As a parent with children in Frederick County Public Schools, I am concerned over the culture of mistrust being fomented by the current administration. I am doubly concerned that the majority on the Board of Education appear to support it.
Frederick County Public Schools reported incomplete data to the Maryland General Assembly’s Commission to Review Use of Assessments in Public Schools. The Nov. 20, 2015, Maryland State Education Association report to the Maryland State Department of Education cited this example: “[W]hile nine tests appear in the report for Frederick county eighth grade, educators report 18 locally mandated tests.” The report goes on to say that if you add in all the missing assessments “it appears that Frederick County students spend almost one-half of an entire year taking tests throughout their pre-K-12 education.”
Is FCPS under-reporting data so it doesn’t look like we spend so much time testing?
History says assessments are very important to FCPS. So important, they took advantage of my severely disabled son’s inability to refuse and forced him to participate.
So important that elementary school children who are now in the process of refusing participation in the PARCC (Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Career) are currently being told they must stay in the classroom for the two-hour testing window with nothing to do. (Last year, students could read books in the office or other secure location.) This is a school-based decision, not one that comes from PARCC or State Department of Education. Our schools are choosing this action. I view that as bullying, intimidation and even abusive. You do not make 7- and 8-year-olds sit still for two hours with nothing to do. A good example of an acceptable home punishment is a timeout — sitting and staring with nothing to do, for a certain period of time. Fifteen minutes can seem an eternity to a young elementary-age child. If 15 minutes is punishment, what is two hours?
It gets harder and harder for me to send my children to school every day when I can no longer trust the people in charge. How is the average parent supposed to trust his or her school system?
The current administration is creating a culture of mistrust and repression. I think it’s time for our superintendent to resign.
Cindy Rose, Board of Education candidate