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Susan Notes: Looking at the way ugly test booklets dominate the plans--school plans and individual teacher plans--is sobering, not to mention sickening.


Ohanian Comment: Okay, the news article below really ticked me off. It all seems so simple, so innocuous: the reporter interviews a 5th grader who will soon take a big test. Of course, that test determines whether he moves on to 6th grade.

Based on Nick's remark that he and his classmates have been practicing with Competitive Edge books "for about half a year," I did a little sleuthing--to illuminate the degradation of public schooling this 5th grader represents.


CONVERSATION WITH ... NICK CATTONI
by Jennifer Rothacker
Charlotte Observer
May 17, 2004

Q&A | Fifth-grader talks about today's tests

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools begins state-mandated testing today for students in third through eighth grades. Nick Cattoni, 11, is a fifth-grader at Blythe Elementary. He talked with staff writer Jennifer Rothacker about the math and reading tests he faces this week.

Q. Are you ready for the tests?

Yes, I think. I've been practicing [See Note 3 below for what practice items look like], just studying a little stuff in math and literacy ... during free time at school.

Q. How do you practice?

For math, I just do some math problems and for literacy, we do the Competitive Edge books -- books with practice tests and questions.[See Note 1]

Q. How long have you been preparing for these tests?

I've been studying about half the school year.[See below 2]

Q. How have your teachers helped you prepare for the EOGs?

Ms. (Susan) Chandler (his talent development teacher) assigned us to create a board game. I made "The Teacher's Pet" game. You have four markers (shaped) like little desks that you move around the board. Along the way, you answer EOG (End of Grade) questions.

Q. What sort of questions will you face on the tests?

In math, mostly word problems. Multiplication, division, adding and subtraction, fractions and a lot of different stuff like weights and measurements.

In literacy, reading stories and answering questions.

Q. Do you practice at home?

Sometimes, but mostly at school. At home, I read and stuff, and I have a computer game that helps. My mom asks me questions about what I read. That helps me with the main idea.

Q. Do you have any lucky charms you'll pull out, or any special preparations before the tests begin?

Not really. I try not to think about it.

Q. Are you a good test taker?

Yeah, but sometimes I don't really understand what I'm reading, so I have to read it twice or three times.

Q. There's a lot of controversy about state testing and whether it's valuable. Do you think they're valuable?

Yes, because you can learn a lot of stuff doing them, too. If you don't pass them, you can't go to the next grade.

It's more important to do good on the tests because the grades don't matter. If you don't pass the EOGs, you can't move on.

Q. How will you celebrate when testing ends Wednesday?

If I think I did good, my mom will take me out for ice cream. Thinking about that kind of helps me take the tests.


Note 1: Competitive Edge Books are published by Contemporary Publishing Company of Raleigh, Inc., Raleigh, NC:
Specify:

EOG-3-M (3rd Grade Math)
EOG-3-R (3rd Grade Reading)
EOG-4-M (4th Grade Math)
EOG-4-R (4th Grade Reading)
EOG-4-W (4th Grade Writing)
EOG-5-M (5th Grade Math)
EOG-5-R (5th Grade Reading)
EOG-6-M (6th Grade Math)
EOG-6-R (6th Grade Reading)
EOG-7-M (7th Grade Math)
EOG-7-R (7th Grade Reading)
EOG-7-W (7th Grade Writing)
EOG-8-M (8th Grade Math)
EOG-8-R (8th Grade Reading)
NCCTM (North Carolina Competency Test in Math)
NCCTR (North Carolina Competency Test in Reading)

The books are sold only in sets of 5 identical books, $60 per set + 7% sales tax, 7.5% in Charlotte/Mecklenburg. No credit cards.

