Yes, I know that we are so early in the school year and there is a lot of calendar in front of us before state testing happens, but I believe that it is critical that every family at Encore understands the importance and seriousness of state testing now so we can prepare for what will come in the spring of 2021.
There is a growing population in the state of California that is anti-state testing. With a host of reasons why they do not believe in state testing, when students do not take the test and even moreso when the students do not try their hardest, it affects how a school is perceived. As a charter school, it also impedes whether or not the charter can continue to exist. This directly affects students because the validity and strength in the data from their school is looked at by colleges and the California Department of Education. It is also part of the California Dashboard. The Dashboard gives potential students and parents a topline insight to how the state thinks the school is performing. It is very important that students take the test seriously. In small schools where there may only be one teacher for a subject, it could also affect performance reviews of the teachers individually. State testing is important.
There was no testing in 2019 - 2020 due to the COVID-19 shutdown. In order to make up for lost time, the state of California plans to administer a longer test this school year for grades 7 and 8. The current plan is that students will take a test that would reflect the "missed curriculum" review and then what they should have learned during the school year. During a recent training that our Academic Dean, Mrs. Dolf attended, they explained that schools and especially charter schools should expect a dip in test scores this school year.
This comes on the heels of the new laws put into place in January of 2020 where state test scores and California Dashboard can limit the term length of a charter school's renewal This is going to be tough for Encore. I believe that we can rise to the occasion because we have a fantastic faculty and an even better student and parent group, but we are going to need to work together. Everyone needs to approach testing with importance so we can work on getting put into the green and blue sections of the California Dashboard despite the COVID-19 closure.
Today, I just wanted to put this into your head so we can make plans for the spring. We need everyone on board to increase our test scores this year. We can do it because Encore is awesome!
Thank you for your ongoing support of youth arts and thank you for your ongoing support of Encore High School.
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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2020.