Apologies to my blog readers for a quiet summer. It was a busy few months for my family and I just did not get a chance to post. I was reading and researching … that I did not put aside. This post is still a summer update even though fall has started. Better late than never.
It was a surprisingly busy summer, as well, in the education world with regards to protecting educational data and the administration/use of high stakes testing. I wanted to use this blog post to pick out a few of the stories that made the news either locally on Long Island/New York or elsewhere.
There are two major areas I think we should address between now and the November elections:
1. The failure of the NYS Education Department to comply with the new legislation put forth by the state last spring with regards to protecting student data. NYSAPE has posted their letter on this topic here and Class Size Matters has blogged about this extensively (here’s a sample). Additionally, two informed Long Island moms have also been leading the charge to get NYSED to comply (see here).
Try doing a search on the NYSED web site for any details about all these wonderful new privacy changes they are working towards. I’m not finding anything about it. See here. Only thing there is the link to the Parent Bill of Rights on the main page. Try doing a search for the new interim privacy officer on the site and there is nothing about her bring appointed to that position, no office page … nothing. So much for openness and transparency moving forward. I can only explain this using two terms: it is either intentional or incompetence.
2. The pending $2 Billion NYS Smarter Schools Bond Act. The voting public needs details on this massive new expense. Details from both local districts and from NYSED/Governor Cuomo. So far all we have is a web page with some seemingly random links and files that try to explain the purpose of the bond. My post and thoughts on this topic will be available mid-October here on this blog.
Data and Data Privacy
US Senate Ponders Student Data Privacy Bill :: here
US Senators Markey and Hatch submitted a student privacy bill :: PDF here
Student Privacy Matters response to Senators Bill :: here
Student data: New guidance from the feds :: here
Delayed student data ‘bill of rights’ met with concern :: here
NYSED Posted a Prelim Parents Bill of Rights :: PDF here
[ If you want to send comments to the new interim NYSED Privacy Officer, Tina Sciocchetti, or urge her to hold hearings so that she can hear directly from parents their views on this critical issue, you can email the new privacy officer at CPO@mail.nysed.gov ]
10 privacy steps for every district :: here
A National Look at Student Data Privacy Legislation :: here
NY State Testing
State education department releases test questions – via Newsday :: here
Details of NY’s test cut scores :: here
Meet the NY panel that set the cut scores :: here
Time For An Investigation Into New York State’s Test Score Results, Data Tracking :: here
But, then there’s this: “States Given a Reprieve on Ratings of Teachers” :: here
Critics Question High Ratings on New York State Teacher Evaluations Amid Poor Test Scores :: here
US schools give kids standardized tests so much more than top performing countries. :: here
“The bottom line is that students are getting hurt, money is being wasted and precious time is being spent on high stakes testing at the expense of more meaningful instruction,” Dutchess County parent Anna Shah said in a statement from New York State Allies for Public Education, a parent-teacher coalition seeking an overhaul of the state Education Department.
“Teaching and learning in our state would benefit if we could reduce the fixation on testing and test results,” the New York State Council of School Superintendents said. :: here
Do New York State Education Officials Ever Tell the Truth? :: here
From Florida (this should honestly be a crime for waste of tax payer money and damage done to these kids)
A school system’s stunning standardized test schedule for 2014-15 :: here
From Vermont: Vermont to the Nation: This Is What Good Education Looks Like (or a lack of testing at least) :: here
From Oklahoma: “Oklahoma education department says it will withhold fifth-, eighth-grade writing scores from report” :: here
From California: California Protects Student Data Privacy with Two Bills :: here