Contemporary Publishing also produces test prep materials for Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and South Carolina. An ad for their Illinois math books touts the fact their book has 368 pages vs. the competitor's paltry 159 pages.

http://www.contemporarypublishing.com/northCarolina.html

Here is a list of NC schools and counties using these test prep materials:

Schools and Counties using The Competitive Edge for Grades 3, 4, 5
Alamance County
-Burlington School
Alexander County
-Bethlehem Elementary School
-Sugar Loaf Elementary
Ansonville Elementary
Arapahoe Charter School
Ashe County Schools
Asheville City Schools
Avery County Schools
Balfour Elementary
Balls Creek Elementary
Battleground Elementary
Beaufort County
-Belhaven Elementary
-Chocowinity Middle School
-SW Snowden Elem.
-John C. Tayloe School
Belmont Central
Bennett School
Bertie County
-Aulander Elementary
Beverly Hills Elementary
Beverly Woods Elementary
Bladen County
-Elizabethtown Primary
Blue Ridge Elementary
Boiling Springs Elementary School
Briarwood Elementary
Bridges School
Brunswick County Schools
Buncombe County
-Estes Elementary
-Pisgah Elementary
Burke County Schools
Butler Avenue School
Bynum Elementary
Cabarrus County
-Coltrane Webb Elem.
Caldwell County
-Dudley Shoals School
-Oak Hill Elementary
-Wendell Magnet
-West Lenoir Middle
Caldwell County
-Oak Hill Elementary
-West Lenoir Middle School
Cape Hatteras Elementary
Carrboro Elementary School
Carteret County
-Morehead Elementary School Caswell County
Catawba County
-Maiden Elementary
Catawba Springs School
Celeste Henkel Elementary
Chadbourne Middle
Chapel Hill
-McDougle Elementary
Charlotte Schools
-Cedar Creek Elementary
-Clear Creek Elem. School
-Huntington Farms Elem.
-Statesville Road School
Charlotte-Mecklenberg
-Hawk Ridge Elem.
-Hornets Nest Elem.
-Old Providence Elem.
Chatham County
-Bonlee School
-Horton Elementary School
-J. S. Waters School
Cherokee County Schools
Chinquapin Elementary
Churchland Elementary
Clark Street Elementary
Clay County
-Hayesville Middle School
Cleveland County
-Boiling Springs
-Elizabeth Elementary
-Springmore Elementary School
-Township 3 Elementary School
-Union School
-Washington Elementary
Clinton City
-Butler Avenue School
Clyde Elementary
Coddington Elementary
Colfax Elementary School
College Park Elementary
Columbus County
-Fair Bluff Elementary
-Hallsboro/Artesia Elem.
-Tabor City Elementary School
-Williams Township
Cooper Elem. School PTA
Cornith Holders School
Costner Elementary
Craven County
-Trent Park Elementary
Culbreth Prep. School
Cumberland County Schools
Currituck County Schools
-J. P. Knapp School
-Maycock Elementary
D. K. Walker School
Dabney Elementary
Davidson County
-Davis-Townsend Elementary
-Midway Elem.
-Pilot Elementary
-Reeds Elementary
-Townsend Elementary School
-Tyro Middle School
-Wallburg Elementary
-Welcome School
Deep Branch Elementary
Deep River Elementary
Druid Hills Trad. School
Dudley Shoals School
Duplin County
-Beulahville Elementary
-Chinquapin Elementary
-Kenansville Elementary
-Wallace Elementary
Durant Road Elementary
Durham Public Schools
E. M. Rollins School
E. O. Young Elementary
Earl Bradsher School
East Albemarle Elementary
East Wake Academy
Edgecombe County Schools
Elizabeth Elementary
Elizabeth Primary School
Elizabethtown Elementary
Elkin Elementary
Englemann School
Erwin Elementary
Estes Elementary
Evergreen Elementary School
Fairgrove Middle School
