I want to formally alter my comments about FLES and the fact that nothing has changed since its introduction except the retirement of Drs. Foot, Slobojan and Folts. In fact, something has changed, and it’s my error not to know it.
Anyway — I spent some time on the PDE website — specifically about Annual Yearly progress for the PSSAs. One thing has seriously changed since FLES was introduced — and that is the testing of elementary aged kids on content knowledge by the State. I had no idea that Pennsylvania has undertaken PSSA testing for SCIENCE in the 4th grade. I don’t know about you, but I think science until 7th grade was rock collections, bug collections, and enviromental knowledge.
TREDYFFRIN-EASTTOWN SD Grade 4
All Students # scored 473
% Advanced 68.7
% Proficient 27.5
% Basic 3.2
% Below Basic 0.6
- Below Basic – seldom demonstrates grade-level appropriate concepts/skills for a particular subject/task.
- Basic – at times demonstrates some grade-level appropriate concepts/skills for a particular subject/task.
- Proficient – routinely demonstrates a variety of grade-level appropriate concepts/skills for a particular subject/task.
- Advanced – consistently demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the grade-level appropriate concepts/skills and uses sophisticated strategies to solve a task
NICE DESCRIPTION OF A 9-YEAR old…what??? And they get this in Reading, Math and Writing too through their K-4 experience. Again in 5th grade for some subjects, and 8th and 11th grade to evaluate the districts’ Annual Yearly Progress. We better be comfortable with the tests, because we are absolutely going to have to teach to it. Does ANYONE remember anything that age except “Iowa” achievement tests? (and air raids?)
You can go to the state’s website to see the results and the tests that our kids take…HERE
You should also visit the TE District’s website and read about the elementary curriculum. FLES still shows because it has not officially been cancelled, but reading the curricular objectives, and knowing that the state of PA has learning outcomes mandated by testing….I’m glad I have my college degree and my kids are done. I thought high school was stressful…actually — high school IS stressful. Now I guess I’m learning just how much more we have forced downwards to the elementary program. Just my opinion — but it’s clear there is no time for instruction in a foreign language that would result in meaningful learning because there is simply not enough time.
Thanks Dave. I supported FLES in its original implementation, and would still love to see foreign language taught in elementary schools. But the research no longer supports the instruction unless it’s more of an immersion program — which would require much more curricular time devoted to the language instruction than the state testing mandates permit.
I read both posts and am still not clear on your position. Do you support FLES or support cutting it. I have just found your blog and found some good information so I am interested in understanding your position on this.