18 September 2014

A Letter From the School

(School Name) Families-

This week and next week your child might be talking about taking a test called I-Ready. This is a test we give in both our ELA classes and Math classes to gauge how are students are progressing in their skills. It is an online assessment that they will take on their laptop. It gives us great feedback that we will share with the students to see where their strengths are and skills we can work on.

In previous years this test was called Performance Series. Since the elementaries also use I-Ready, we can now see how are students are growing from 3rd grade through 8th grade.

If you would like more information about I-Ready, you can visit www.i-ready.com or email me your questions.

Thank you,
(Principal's Name)

Yipes!  The I-Ready website details how this magical program will tell teachers what they need to review and track kids' answers to every question.  It is some sort of "interactive" test designed specifically for the Common Core and bla bla bla.  What a bunch of sellouts our school district employs.  

Not to mention, they're talking of "are students" progressing?  Is proofreading a lost art that this was missed twice in one short note?

My reply:

Mr. Principal Name:

I just received your email.  I did look through the I-Ready website.   Based on what I saw there, I'm opting Emperor out of that testing. 

I would prefer my child's personal data not be tracked so minutely - and not even only by the school district, but by some national corporation that will do God-knows-what with that data (especially in light of data breaches we've seen in the news).  I'm also unhappy to see, based on information given on the website, that some computer test will not only tell teachers which topics need more careful review, but will also sort students by what it perceives to be their ability level.  Thanks but no.

I hope that Emperor is not penalised in any way for his refusal to participate in the I-Ready program, including any opportunity to qualify for advanced classes. I do appreciate all you do for the children at (School Name), but on this issue we part ways.  Thanks!

(My Name)

Answer:  they are allowing Emperor to opt out.  Isn't that nice of them?  I have to wonder how many of these things are happening without parental consent, though.  Unfortunately, the only way to keep children completely off the grid in this regard is to homeschool them.  And in some states?  Not even then.


  1. Why, what a fabulous idea! Good job, mama!!!!

  2. We opted our student out of the ACT and the the school hounded us trying to get us to reconsider (not in the linked post are the stories of hand-delivered letters to my front door suggesting we change our mind).

    Yep. Big Data at work!


    P.S. I was really tempted to swap the our/are above in solidarity with your plight [smile].

    1. I opted my student out of the ACT and not a peep of fight did I get. Mind you, he is special needs and unable to READ his native language. Maybe they didn't really want his data and were relieved. :)

  3. Whatever happened to weekly classroom testing such as we had in primary schools? Each Friday morning we were tested in Math, English and reading comprehension etc, so the teacher knew who was keeping up and if we needed to review the same work the following weeks while still moving forward. That always seemed like the best way to me. Then we had the end of year exams to see if we were ready to move up a grade.

    1. Right. And it would be a test over MATERIAL COVERED. I can't emphasise that enough. Now? Let's just see who knows what, data-tag that puppy, and sort kids accordingly. I don't wonder that this isn't grossly unfair to students who do not receive outside tutoring.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)