especial se le puede dar cierta ayuda adicional de conformidad con su IEP.
2) Dejar a un estudiante solo en cualquier momento durante el examen.
Una vez más se esperan medidas de seguridad estrictas en todo el Distrito
Escolar cuando se administren los exámenes estandarizados la próxima primavera. Lo más probable es que no haya cambios al menos hasta se cierren que las investigaciones actuales de trampa, según dijo Tim Eller, portavoz del Departamento de Educación de Pensilvania (PDE).
For nine years in a row, up through 2011, every summer brought cheery news that test scores went up in Philadelphia schools. Sure, performance wasn’t where it should be, but things were on the right track. More and more students scored proficient and many schools met their adequate yearly progress targets.