I recently wrote an article for Civitas dealing with the U.S. Department of Education threatening legal action against states who don’t comply with ESSA’s (Every Student Succeeds Act) 95% testing rule.
Testing compliance under ESSA is essentially the same as it was under NCLB. States are required to have at least 95 percent of students participate in standardized tests for the purpose of “accountability.” The U.S. Department of Education has tied federal Title I funding to the administration of these tests and the 95 percent compliance threshold.
In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Education sent letters to more than a dozen state school chiefs whose states had fallen below the 95 percent threshold in the prior year. The letters included threats of loss of funding should the state not comply going forward.
North Carolina was included in this list alongside Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, Delaware, Idaho, New York, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Maine and Illinois.
So that’s the main thrust. This topic was just recently covered by WRAL who included an amazing piece of information about how some districts are enforcing this 95% rule:
RALEIGH, N.C. — When students in Randolph County Schools don’t show up to take state tests, school leaders pounce.
Teachers and assistant principals send letters home and call parents. If that doesn’t work, school resource officers go to the students’ houses, knock on their doors and drive them to school, if necessary. That kind of response is why Randolph County had some of the highest test participation rates in the state last year.
Did you catch that? Randolph county schools are using school resource officers to enforce testing compliance.
This is an outrageous abuse of resources, not to mention this is the blatant intimidation of students and their families.
If North Carolina wants to see an opt out movement strike, by all means, continue to send the equivalent of jackbooted thugs to haul kids to school on testing days.
And where is Supt. Atkinson on this? I asked but received no response.
@DrJuneAtkinson WHY is RCS being allowed to intimidate families using SRO’s for testing compliance?! https://t.co/9pTpHG6i4N#NCpol #NCed
— A.P. Dillon – LL1885 (@LadyLiberty1885) February 22, 2016
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