Fairplains Middle School
Fairview Elementary
Forest Park Elementary
Four Oaks Elementary
Franklin County
-Bunn Elementary
-Franklinton Elementary
-Youngsville Elementary
Franklinton Elementary
Frazier Elementary
Fred Wilson Elementary
Garysburg Elementary Gaston County Schools
-Costner Elementary School
-Forest Heights Elem.
-New Hope Elementary
-Page Elementary
-Sherwood Elementary
Gates County Schools
-T.S. Cooper Elementary
Glenwood Elementary
Grantham School
Granville County
-Butner-Stem Middle School
-Hawley Middle School
Greenwood Middle School
Guilford County
-Colfax Elementary
-Ferndale Middle School
-Foust Elementary
-Hampton Elementary
-Lincoln Middle School
-Millis Road School
-Northwood Elementary
-Oakview Elementary
-Sedalia Elementary
Halifax County
-Everettes SchoolHall Fletcher School
Hallsboro-Artesia Elementary
Hampton Elementary
Harley Elementary
Harmony School
Harnett County Schools
Hasty Elementary School
Hawk Ridge Elementary School
Hawley Middle school
Haywood Consolidated
-Meadowbrook Elementary
Haywood County
-Meadowbrook
Henderson County
-Mills River Elementary School
-Tuxedo Ext. Day School
-Upward Elementary
Henderson County Schools
Hertford County
-C.S. Brown School
-R. L. Vann School
Hiddenite Elementary
Hoke County
-Scurlock Elementary
Hornets Nest Elementary
Horton Middle School
Hyde County Schools
Ida Rankin Elementary
Iredell-Statesville Schools
J. B. Page Elementary School
J. H. Sampson School
Jackson Park Elementary
Janie C. Hargrove Elem.
Johnston County
-Benson Elementary
-Coopek Elementary
-Cooper Elementary
-Four Oaks Element
-Glendale-Kenly Elementary
-Selma Elementary
-Smithfield Elementary
Jones County Schools
Jonesville School
Kannapolis City Schools
-Forest Park
Kings Mountain School District
-Bethware Elementary
-Grover Elementary
Kings Mtn.
-East Elementary School
Kirkman Park Elementary School
Knotts Island School
L. B. Yancey Elementary
L. Gilbert Carol Middle
Laurel Elementary
Lawsonville Elementary
Lee County Schools
-Deep River Elementary
Lenoir County
-Bynum
-J. H. Sampson School
-LaGrange Elementary
-Moss Hill School
-Pink Hill Elementary
-Southeast Elementary
-Southeast Middle
Lincoln County
-Rock Springs School
Lindley Elementary
Lowrance Middle School
Macon County Schools
-Cowee School
-Louisburg Elementary
-Nantahala School
Madison County
-Hot Springs Elementary
-Walnut Elementary
Magellan Charter School
Maiden Elementary
Malpass Corner Elementary
Margaret Hearn Elementary
Mariam Boyd Elementary
Marion Elementary School
Mars Hill Elementary
Martin County
-E. J. Hayes School
MAST Charter School
McDougle Elementary School
McDowell County Schools
-Eastfield Elementary
-Glenwood Elementary
-West Marion Elem.
McLaughlin Elementary
Micaville Elementary
Midway Elementary
Millis Road Elementary
Mitchell County
-Bowman Middle School
-Deyton Primary
-Harris Middle School
Montgomery County
Moore County
-Carthage Elementary
-Robbins Middle
-Southern Pines Middle School
Mooresville Graded School Dist.
Moravian Falls School
Morehead Elementary
Morrisville Elem. School
Mt. Airy
-Jones Elementary
Nash-Rocky Mount Schools
Nebo Elementary
New Hanover County
New Hope Elementary
Newland Elementary
Newton-Conover City Schools
-South Newton Elementary
North Cove Elementary
North Duplin Elementary
North End Elementary
North Hampton County Schools
-Willis Hare Elementary
North Laurinburg School
North Ridge Elementary
North Wilkesboro Elem. School
