Robin Lowry’s SRC testimony -January 19, 2017

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Good Evening.

I am here to question spending $475,000 on the Pearson-owned Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test used to sort students into Gifted Programs. Studies have shown that African-American and Non-English speaking students have historically been underrepresented in these programs and so for sure, a correction needs to happen.  However, from my brief investigation over the last 24 hours, the Naglieri has been demonstrated as unreliable by Lohman, Korb and Lakin in 2008, an updated test was then created and yet, according to study presented in the Gifted Child Quarterly, a journal published since 1957 the Nalgieri Test has readability numbers presented as facts even after its basic misuses of the readability statistics were pointed out by researchers also in 2008, but a 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal pointed out recent controversies in equity in gifted testing including problems with the Nalgieri.  It seems to me that my school district that does not have money for PE equipment, teaching supplies, sufficient teachers, marching bands in our high schools, music programs for all students like the suburbs have should not be spending $475,000 on an experimental test to sort students.  Unless Pearson is calling the shots in this district as we continue to funnel money out of classrooms and away from students and into the hands of Testing Companies, Consultants looking for efficiencies at the expense of students, and into the pockets of charter school companies and their cronies.

How did my day start today? In the gymnasium with my co-teacher’s student, whom I have known now since September and see every morning said, “Miss, everything is F-d up today.”  What’s the matter hon?  My dad came back from rehab and he’s still an addict.  He wants to see me and I don’t want to see him.  I mean, I don’t hate him, but I just don’t want to see him.  Yes, I said everything is, right now, but it will get better for you.

Last month one of my African American student came in at 7:41 and right up to me to say “Miss I’m half Irish”  Her family had done their genetic testing. She came in a week later crying because her family was split up again after being homeless last year, and her special needs sister was going to be in West Chester and she’d never see her again. We cried together while I hugged her through it for several minutes. This girl has been in 10 schools since Kindergarten. One of the highest number I’ve seen so far among my students – the average seems to be around 5. She’s also dyslexic, which I share in addition after listening to Rich Migliore’s testimony on the lack of supports for dyslexic students.