IN MY SHOES, INC
THE NATIONAL PARENT EDUCATION CENTER
Serving, Supporting and Educating Parents on Education

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Questions and Answers

  • The school stated that I couldn't enrolled my child without disciplinary records, is this true?

    No, not if you are in the state of Georgia. In Georgia under O.C.G.A. 20-2-670, a
    parent or legal guardian can execute a document providing the name and address of the school last attended and authorizing the release of all academic and disciplinary records to the school administration.  Most states have similar laws. 

    In My Shoes' suggestion:  Request to sign the document requesting release of all academic and disciplinary records from last school.  If you are denied and live outside the state of Georgia, contact the school district.  If you are denied and live in the state of Georgia, just tell them the code and contact the school district - refer the school administrators to inmyshoes.org and show them this law.

    Here's O.C.G.A. in its entirety.

    20-2-670.
    (a) A transferring student applying for admission to a grade higher than the sixth grade shall as a prerequisite to admission present a certified copy of his or her academic transcript and disciplinary record from the school previously attended.
    (b) In lieu of complying with the provision of subsection (a) of this Code section, a transferring student may be admitted on a conditional basis if he or she and his or her parent or legal guardian executes a document providing the name and address of the school last attended and authorizing the release of all academic and disciplinary records to the school administration. The parent or guardian shall be notified of the transfer of such records and shall, upon written request made within ten days of such notice, be entitled to receive a copy of such records. Within five days of the receipt of a copy of such records, the parent or guardian may make a written request for and shall be entitled to a hearing before the principal of the school or his or her designee which is the custodian of such records for the purpose of challenging the content of the records. The student or his or her parent or legal guardian shall also disclose on the same document as the release whether the child has ever been adjudicated guilty of the commission of a designated felony act as defined in Code Section 15-11-63 and, if so, the date of such adjudication, the offense committed, the jurisdiction in which such adjudication was made, and the sentence imposed. Any form document to authorize the release of records which is provided by a school to a transferring student or such studentīs parent or legal guardian shall include a list of designated felony acts. The student or his or her parent or legal guardian shall also disclose on the document whether the student is currently serving a suspension or expulsion from another school, the reason for such discipline, and the term of such discipline. If a student so conditionally admitted is found to be ineligible for enrollment pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 20-2-751.2, or is subsequently found to be so ineligible, he or she shall be dismissed from enrollment until such time as he or she becomes so eligible.
    (c) Every school system in this state shall be obligated to provide complete information to a requesting school pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section within ten days of receipt of such request.
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  • What is the difference between "Provisional Certification" & "Fully Certified"?

    In Georgia, the former certification title of "Provisional" has been replaced by "Non-renewable".

    Provisional certification is a temporary teaching certificate to fill a need in the teaching staffing
    of a school district or state.  Generally, these certificates are given to people who may hold a degree
    in a particular field but lack the educational courses and/or have not taken and/or pass the teaching
    exam.  Provisional certification tends to have a life cycle of less than 5 years and are non-renewable.
     
    Fully Certified teachers are teachers who have all the requirements and hold what we call "A Clear Renewable Certificate" in their teaching area.  The are no deficiencies in their qualifications.
    These teachers are said to be fully qualified for the position in the area for which they hold
    the certificate.
     
    Note:  Fully Qualified Certified teachers status does not mean you have a quality teacher. 
    There is a difference between qualified and quality.
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  • Can you explain grade inflation and how can I recognize it?

