"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Not an Entrance Exam*

It's not an "entrance exam*," it's just a test they give potential students during the enrollment process - with the kind of asterisk that should be listed after "Barry Bonds" on the MLB all-time home run list.

From the Baltimore Sun:

One of the most sought-after public charter schools in Baltimore has stopped administering an entrance placement exam after city schools CEO AndrĂ©s Alonso expressed concern that the practice — the only one of its kind in the city — could discourage some applicants.

The test at Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Ujima Academy in Northwest Baltimore, Alonso said, could deter families of lower-performing students from seeking enrollment.

Since 2003, a year after opening in Baltimore, the school has used a diagnostic exam to determine whether students seeking to enter sixth grade were performing at comparable reading and math levels as KIPP Ujima's fifth-grade classes. If potential sixth-graders did not pass the test, they could enroll, but would have to repeat fifth grade.

Alonso said he became aware of the test last year and asked the school to stop administering it after reading a description of it. Until it agreed to stop the practice, KIPP Ujima's website said the test was a way to determine whether a "student has the skills necessary to succeed" at the school.

"I felt that communicating to incoming parents of sixth graders that their child would need to repeat a grade on the basis of a diagnostic assessment … represented a potential deterrent to parents of those students needing the most help," Alonso said in a statement.
Full article here.

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