North Wilkesboro Middle
Northampton County
-Garysburg Elementary
-Willis Hare Elementary
Norwood Elementary Oak Grove Elementary
Oak Hill School
Oak Lane Elementary
Oakview Elementary
Old Fort Elementary School
Old Providence Middle School
Onslow County Schools
Orange County Schools
-Central Elementary
-Efland Cheeks Elementary
-Efland Cheeks Middle School
-Hillsborough Elem. Sch
Oxendine Elementary School
Page Elementary
Pamlico County Schools
-Fred Anderson Elementary
Pate Garner Primary
Pattilo A+ Elementary
Pembroke Elementary
Pender County Schools
Penderlea Elementary
Person County
-Oak Lane Elementary
Peterson Elementary
PHASE Elementary
Pinewood Elementary
Piney Grove Elementary
Pink Hill Elementary
Pinkston Street School
Pitt County
-Bethel School
-Chicod School
-Grifton School
Pope Elementary
Prospect Elementary
Queens Creek Elementary
R. B. Dean Elementary
R. L. Vann School
Rama Road Elementary
Randolph County
-Archdale Elementary
-Farmer Elementary
Rex Rennert Elementary
Rhonda Clingman School
Richfield Elementary
Richmond County
-Ashley Chapel School
-Fairview Heights
-L.J. Bell School
-Washington St. School
-West Rockingham School
Richmond Primary
Robeson County Schools
-East Robeson Primary
-Fairview Middle School
-Magnolia School
-Orrum Middle School
-Parkton School
-Pembroke Elementary
-Peterson Elementary
-Piney Grove School
-Prospect Elementary
-Rex Rennert Elementary
-Southside-Ashpole
Robinson Elem PTA
Rock Springs Elementary
Rockingham County
-Reidsville School Int. School
-Rocky Mount Charter School
Rosewood Elementary
Rowan Academy
Rowan-Salisbury Schools
Rowland Norment Elem.
Rutherford County Schools
-Harris Elementary
-Pinnacle Elementary
-Spindale Elementary
Rutherfordton Elementary
Sallie B. Howard Charter
Sampson County Schools
-Union Elementary
Sandhills Farm Life School
Sardis Elementary
Scotland County
-N. Laurinburg School
Scurlock Elementary
Seaboard Coates Elementary
Selma Middle School
Shallotte Middle School
Shelby City Schools
-Graham Elementary
Sherwood Elementary
Shiloh Elementary
South Fork Elementary
South Newton Elementary
Southern Pines Middle School
Southport Elementary
Southside-Ashpole Elementary
Springmore Elementary
Stanly County Schools
-Badin Elementary
-Central Elementary
-Endy Elem. School
-Locust Elementary
-Norwood Elementary
-Oakboro Elementary
-Ridgecrest Elementary
-Speas Elementary
Statesville Elem. School
Sterling Elementary School
Stokesdale Elementary
Summerfield Elementary
Surry County Schools
-Cedar Ridge
-Copeland Elementary
-Flat Rock Elementary
-Franklin Elementary
-Shoals Elementary
-Westfield Elementary Swain County
-East Elementary School
Sylvan Learning Centers
Tabor City Elementary
Tanglewood Elementary
The Hill Center -Durham
Tipton Hill Elementary
Township Three Elementary
Turning Point Academy
Union County
-Marshville Elementary
-Parkwood Elementary
-Shiloh Elementary
-Waxhaw Elementary
-Weddington Middle
-Wesley Chapel Elementary
-Union Elementary
Union Mills Elementary
Unionville Elementary
Vance County
-Aycock Elementary
-Clark Street School
-Pinkton Street School
-Zebulon-Vance School
Waccamaw Elementary
Wake County Schools
-Baileywick Elementary
-Kingswood Elementary
-Oak Grove Elementary
-Wendell Magnet
Wakefield Elementary School
Wallace Elementary
Wallburg Elementary School
Warren County Schools
Washington County
-Pines Elementary School
Watauga County
-Parkway School
-Valle Cruces
Wayne county Schools

