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Old 01-05-2019, 06:33 AM
 
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Hello California teachers! I have some questions for you!

On our Canada to USA road trip we stopped to visit friends in California. My friend was talking about the education system there and I was wanting to understand it better.

1) How important is the state testing? Does the teachers pay increase if students pass a test? (We do not do this in Canada. We test, but look at the scores as a whole and see how we can improve).

2) If a student is diagnosed (eg. dyslexic), will he/she be able to avoid the testing? If so, how does this affect the teacher?

3) What process does a family/school to get a diagnosis for a child?

Thank you so much!


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Old 01-05-2019, 07:05 AM
 
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I am retired, but I can try to answer your questions, keeping in mind that I worked in a Title-1 school with over 80% low-income students. These schools are under a lot more (Fed and state) scrutiny than other CA schools.

1. Yes, state testing is important, but we also have district-wide testing. No, teachers' pay does not increase if students pass the test.

2. If a student has an IEP, there are several options, including alternative assessments. The IEP team must determine whether a student with a disability participates in the general assessments, and whether they need special accommodations, or whether they should take the alternative assessments. These latter tests may affect the student's completion of a regular high school diploma.

3. Most likely the family doctor will diagnose a child through observation, and through surveys by the parents and the teacher(s). If a teacher suspects a learning disability, they will start the IEP process which is a number of steps/stages before an IEP meeting is called. This may often take several years.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:45 AM
 
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cvt nailed it exactly. Parents can request testing for a disability. If teacher and a variety of specialists thinks itís warranted, testing takes place.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:39 AM
 
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Not just California, Texas too.

Itís all the same like CVT, but teachers can be put on improvements plans if their scores are not good for 2+ years in a row. Lots of pressure from Admin to get high scores.
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Thank you!
Old 01-05-2019, 08:56 AM
 
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Thank you so much! You answered my questions perfectly! Much appreciated!


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Old 01-07-2019, 06:21 AM
 
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1) How important is the state testing? Does the teachers pay increase if students pass a test? (We do not do this in Canada. We test, but look at the scores as a whole and see how we can improve).

I feel like the emphasis put on state testing is different from place to place but it doesn't influence pay. like a previous poster mentioned there is also a lot of pressure for students to do well on district benchmarks as well.

2) If a student is diagnosed (eg. dyslexic), will he/she be able to avoid the testing? If so, how does this affect the teacher?

If a student is diagnosed with a learning disability it would not exempt them from the test just because they have a learning disability. Likely they would take the test with accommodations. They might take the adapted test but I doubt it since I have taught kids with dyslexia before and they were not given then alternative test. The only kids I have seen take the alternative test are kids who are profoundly disabled. BUT anyone can choose to opt out of the state test by having the parent write a letter to exempt them. Kids who dont test in my experience sit in the office with a book while we test so it doesn't effect the teacher at all.

3) What process does a family/school to get a diagnosis for a child?
They will likely go through the RTI process where you identify needs, set goals supports and timelines and meet later to see if the goals are being achieved with the supports. If not they may try new goals and supports first or they may go for testing. Also you can skip the process by again writing a letter to formally request testing, at that point they school would have 30 days to do the testing.
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Thank you!
Old 01-07-2019, 05:47 PM
 
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Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions! Things are so different in Canada!
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