Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tiger Parents

Are Montgomery County Public School parents too tough?

Did these parents force former superintendent Josh Starr to resign?  Did these same parents give Drew Houlihan the jitters?

Probably not.  If anything, our parents send their kids to school, make them sit for tests, sign them up for lots of AP and advanced testing, and even write checks whenever asked.

Not so in NY.  As in the state, not just the small enclave in Manhattan of uber expensive property.  

According to an article in today's NY Times, children across New York state are being encouraged to "opt out" of standardized testing.  

From the article:

At least 165,000 children, or one of every six eligible students, sat out at least one of the two standardized tests this year, more than double and possibly triple the number who did so in 2014, according to an analysis by The New York Times.
As the vanguard of an antitesting fervor that has spread across the country, New York’s opt-out movement already has become a political force. Just two months ago, lawmakers from both parties, at the behest of Gov.Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, increased the role of test scores in teacher evaluations and tenure decisions. Those same legislators are now tripping over one another to introduce bills that guarantee the right to refuse to take tests.

Only 30 of the 440 districts where data was available met the 95-percent test participation rate called for by federal requirements, a far cry from just two years ago, when almost every district complied. 
Can you picture something similar happening in MoCo?

Read the rest of the article here.

I would love to think that our group, or any other parent grassroots organization, could be as successful as the "opt out" movement in NY.  And certainly, don't believe that our local community has the power to scare away potential superintendent candidates.  Its all rhetoric.

Keep in mind - the biggest responsibility for the elected Board of Education in MoCo is to select a Superintendent of Schools.

So - how well do you think the Board of Education is holding up to their promise to voters?


  1. There absolutely is a fledgeling opt-out movement in Maryland, although it definitely has not reached anything close to the proportions boasted by New York State. There are a number of Opt-Out groups on Facebook by state, including Maryland; an (EXTREMELY! LOL) informal poll has 13 opt-outs in MoCo, 21 in Frederick, 16 in Anne Arundel, and more in other counties, including Baltimore City. Last year ours was one of only 2 families in MoCo that I know opted out of the final MSA's (and at that, only one of my kids' schools honored our refusal >:-(); this year the Facebook posts were flying thick and fast in MD.

    Parents are waking up....

    1. Not in Montgomery County. We've had Pearson running our schools for years now and our parents must love it. Not a peep from them about Pearson's control of our public school system curriculum and teacher training. The BOE never discusses Pearson at public BOE meetings.

    2. Parents *are* speaking up. I spoke at a Board meeting after the Board voted to oppose the formation of a commission to study whether students are overtested, as did some MCPS teachers. (And remember that many MCPS teachers are also MCPS parents.)

      Assuming the poll mentioned above is all-inclusive (and I won't), we've gone from 2 MCPS families to 13 in a single year, and I also had multiple parents from my neighborhood elementary school ask me how we opted out who indicated that they are considering doing so next year now that they know how.

      It is definitely frustrating to see how many parents are still in the dark - but it's not as many as last year, which is a start.

    3. 13? Pearson has been the MCPS curriculum since 2010.

      The Board of Education has never, ever discussed this deal in public. The royalties that were supposed to make this deal lucrative never materialized. MCPS has spent an unknown amount of money sending out administrators to "sell" the Pearson curriculum. Jerry Weast and his wife took a fabulous trip to Australia on Pearson.
      And only 13 parents have spoken out about the curriculum?

      MCPS parents don't even acknowledge that their children are getting a Pearson product. They have fallen for the "2.0" cover up.

    4. No, 13 families have opted out of - refused, technically - PARCC testing. And 13 up from 2 in a school district that last year was extremely disagreeable about not taking the MSA's despite Starr's bluster about how useless it would be is a sizable increase in the opt-out department IMO. PARCC testing is what I spoke out against at a Board meeting recently.

      Parents everywhere, including MD, are now increasingly concerned about Pearson as the entity behind PARCC, and behind the monitoring of kids' social media concerning it; more are beginning to learn that C2.0 is also a Pearson product, for all it was developed by MCPS teachers. Would I like a lot more transparency about the C2.0 deal? Yes, for sure. But while so much of that is still in the dark, don't dismiss the beginnings of pushback on Pearson/PARCC testing at the parent level so quickly. John Oliver's recent piece has also drawn a lot of new attention to Pearson and their influence, so fewer parents are ignorant of at least the broad strokes while the MCPS/Pearson ties are still hidden.

    5. Beginnings? If anything changes with Pearson it will be because of the intensive lobbying from parents outside of MCPS. MCPS parents are not joining the massive protests that are taking place in other jurisdictions. MCPS parents are sitting passively by and waiting for their kids to graduate.

    6. I was at the BAT rally outside the Department of Education building in DC last summer, and I wasn't the only local teacher or parent there. There isn't coverage of rallies *here,* on local news outlets - NONE. There was one just this past Sunday in Annapolis I was unable to attend, but I heard nothing about it on the news. Just because you haven't heard about it doesn't mean it's not happening. One PARCC/MSA test refusal Facebook page has nearly 200 members and it's a MD-specific group for families who refused the test, and another longer-standing MD group has over 500, several from MoCo. There *are* MCPS parents who are not just twiddling their thumbs waiting for graduation. Just sayin'.

  2. Ignorance is Bliss

  3. A true tiger mom would never "opt out"....


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