Grade Inflation
There is a reasonable expectation of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) associated with every grade.  When a grade is given and the level of KSA's is less than what is reasonably expected, the grade is said to have been inflated - hence '
grade inflation'. 
Example 1
Your child gets a grade of 100 on a spelling test.  You look at the test and notice that there are several misspelled words.  Is it a reasonable expectation that your child should have spelled all the words correctly if he/she received a grade of 100?  The answer is yes. Could this be a sign of grade inflation?  It could be or the words incorrectly spelled were bonus words.
Example 2
Your seventh grade child gets an 'A' on a math test.  You look at the test and notice that your child is doing fifth grade work.  Is it a reasonable expectation that the work and KSA's levels should be that of seventh grade?  The answer is yes.  Could this be a sign of grade inflation?  It could be.  You look through your child's notebook and notice that the work is below level.  You schedule a conference with the teacher and realize that the seventh grade students are doing fifth grade work because many of the students in the class are below level in math.  However, your child isn't below level in math but has a teacher that is not providing multi-level work for higher leveled students.  This is grade inflation.
Example 3
Your high school child has a 3.3 core course GPA and takes the SAT and ACT exams.  Your child's highest SAT score is 1020 in verbal and math, and the highest ACT score excluding writing is 21.  Were the grades given to earn a 3.3 core course GPA inflated?  Well, according to many Conversion tables that convert SAT-ACT scores to 4.0 scales,  a 3.3 core GPA converts to a 1320-1350 SAT (Math and Verbal no writing) to a 30 ACT score excluding writing.   Your child's  SAT and ACT scores are representative of a student that has a GPA of  2.33 to 2.44.  I would deem this grade inflation.

FYI:
Every year our organization is flooded with emails/phone calls from parents whose honor roll child is having problems getting an academic scholarship, has to take college remedial courses, and is struggling with the college curriculum.  Remember, poor curricula designs are contributing factors.

Recognizing Grade Inflation
Three basic ways of recognizing grade inflation:
1) Have knowledge of what the grade-level work should look like.  Visit school resource stores and thumb through subject matter and grade-level books to get an understanding of the KSA's associated with them.

2)Have knowledge of Bloom's taxonomy and how to use it to identify quality work.  I explain this in my book
From Parent to POWER13.95, which is available online.

3)Analyze your child's norm reference test scores. These tests should be given every year in grades 1 to 8.  In Georgia, the ITBS must only be given to students in  3, 5, and 8 grades.  I suggest that PTAs demand that their local school districts administer the test every year. 

I explain norm reference vs. criterion reference tests in the book From Parent to POWER13.95.  In addition, parents can pick up norm reference test scores from their school district's department of assessment and/or accountability.  School district test results are available by June/July for standardized tests taken March-May.

FYI
It is the practice of some State Departments of Education to release norm reference test results after the beginning of school.  Unfortunately, the same is true of many school districts.

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I like the new Milton HS, and I like the New Schools of Carver in Atlanta, Georgia.  Georgia needs to diversify their educational offerings to students.  In addition, Georgia schools need to place more emphasis on students who want to learn and create environments for students to reach their full potential.  However, the implementation of these programs are just the start.  Curriculum and curriculum implementation are the engine that will determine if these school can deliver.
 

Nation-wide sample curricula below:

Here is a sample student pre-engineering schedule (www.pltw.org/hsprogram.shtml):

Sample Student Schedule: Option A

English 9
Social Studies 9
Math 9
Science 9
Foreign Language 9
Principle of Engineering
Physical Education
English 10
Social Studies 10
Math 10
Science 10
Foreign Language 10
Intro to Engineering Design
Physical Education
English 11
Social Studies 11
Math 11
Science 11
Digital Electronics
*Computer Integrated
Manufacturing
*Civil Engineering and Architecture
*Biotechnical Engineering
*Aerospace Engineering

Physical Education
English 12
Social Studies 12
Math 12
Science 12
Engineering Design
and Development

Health
Physical Education


Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
IMSA has an exemplary curriculum (incl. an astrophysics class and excellent problem-based learning) and staff  (All faculty have advanced degrees with 43% holding a Ph.D.).

Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)2 opened this year.  The curriculum includes the following components:

 

Montgomery County Vocational Technical Schools is a good example of a school district having secondary (high school) vocational programs that prepare students to sit for and pass state licensing exams.

What else
I would like to see high school and middle school programs that focus on law, commerce and trade, architect, etc. 

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Excerpts from the book
From Parent to POWER


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