Schools and Counties using The Competitive Edge f for Grades 6, 7, 8
Adams Learning Center
Alamance-Burlington Schools
Albemarle Middle School
Alexander County Schools
Alexander Graham Middle
Allegheny County Schools
Allen Middle School
Andrews Middle School
Anson County Schools
Anson Middle School
Apple Valley Middle
Arapahoe Charter School
Archdale-Trinity Middle
Ashe County Schools
Ashe Central High School
Ashe County Middle School
Asheville City Schools
Avery County Middle School
E. B. Aycock Middle School
Ayden Middle School
Baden Elementary School
Baden Middle School
Beaufort County Schools
Beaver Creek High School
Belhaven Elementary
Belmont Middle School
Bennett School
Ben Smith High School
Bertie County Schools
Bethel Middle School
Beulahville Elementary
Bladen County Schools
Bladen Middle School
Boonville Elementary
Bowman Middle School
Bradley Elementary
Bridges School
Brogden Middle School
Brown Middle School
Brunswick County Schools
Brunswick Learning Center
Buncombe County Schools
Bunn Middle School
Burgaw Middle School
Burke County Public Schools
Burns Middle School
Butner-Stems Middle
Byrd Middle School
Cabarrus County Schools
Caldwell County Schools
Camden Middle School
Camp E-Tik-Etu
Cane River Middle School
Canton Middle School
Carteret County Schools
Carver Middle School
Caswell County Schools
Catawba County Schools
Catawba Int. School
Catawba Middle School
Cedar Creek School
Central Davidson Middle
Central Middle School
Chadbourn Middle School
Challenge Academy
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools
Chase Middle School
Chatham County Schools
Cherokee County Schools
Chewning Middle School
Chinquapin Elementary
Clarkton School of Discovery
Clay County Schools
Clayton Middle School
Clemmons Middle School
Cleveland County Schools
Cleveland Middle School
Clyde Erwin Middle School
Cochrane Middle School
Columbus County Schools
Commons Middle School
Concord Middle School
Conway Middle School
Cornith Holders Middle School
Corriher-Lipe Middle School
Coulwood Middle School
Cramerton Middle School
Cranberry Middle School
Craven County Schools
Crest Middle School
Crestdale Middle School
Culbreth Middle School
Culbreth Prep. School
Cumberland County Schools
Darden-Vick Middle School
Dare County Alt. School
Davidson County Schools
Davie County Schools
C. E. Dillard Junior High
N. L. Dillard Junior High
Dixon Middle School
Dunn Middle School
Duplin County Schools
Durham Public Schools East Arcadia Middle School
East Cary Middle School
East Hoke Middle School
East Iredell Middle School
East Junior High School
East Laurinburg School
East Lincoln Middle School
East McDowell Junior High
East Middle School
East Robeson Elementary
East Rutherford Middle
East Union Middle School
East Wake Academy
Eastway Middle School
Eaton Johnson Middle
Edenton Chowan Middle School
Edgecombe County Schools
Elise Middle School
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank
Elizabeth City Middle School
Elkin City Schools
Ellerbe Junior High School
C. M. Eppes Middle School
Coates Erwin Middle School
Fairmont Middle School
Ferndale Middle School
Flat Rock Elementary
Fleetwood Middle School
Forest Hills Middle School
Four Oaks Middle School
Franklin County Schools
E. B. Frink Middle School
William C. Friday Jr. High
J. N. Fries Middle School
Fuquay Middle School
Gamewell Middle School
Garner Middle School
Gaston County Schools
Gates County Schools
Gentry Middle School
Glenwood Elementary
Goldsboro Middle School
Graham County Schools
Granite Falls Middle School
Granville County Schools
Grays Chapel Middle School
Greene County Middle School
Green Valley School
Greenwood Elementary
Greenwood Middle School
Grier Middle School
Guilford County Schools
Halifax County School
Hamlet County Schools
Hamlet Junior High School
Hanes Middle School
Harnett Central Middle School
Hawley Middle School
Hawthorne Traditional School
Hayesville Cons. Schools
Hayesville Middle School
Haywood County Schools
Henderson County Schools
Henderson Middle School
Hendersonville Middle School
Hiawasee Dam Middle School
The Hill Center - Durham
Hill Middle School
Hobton Middle School
Hoke County Schools
Holbrook Middle School
Horton Middle School
Hunters Creek Middle School
Hyde County Board
Iredell Statesville Schools
Jackson County Schools
Jackson Middle School
Jacksonville Commons Middle
Jacobs Fork Middle School
Jeralds School
I. E. Johnson School
Johnston County Schools
P. S. Jones Middle School
Jones County Schools
Kannapolis City Schools
Kennedy Middle School
Kings Mountain Middle School Knox Middle School
Kolesville Middle School
