Opt-Outs Threaten Schools’ “Blue Ribbon” Status

1024px-National_Blue_Ribbon_Schools_sealNewsday reports that assessment opt-outs threaten several schools “Blue Ribbon” status in New York.

The actual awards, however, normally would be based largely on results from the latest round of testing in April.

As a result of the test opt-outs, 12 of 19 schools nominated statewide for 2015 Blue Ribbon awards could be found ineligible, state and local education leaders said. The reason, officials said, is that those schools did not achieve the 95 percent student participation rate in this year’s testing that federal rules typically require.

“The Blue Ribbon is something that you earn,” said Kerry Dunne, principal of McVey Elementary, who has helped coordinate a statewide effort to persuade federal officials to adjust their rules. “Our children have worked so hard. Now, for reasons beyond their control and beyond our control, they’re going to be denied that. I really don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Again this is an example of how overly dependent educrats are on assessments.  The U.S. Department of Education who bestows the awards says, “The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”

No, all the symbol means is that the school has great test takers. That’s it.  What does the school receive? Absolutely nothing other than getting to display the flag and call itself a “blue ribbon” school.  Which is good for realtors, an honor for teachers and administrators, but does absolutely nothing for students.

I wouldn’t hold my breath to see federal officials change the rules. This is just another way to “punish” schools for the opt-outs and to pressure/shame parents into not exercising their rights.

One thought on “Opt-Outs Threaten Schools’ “Blue Ribbon” Status

  1. People and organizations who make attempts to rate schools are like folks who try to weigh air.

    Every now and again there’s an article detailing the best schools in America … or in New York. Then there’s a ranking of school districts. It’s all nonsense. Junk educational nonsense. Once you pour in the criteria for such a study, you bias what’s spit out. It’s the exact same sloppy mistake these testing-gurus make.

    Blue Ribbon Schools. Ugh!

    I see those lawn signs all over the place. What cheap crap. What insincere educational junk. And, of course, it’s a government pat on the backside for … for what?

    I guess it’s supposed to spotlight a school, but what it really spotlights is the fact that a bunch of know-nothings somewhere blew a bunch of professionals an air kiss. Those teachers would have preferred some resources to some love. That would have preferred some salary bump instead of some ego air. They would have preferred some more academic freedom to allow them to address the specific population that barges through their doors everyday.

    Instead … they get lawn litter. Expensive lawn littler.

    Do you really know what that Blue Ribbon sign says? It says, “Your beloved government is keeping an eye on you!”. You’re allowing this Orwellian oversight to happen … that’s why we’re at this moment. Government … and politicians who make up government … now think they have a right to intrude and dictate to educators what should happen.

    They helped cook up Common Core. They’re the ones imposing this wretched reform on your children. They helped screw over teacher evaluations. They’re the ones who’ve made testing a maniac activity. They’re the ones screwing around with cut scores and taking control of schools themselves. They’re the ones shoving charters in areas they are unwanted … and denying them in areas where they want more!

    They can’t get anything straight. The can’t write curriculum … they can’t make tests … and they can’t even properly score the bad tests they make. They tell us they know what makes an effective teacher … but it’s a mystery to almost everyone … them included. It’s all arbitrary crap. It’s all sleazy arbitrary crap … it’s that plane being made as it flies!

    And then they threaten folks. All the time. They threaten to close schools. They threaten to screw over tenure. They threaten to end summer vacation. They threaten to take away recess. They threaten parents. And kids. And everyone else who they think needs threatening.

    And now … now they’re threatening to take away your lawn sign. A sign no one gives a damn about. These clowns can’t even threaten properly. The sign we need on our school lawns is this: STAY AWAY!

    Denis Ian

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