This was in the Albuquerque Journal this morning.
Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Standards Test Given to Exempt Students
By Andrea Schoellkopf
Journal Staff Writer
It turns out that school officials should not have forced the test
on them, and now the school may be penalized because the poor scores
will affect the school's overall evaluation.
"They wanted me to take it so they could raise the average," said
Swedish student Daniel De Quarto, 17. "... I think it's really stupid.
My performance shouldn't reflect the school's (performance). I'm only
here for 10 months."
De Quarto said he considered taking the New Mexico Standards-Based
Assessment when a teacher asked him to take it as a "personal favor."
But it became an ethical question for him and his friends.
So De Quarto called in sick during the two test days; and upon his
return to school Friday, he and other exchange students who had missed
the exam were ushered out of class to take the make-up evaluation.
He said he and others intentionally failed the exam.
"A lot of them just drew pictures," he said. "They didn't care."
State officials said Valley High appears to have shot itself in the
"It was a really bad idea," said Don Watson, the Public Education
Department's assistant secretary for assessment and accountability.
The state's testing manual says exchange students are exempt from
taking the test, Watson said. Tests that have been filled out will be
included in the school's evaluation.
In Albuquerque Public Schools, exchange students can take the test
only if they want to, said district spokesman Rigo Chavez.
The exam is given to students in grades 3-9 and 11, measuring state
standards in math, reading, language arts and science.
Chavez said Valley officials thought the school would be penalized
if it didn't test all 11th-graders.
Valley was among many Albuquerque high schools that did not meet
"adequate yearly progress" standards last year set by the federal No
Child Left Behind Act.
If the school does not achieve adequate yearly progress this year,
it will be subject to penalties.