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12-26-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger--Students who opted out of PARCC cost N.J. more than $1M, state says

TRENTON -- An enthusiastic testing"opt-out" movement,fueled in part by the state's largest teachers union, cost New Jersey taxpayers more than $1 million in 2015, according to the state Department of Education.

New Jersey paid testing giant Pearson$1.4 million for tests not taken in the first year of the PARCC exams because it overestimated the number of students who would take the math and English tests by nearly 60,000 students, state auditor Stephen Ells found in a report released this week.

The education department said in a written response to the audit that the estimated number of students taking PARCC was based on previous years of testing. It attributed the million-dollar mishap largely to parents who held their children out of testing.

"An unforeseeable number of parent refusals reduced the number of test-takers, accounting for the disparity in the estimated number of tests and the number of tests actually taken," Assistant Education Commissioner Karin Garver wrote to Ells.


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| December 23, 2016 at 7:58 AM, updated December 23, 2016 at 7:59 AM

Education Week--Study: Students With ADHD Not Helped by Common Test Accommodations

Offering students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder extended testing time or frequent breaks does not appear to help them perform better on a standardized test than other students with ADHD who do not get such accommodations, says a new study published in Learning Disabilities, a Multidisciplinary Journal.

In the studyAcademic Testing Accommodations for ADHD: Do They Help?researchers examined the accommodations and test results of 96 Maryland students with ADHD in grades 3-8. In addition to examining the impact of offering extended test time and frequent breaks, the researchers also looked at the effects of three other commonly offered accommodations: reducing distraction in the testing area, allowing students to have portions of the test read aloud, and allowing use of a calculator.

None of the accommodations were associated with students receiving better scores in reading or math on their Maryland School Assessments compared to similar peers, the study found.


Christina Samuels on December 23, 2016 8:35 AM

The Atlantic--Sixteen in 16: Our Favorite Education Stories

Take a stroll down memory lane, a scroll through some #TBTs, or whatever the school kids are calling a throwback these days. Here are our favorite education stories The Atlantic published this year.


Alia Wong, Emily DeRuy, and Hayley Glatter| Dec 23, 2016