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What Every Parent Should Know About Schools, Standards, and High Stakes Tests

What Every Parent Should Know About Schools, Standards, and High Stakes Tests

December 2005 | 88 pages | Corwin
This concise guide for parents and community members demystifies the buzzwords that confront us all in everyday headlines: standards, tests, equity, data, accountability, adequate yearly progress, No Child Left Behind, and more. Written in a reader-friendly style by expert educator and best-selling author Donna Walker Tileston, this guide gives all parents the tools and resources they need to understand how their children are being taught as well as checklists of essential questions to ask when they need more answers than they're being given.

Topics include:

o Accessing and understanding standards and benchmarks

o Understanding how their schools use standards for teaching and testing

o Knowledge and skills their children need to be taught

o How to help their children prepare for high-stakes tests

o What to do if their schools do not make adequate yearly progress

o Putting together the questions they need to ask teachers and principals during parent conferences

o Resources for understanding the answers they receive

This well-priced book covers what every parent should know about schools today.

About the Author
Chapter One: Whose Standards?
The History Behind School Standards

No Child Left Behind

How To Access The Standards For Your Child’s School

National Standards

Chapter Two: Why Standards Are Important to Education
How Standards Help Produce Alignment That Leads to Equity

Alignment in the Classroom

Standards as a Measuring Rod for Schools

Why Adequate Yearly Progress Matters

What To Do If Adequate Yearly Progress Is Not Being Achieved

Why Alignment Is Important

The Reality of Alignment

Five Things Parents Can Do

Chapter Three: Standards and Alignment
The Format Of Standards and Benchmarks

How Standards Are Used as a Guide for What Teachers Teach

Why The Instructional Practice Is Important to Student Success

How Standards Are Used as a Guide for What Teachers Assess

What Does The Research Say is the Best Way to Teach Vocabulary?

What Processes Will Students Need To Know?

Chapter Four: Asking the Right Questions
What are the Standards and Benchmarks for My State’s Schools?

How do I Know That My Child’s School is Teaching to the State Standards?

What Do I Need to Know About the High Stakes Test Given in My State?

What Information Do I Need at the Local School Level?

What Other Information is Important to Examine on the School’s State Report Card?

How Can I be Sure That My Child’s School Keeps Current With Quality Research on Learning?

What Questions Should I Ask When Adequate Yearly Progress Is Not Being Achieved?

What Can We Do To Improve the Education System?

Where Can I Go For More Information?

What If?

Chapter Five: Helping Your Child Master High Stakes Tests
Know the Vocabulary

Practice Compare and Contrast

Pay Attention to Your Child’s Stress Levels


"Very informative to me – both as an experienced teacher and a parent. It was an easy read, full of wonderful information, and very thought provoking!"

Susan E. Fisher, NBCT
Douglas County School District

"A definite contribution to this relays the facts of the past and the wave of the future."

Melanie Sitzer-Hedges
West Gate Elementary

"Parent friendly and an easy read.The material is useful as it explains not only what the standards are, but how to read them."

"The author did an adequate job of explaining the standards so that the lay person could not only read them, but also apply them by using the questions to check the standards at their school."

Sandra Kraynok
St. Louis Public Schools

"Very timely with the push of the 'No Child left Behind' legislation, which has really highlighted school standards and the attainment of these standards. It seems to cut through all of the language/jargon and give a clearer understanding of standards and what is going on in education."

Stephanie A. Slowik
Wake County Public Schools

"Not only am I an educator but I am a single mom of two. I read this book from both perspectives and was enlightened by the information. Every parent should be aware of the information in it, especially those who move frequently."

Stacy Slomko
Perth Amboy High School

"Gives a better understanding of what the standards mean, what to do with the standards, and what to do if standards aren't being met by a school."

Shannon Journell
Enon Elementary School

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412914703