Ledford Middle School
Lee County Schools
Lenoir County Schools
William Lenoir Middle School
Lewiston Family Res. Ctr.
Lexington City Schools
Lincoln County Schools
Lincoln Middle School
Lincolnton Middle School
Linkin Middle School
Lowrance Middle School
Lufkin Middle School
Lumberton Junior High
Macon County Schools
Macon Middle School
Magnolia School
Marion Elementary School
Martin County Schools
Mast Charter School
McClintock Middle School
McDougle Middle School
McDowell County Schools
Meadow Lark Middle
Meadow School
Midway Middle School
Mills Creek Middle School
Mineral Springs Middle School
Mitchell County Schools
Montgomery County Schools
Moore County
Mooresville Graded Dist.
Mooresville Middle School
Morehead Middle School
Mount Airy City Schools
Mt. Pleasant Elementary Sch.
Mt. Pleasant Middle School
Mountain View Middle School
Murphy Middle School
Munroe Middle School
Nantahala School
Nash Central Jr. High
Nash-Rocky Mount Schools
Nebo Elementary School
New Century Middle School
New Hanover County Schools
New London Elementary
Newton-Conover Middle
North Davidson Middle School
North Davie Middle School
North Duplin Elementary
North Elementary School
North Garner Middle School
North Iredell Middle School
North Johnston Middle School
North Surry High School
Northampton County Schools
Northeast Middle School
Northern Middle School
Northwest Middle School
Norwood Elementary
Oak Hill Elementary
Oak Hill Middle School
Oaksboro Elementary
Ocracoke School
Old Fort Elementary
Ometeko Gwam. Charter
Onslow County Schools
Orange County Schools
Orrum Middle School
C. D. Owens Middle School
Oxendine Middle School
P. S. Jones Middle School
Paisley Math/Science Academy
Pamlico County Middle School
Parkton Elementary School
Parkwood Middle School
Pembroke Middle School
Pender County Schools
Penderlea Elementary
Perquimans County Schools
Person County
Phillips Middle School PTA
Piedmont Open Middle School
Pilot Mountain Middle School
Pine Forest Middle School
Piney Grove School
Pitt County Schools
Prospect School
Quail Hollow Middle School
Randolph County Schools
Read/Write, Inc.
Reidsville Middle School
Rex Rennert Elem. School
A. C. Reynolds Middle School Rhonda Clingman School
Richmond County Schools
Ridgecrest Elementary School
Roaring River School
Robbinsville Middle School
Robeson County Schools
Rochelle Middle School
Rockingham County Schools
Rocky Mt. Charter School
Rolesville Middle School
Roseboro-Salemburg Middle
Roseman Middle School
Rowan-Salisbury Schools
Rugby Middle School
Rutherford County Schools
Salisbury Tutoring Academy
Sampson County Schools
Sankore School
Savannah Middle School
Scotland County Schools
Sedgefield Middle School
Shelby Middle School
Luella Smith Middle School
Smithfield Middle School
SW Snowdon Elementary
South Charlotte Middle
South Davie Middle School
South Edgecombe School
Southeast Academy
Southeast Middle School
Southeastern Stokes Middle
Southern Middle School
Southern Pines Middle Sch.
Southwest Middle School
Southwestern Randolph High
Sparta School
Spaulding Monroe Middle
Speight Middle School
Spring Creek High School
Springfield Middle School
Stanley Middle School
Stanly County Schools
Stokes County Schools
Sugar Loaf Elementary School
Sun Valley Middle School
Surry County Schools
Swain County Middle School
Sycamore Lane Middle School
Sylvan Learning Center
Tabor City Middle School
Terrell Lane Middle School
Thomas Jefferson Classical
Academy
Thomasville Middle School
Toisnot Middle School
Topsail Middle School
Transylvania County Schools
Traphill Elementary School
Turrentine Middle School PTA
Tyro Middle School
Union County Public Schools
Union Middle School
Valley Springs Middle School
Vance County Schools
Waccamaw Elementary School
Wake County Schools
Wakefield Elementary School
Walkertown Middle School
Warren County Schools
Warsaw Middle School
Watauga County
J. S. Waters School
Wayne County Public Schools
Waynesville Middle School
Weddington Middle School
Welborne Middle School
Welcome Middle School
West Craven Middle School
West Hoke Middle School
West Junior High School
West Lake Middle School
West Lee Middle School
West Lincoln Middle School
West Marion Elementary
West McDowell Junior High
West Pine Middle School
Western Harnett Middle Sch.
Western Rockingham Middle
C. G. White Middle School
Whiteville City Schools
Wiley Middle School
Wilkes County Schools
Wilson County Schools
Winston-Salem/Forsythe County Schools
Woodington Middle School
Carter G. Woodson School
Woodward Middle School
Yadkin County
Yadkinville School
Yancey County Schools
York Chester Middle School
Zebulon Middle School


