Remove barriers for children to test for highly capable services in Snoqualmie Valley

Remove barriers for children to test for highly capable services in Snoqualmie Valley

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Farheen Al Mishari started this petition to Snoqualmie Valley School District (Snoqualmie Valley School District)

What do we want to change: Removal of multidisciplinary committee approval of highly capable testing at Snoqualmie Valley School District

This year the district has confirmed in writing to parents that only 30% of nominations were accepted by the multidisciplinary committee, compared to 100% of nominations being accepted in the previous year. This has resulted in 3 times fewer students being tested through nominations year on year.

Why do we want this change?

  1. All students should have equal access to highly capable services
    The need to provide access to all students, means that access to CogAT testing must be available to all on request. The nomination process reinforces “magnet school” process by relying on students’ academic ability not cognitive testing results. This increases school-level bias on what students are taught. For example, Timber Ridge Elementary School will produce different results compared to kids in Opstad Elementary School. It will further create disparity in the student population of the district.
  2. SVSD has confirmed that funding is not an issue for testing
    The interim superintendent has confirmed to parents in writing that funding is not a factor in limiting access to testing.
  3. SVSD nomination process is not clear on what data is used per grade level, clarity is required by Washington State Administrative Code
    The district lists a set of quantitative and qualitative measures but use the term “may” indicating that the committee has unilateral and non-transparent discretion of which data is used. From the SVSD website: “Data reviewed by the committee to determine eligibility may include CogAT, IOWA Math and Reading, STAR Math and Reading, Acadience Reading, WAKids (kindergarten) Inventory of Developing Skills, ELPA/ WIDA Multilingual assessments, NNAT measure of general abilities, SBA state assessment, and Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGs) rating scales.” The district has not explained which data point applied to a student or even at a grade level. It is merely a blanket statement that these data points might be used to deny a child from simply testing.
  4. Nomination process leverages academic data, filtering out students before cognitive ability can be tested uniformly
    SVSD is leveraging CogAT for testing, which is not an academic test, but a cognitive abilities test designed to eliminate academic bias or more simply put eliminate what children “know” from the determination. The nomination process, however, includes the use of academic data. As the nomination process is the first filter, it negates CogAT in practice, since not all students can access CogAT. While the district does blanket testing at kindergarten and second grade, this disadvantages 1st, 3rd and 4th grade students looking to access highly capable services in the district. The current nomination process acts as a filter before they can take CogAT.
  5. Logical fallacy that the nomination process is increases access
    The interim superintendent has stated that this is to increase accurate identification of highly capable students, per an expert review. Denying a cognitive test upfront will reduce access to highly capable services, not increase it. Surely the expert review would have recommended reviewing the entire body of data as part of an appeals process after testing as that would make sense and increase access, but this was not the logical path chosen by the district.
0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!