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An Impartial Forum About Standardized Testing: A Conversation About the Pros and Cons

April 15, 2015 @ 6:30 pm


The League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 15th, from 6:30-8:30 in the 2nd floor training room at the Montclair Fire Headquarters, 1 Pine Street, Montclair. This will be an impartial balanced discussion on standardized testing. Members of the public are invited to attend.

The speakers will be:

The Honorable Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark, former Deputy Mayor of Newark, Newark Municipal Councilman, Principal of Central High School and elementary school teacher. An accomplished legislator and administrator, he has spent more than two decades addressing issues that affect his community which include legislation in public safety, economic development, and civic engagement.

Dr. Penelope Lattimer, Director of Rutgers Institue for Improving Student Achievement (RIISA). She held a number of positions at the NJ State Department of Education from 2003-2007 which included Special Assistant to Commissioner William Librera, and Assistant Commissioner for the Central Region, Chief of Staff and Assistant Commissioner for the Division of District and School Improvement with Commissioner Lucille Davy.

Dr. E. Belvin Williams, former Trustee, Senior Advisor, and Executive Director of the Turrell Fund, an independent philanthropic foundation based in Montclair that provides funding support to not-for-profit organizations rendering direct services to needy children in New Jersey and Vermont. It’s endowment is approximately $160 million, with qualifying distributions of approximately $8 million. He is also a former Director of The Macy Documentation Program, Co-Director of the Program of Resources in Minority Education for the Macy Medical Professions Program and Consultant to the offices of the President and the Dean of Academic Affairs at Bronx Community College, City University of New York.

Audrey A. Fisch, Professor of English and Coordinator of Secondary English Education at New Jersey City University, and author of many books.  Recently, she has written, with Susan Chenelle, Using Informational Text to Teach To Kill a Mockingbird (Rowman, 2014), the first in a series of texts designed to help teachers meet the demands of the Common Core.

General topics the speakers have been asked to address include:

  • What are pros and cons of standardized testing?
  • Why do we need it/not need it?
  • What does it measure?
  • How well does it measure what children should be learning and reflect what they are being taught?
  • Does the PARCC measure what students are learning more accurately than the NJ ASK?
  • Does it push poorly performing schools to measure up?  What are carrots/sticks?
  • What information do the schools and parents get from it and how useful is the information?
  • How is the information from the tests used? Instruction, placement, teacher evaluations?
  • What are the effects on poorly achieving/average/high achieving students?
  • What are effects on classroom practice?
  • Any information on first round of PARCC?  Impressions from teachers, students? Glitches, difficulties, problems with technology?

The League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area serves the towns of Bloomfield, The Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Clifton, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Little Falls, Montclair, Verona, West Orange.
web address www.lwvmontclairarea.org


April 15, 2015
6:30 pm
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Montclair Fire Headquarters
1 Pine Street
Montclair, NJ 07042 United States
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League of Women Voters of the Montclair Arae
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