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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Parents get pushy in Fort Worth: Why did every 1st-grader get the same grade?

Trenace Dorsey-Hollins asked why her daughter received "emerging" (the lowest level) on her first-grade report card for a skill she'd learned in kindergarten. The teacher "told me that she gave all the students in her class the same grade for the first six weeks to show growth in the second six-week period."


At Forth Worth's Meadowbrook Elementary School, students can earn tokens good for free books.

From inaccurate report cards to parents not having full access to their child's test data, Fort Worth schools are misleading parents, writes Dorsey-Collins on The Grade.


When her younger daughter, who's non-verbal and uses a wheelchair, was about to start school, Dorsey-Collins had to make multiple phone calls to find out which school she'd attend. The district had decided on special-education placements, but hadn't gotten around to telling parents.


Dorsey-Collins founded Parent Shield Fort Worth to organize and inform parents and pressure the school district.


When the Forth Worth district "bragged about providing SAT tutoring at every high school," she called high schools for the details. It turned out not a single high school could confirm they offered SAT tutoring.  


She contacted the local press and posted a Facebook video. Within 24 hours, district administrators called to say the tutoring would be provided.


Parent Shield is helping parents figure out their children's reading level, wrote Dang Le in the Forth Worth Report at the start of the school year. Only 44 percent of Forth Worth students are reading at grade level, but parents don't always know how far their children have fallen behind.


Maria Gonzalez's 8-year-old daughter got perfect scores and glowing reports from her teachers, she told Le. But she couldn't read.


Melony Watson noticed her daughter's reading problems, but was told it was normal for students who started during the pandemic to struggle. Her daughter made the A-B honor roll. In fourth grade, still unable to read, she was diagnosed with dyslexia. “How did you push my baby through three grades and she can’t read — and no one noticed that she was dyslexic?” Watson said. 


In July, Parent Shield Fort Worth invited parents to literacy assessments. Thirty percent of participating parents said their child was reading below grade level; 64 percent were below grade level.

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7 Comments


gulchinator
Feb 18

The "inaccurate report cards" link goes to Mailchimp; do you have the original source?

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Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
Feb 18
Replying to

Thanks for letting me know. I've fixed the link.

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m_t_anderson
Feb 16

"Leaving room for improvement in the next assessment" is the lame-ass excuse I've heard from every lazy teacher and middle manager I've ever met. And they're the same ones pencil-whipping everything from report cards to aircraft safety inspections. See where THAT'S got us.

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Heresolong
Heresolong
Feb 17
Replying to

We are required to do something to show growth in our students every year. We settled on "give them a quiz in something we haven't taught them yet, then give them the same quiz in a month after we've taught it". Checks the box, doesn't affect their grade, doesn't go home to parents, we don't even mention to the students what we're doing, just tell them "I just want to know where you are right now in your learning". Stupid policies lead to stupid activities. It's a waste of time but only a couple minutes and if someone in authority asks we can honestly say "yes, we do".

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fooyou52
Feb 16

There are lots of tutoring centers out there. You would think it would be good business to offer free standardized testing for kids, so parents can get an honest assessment of where their kids stand.


Ann in L.A.

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rob
Feb 16

>Maria Gonzalez's 8-year-old daughter got perfect scores and

>glowing reports from her teachers, she told Le. But she couldn't read.


I think this is grounds for termination. To give a kid who can't read "perfect scores" and "glowing reports" is fraud.

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bkwormtoo
Feb 16

I'm so old I remember when grades documented what a student did and did not know/do and could be used by parents to encourage or supplement their children's education. The teacher in the opening example hijacked grading to make herself to look good.

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