Update and Video: NC Mother of Autistic Child Fights EOG’s

It’s late.  About 2 AM now.  The email from Michelle I did not see until after my kids were asleep.  My kids are night owls.  They may make great grades in school, but you would never know it from the late hours they keep.  So at about 12:30 when the house was finally quiet I was checking email before turning in and there was one from Michelle.  We have been in touch before, via phone.  She was seeking support to get the word out about her situation.  Her situation was something I wrote about previously HERE.  I shook the trees and was really sure that she would be “allowed” to Opt Out, after all, she is only about 10 miles away…surely the school system could not be that different over there.  My reasoning was that since Zoe and I called the state’s bluff here in Orange County, that once Michelle told the school she was not having her son tested that the same thing would happen..they would back down.

What is particularly onerous about her situation is that the school, School Board and Superintendent are going so far out of their way to force her Autistic son to take this test.  No offense meant, but Michelle has guaranteed me that her son cannot pass any version of a state EOG.  They are essentially forcing her son to take a test that he will fail.  This is in light of the fact that his school year has been filled with success.  Michelle went to some lengths to describe to me how many victories there have been for her son this year.  She describes many of them in the video.  I am sharing this video for two reasons.  Michelle personally asked me to do what I could to expose what is happening.  Secondly, this situation truly calls into the light and exaggerates just how misguided testing has become under NCLB and CCS.  Standardized Testing hurts teachers. It reduces the hard work and efforts of your child’s teacher into an assessment designed by people who will NEVER meet either your child or their teacher.  All the amazing things that happened in that classroom…like they have for Michelle’s son, deserve credit.  But with a standardized test, there is none.  The way the Common Core is set up, all that good stuff gets thrown under the school bus.  Testing is all that seems to count.  This is a slap in the face of how hard teachers work.

In fact, under CCS, standardized tests that are scored low, actually count against teachers.  Under Standard 6, teachers are being tested and given a grade based upon how their student’s performed.  Hasn’t this gone far enough already folks?  When you have a school Superintendent arguing with a parent that their autistic child is federally required to take a test that is going to make the teacher look bad and will make the student look like a failure…this is not educational.  All that anyone learns by being silent on this issue is how easily we tend to just go on with our lives, without saying a word about things that we know are not right.  Now is a great time to do something different.  It doesn’t matter what state you live in.  Watch the video.  Do something.  If you really want to support public education and the profession of teaching, overturn federally mandated testing and encourage the end of the Common Core Standards.

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2 thoughts on “Update and Video: NC Mother of Autistic Child Fights EOG’s

  1. In response to the questions you asked – federal and state law require that all children be tested. The beef needs to be with legislators – who in NC have enacted school report cards A-F ratings based on standardized testing, and ‘standard 6’ in teacher evaluations as one of the weighted factors towards their evaluations. The superintendent is letting you know he is complying with the law. Lawmakers is where the message and parent protests belong overall.
    In this specific heartbreaking situation,

    In terms of the NC DPI policy on exemptions, here is NC accountability department due process on exemptions. http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/memos/medicalexceptmemo1213.pdf
    The NC Extend 1 was supposed to be designed for students such as the one in this video. I truly hope her son can get a medical exemption, but the definitions by DPI seem very narrow.

    Based on this presentation I found from DPI, her son can and should get the appropriate accommodations to perform this somewhat meaningless test in the case of her son. If he were my child, I would demand that only one question a day be asked and the answer recorded as his accommodation and not accept anything less, also for the sections that require independent reading that it be presented and prompted once and immediately be taken away when he can’t do it:
    http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/policyoperations/tswd/ecconferencenov08.pdf

    I would write to lawmakers to allow for NCExtend 1 waivers to broaden and to allow teachers to have the flexibility to write up their own assessment of progress with these children. I agree that to have reading/math ‘testing’ for severe cognitive disabilities seems to go against the grain of what achievement might be for these kids.

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