TESTING COSTS STATE
Parents of children in grades 3-8, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium testing(SBAC) is being administered beginning at the end of March 2015 until the end of this school year.
Each school has their own schedule within that window of time. Some of the testing has already taken place.
I urge you to call your child’s school to find where they are in the process. The testing is in addition to the usual testing that is administered. The SBAC testing is new, so new that the vendor who sold this turkey to the State cannot say when the results will be available. This is costing the state of Nevada and our local school district mega-bucks, it takes seven hours out of each student’s schedule, and there will be nothing to show for it for at least 6 months to 1 year.
How does that benefit either the student or the teacher? By the time the results are known, the student has moved on to the next grade. There are also golden opportunities for the vendor to data-mine information on the students which parents are not allowed to see. No one knows or is allowed to preview the tests, not the teachers or administrators and certainly not the parents. This is an experiment being foisted on our students that needs to be 86’d There is no official opt-out policy and is being left up to each school district to decide how to handle children who choose to not take the test. There will be no repercussions on the student and it will not affect their grade if they choose to not take the test. The school district does request parents speak to the principal prior to allowing their student to opt-out of the testing. My advice is to request to opt out.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT A HOAX
Tom Riggins wrote a column claiming he has the actual facts about climate change. In one part, he writes, “As I remember from history books before they were rewritten for Common Core, Columbus was supposed to fall off the end of the earth because the earth was deemed flat by a consensus of scientists. Sound familiar?”
If those are the types of history books Mr. Riggins reads, no wonder he’s so confused.
The story about Columbus and people thinking the world was flat was a story made up by author Washington Irving in 1828. Educated people, including scientists, had known the world was round for thousands of years. Many medieval books, including university textbooks, stated that the world was a sphere despite Riggins’ claim that “a consensus of scientists” said it was flat. Columbus knew the world was round. Irving’s story is kind of like the fact-free emails that conservatives make up today and then send flying around the internet. Those fake stories then become the basis for outrage by people who are severely fact-challenged.
Conservatives always seem to forget that there are more places in the world than just the places where they live. That’s why it’s called “global” warming, not just whatever they happen to see outside their window. Climate change is not a liberal hoax. The Pentagon itself has said that climate change is one of the greatest national security threats facing America and the world. NASA says 97 percent of climate scientists agree humans are causing climate change. The AMA and many other scientific societies agree. If Mr. Riggins needs more evidence, maybe he should try Google.
To the Western Nevada College softball team, good season this year. You played very hard, and you never gave up. To the coaches, good job. You are the best.
I will always support the programs at the college. Good season, ladies, you practice very hard too.