Princeton Review also publishes test prep material, so if kids don't get tortured enough at school, parents can do test prep at home.

Category: Study Aids
Imprint: Princeton Review/Random House/Bertelsmann
Format: Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Pub Date: March 2002
Price: $14.95

Here is the ad for the material:

If Students Need to Know It, It's in This Book
This book develops the reading comprehension skills of 3rd graders. It fosters skill mastery that helps them succeed both in school and on the North Carolina End-of-Grade Test.

TPR Knows the North Carolina End-of-Grade (EOG) Test

The experts at The Princeton Review have analyzed the North Carolina EOG Test, and this book provides the most up-to-date, thoroughly researched practice possible. The test is broken down into its individual skills to familiarize students with the test's structure, while increasing their overall skill level.

Get Results
TPR knows what it takes to succeed in the classroom and on tests. This book includes strategies that are proven to improve student performance. TPR provides:

Content review, detailed lessons, and practice exercises modeled after the skills tested by the EOG test
Proven test-taking skills and techniques such as paragraph labeling and outlining drafts
2 complete practice North Carolina EOG reading tests

Note 2: A NC 5th Grade Teacher's Language Arts Lesson Plans for the week:

Language Arts- Introduce spelling words for the week. Introduce spelling skill. Review EOG test using NC Reading Coach (details, main idea, theme, sequence, characters, cause and effect, word meanings, analyzing stories, setting , mood, predicting outcomes and fact and opinion).

Here's a part of the Overhills Middle School Title 1/ESL School Improvement Plan 2003

Strategies
Provide reading incentives (Accelerated Reader, Battle of the Books)

Utilize practice reading test and Benchmarks

Utilize supplemental materials to prepare for EOG Reading and Writing Tests

Books marked for AR, ALS computer programs, and incentives, Title 1 Funds, Additional a/R books & tests

School and State generated practice reading test, Competitive Edge and Test Read, CMS 95 School Funds, workbooks:; Sharpen Up, Buckle Down, Test Ready, Prentice Hall Standardized tests Competitive Edge & SDPI Testlets

Timeline
Ongoing

Persons Responsible
Communications Skills Teacher, Media-Tech staff, Title 1 teachers, ESL teachers, parents, volunteers, technology facility

Means of Evaluation
EOG Reading and Writing Test Scores

Strategies
Increase student reading levels

Resources Required
Star Reader Program, Accelerated Reader

Time Line
Once each semester

Persons Responsible
Communications teachers, Media-Tech staff, title 1 teachers will use grade level materials to help bring reading ability to grade level.

Read that again: teachers will use grade level materials for kids not reading on grade level.

Note 3: Sample Test item

Here's a question to go with the passage "Watching a Beekeeper" by Joan Davis (Highlights for Children 1998):

This selection begins with the author saying, "I froze in place as a cloud of honeybees buzzed around my head and arms." What does the word froze mean in this sentence?

A. stopped

B. walked

C. became cold

D. became confused


I suppose it's because I overthink test questions, but it seems to me that the distractor item "became confused" could almost be right. Distractors always slow me down. I think about them a long time.

In any case, here's the analysis of the so-called skills involved in answering this question:

Category: Thinking Skill

Cognition: Analyzing

Objective #2.04

This, of course, is a bunch of crap. To get this question right, the child needs to know this particular idiomatic expression.

I say shame on Highlights for Children, a publication with a long and honorable tradition, for letting their material to be used in this way.


Another test passage, "Which Cereal Has the Most Iron," was reprinted with the permission of Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division, from Discovering Graph Secrets by Sandra Markle, 1997. Again I'm upset. I've long admired this book.

A third passage, "The Water Cycle," from A Drop of Water by Walter Wick, was published with permission of Scholastic. 1977.

On the one hand, we might rejoice that "authentic" (A term I abhor; it's a pompous term most often used to put down other people.) children's literature is being used to determine children's reading ability. As is often the case with reading tests, I question, not the passages but the whacko questions.

And I don't rejoice that they are plucking passages from books we can find in the library. Shame on these publishers, whose existance depends on our love of children's literature, for turning on the children and doing them harm. Why isn't it enough to make a profit on the sales from the beautiful materials they publish? Why do they become complicit in the distortion and degradation of children's books?

How will children learn to love reading when the very books we offer are used to test them, hold them back in school, and further humiliate them?

I say Shame on Simon & Schuser, Shame on Highlights for Children, Shame on Scholastic. I have a dishonor list in the works that will call their fellow publishers-out-to-make-another-buck-off-the-souls-of-children to task.

— Susan Ohanian



INDEX OF RESEARCH THAT COUNTS


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