Monthly Archives: April 2011

Featured Site: FamilyFirstAid.org

In this featured site: FamilyFirstAid.org review, we wanted to take a look at this website that provides a number of great articles and features geared toward helping parents that have troubled teens dealing with all kinds of teen issues. Any parent of a teen can attest to the fact that there are many different kinds of teen issues to deal with and having the right parenting skills to help struggling teens get through these times can be tough. In our featured site: FamilyFirstAid.org review we will take a look at the kinds of parenting tips and information available at FamilyFirstAid.org. Learn about teen issues that many teens face and the type of help parents can receive to be more prepared to help these struggling teens. Articles are updated on the website regularly and feature current statistics and information for teens and parents about troubled teen issues like underage drinking, drug abuse, sibling rivalry, teen sex and advice for single parenting.

It is vital for parents to have access to articles featuring in-depth information about teen issues all in one place like on our featured site: FamilyFirstAid.org. Having this information is important for parents to have access to the right resources that will help them find solutions in aiding their teen son or daughter with some of the most difficult struggles they will ever face. In our FamilyFirstAid.org review, we learned about all of the articles the website has to offer. This site also offers helpful information on teen depression, anxiety and other emotional issues teens often face. Some of the other topics FamilyFirstAid.org covers include:

  • Teen depression
  • Stress and anxiety
  • School bullying
  • Self Esteem
  • Weight issues
  • Teen anger
  • Sexual activity
  • Teen violence
  • Underage drinking
  • Drug abuse

Many parents of teens have experienced what it is like to lose control of their teen and face issues with rebellious teens. Some teens end up acting out in extreme behaviors like by doing or selling drugs, problems with promiscuity and frequent underage drinking. When it gets to this level, parents may need help from an outside source. Our featured site: FamilyFirstAid.org also offers articles about various solutions to this level of problem including information about treatment centers, behavior modification programs and more. These articles provide parents with the information they need to properly research these types of assistance programs and find the best program for their teen.

If the problems your troubled teen is encountering has to do with drugs or alcohol abuse, you may learn that some programs require a detoxification process first. Learning about these treatment programs can help you find out exactly what is required and where you can find help for your teen. The FamilyFirstAid.org website is a great tool and resource for parents to get some of the best parenting tips as well as information about programs for teens. These regularly updated articles provide great assistance to any parent in need of help with their teen.

Standardized Tests

Standardized tests in American schools has been a controversial issue among federal regulators, school administration, teachers, parents and students for years. The debate continues to escalate as standardized testing becomes more and more rigorous with the passing of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

What are standardized tests?
Standardized tests are implemented in the public school system as a way to present unbiased results of student progress based on what is being taught in the school curriculum. Many standardized tests are used to determine the overall school or class progress like with Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports. Tests like these help determine the standards set by the NCLB act. There are also forms of standardized tests that are simply to track individual student improvement and are used in-school purposes to maybe determine a student’s grade or to see how well the teacher implements the standards required by the state-set curriculum.

Many standardized tests are used to test the student achievement gap to see how students of particular races, classes or educational backgrounds compare against one another. Standardized tests like these help teachers and educational experts determine where the focus of attention needs to shift in order for all students to learn the required material. The majority of required standardized testing is used to judge the progress of students, classes and schools overall, but to also determine student’s individual scores to see how that student is preparing for advancement in education. These tests help demonstrate the students who may need additional help or tutoring in order to catch up on the required material.

The standardized tests debate
Many agree with standardized testing in schools for several reasons:

  • Standardized tests demonstrate an overall method of achievement for classes and schools.
  • Standardized tests show the achievement gap for groups of students to help teachers and administration determine the students who need additional one-on-one attention in schooling to keep up with the learning curve of their peers.
  • Standardized tests help students relearn and recap the information they have previously been taught during the school year.

However, there are many disagreeing points when it comes to standardized tests:

  • These tests are designed to be unbiased, yet studies have shown they reveal a bias toward the middle-class white background.
  • Standardized tests do not represent a true sampling of how children learn. Many students who achieve good grades on regular assignments and tests do not perform well on standardized tests.
  • In order to keep up with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, some school administrators have been found to lower the goal set for the AYP testing to ensure the goals are met each year. However, this practice merely indicates low goal setting and not true academic achievement.

Sources: washingtonpost.com, fairtest.org, centerforpubliceducation.org

No Child Left Behind Summary

For the past 10 years, The No Child Left Behind Act instituted by the federal government during the George W. Bush presidency. It is has been a controversial piece of legislation and continues to remain a debatable effort toward improving the educational efforts in public schools in America. The No Child Left Behind Act requires that specific efforts be taken in educating America’s youth.

These standards include:

  • Accountability for schools
  • Adequate yearly progress
  • Getting results
  • Closing the achievement gap
While many feel the No Child Left Behind Act is too regulatory without allowances, especially for children with disabilities and of a different nationality, there are many positive aspects to the educational advancement provided with No Child Left Behind. Many states are seeing improvements in overall test scores and student performance.

Accountability for schools
The No Child Left Behind accountability measures require states to set high standards and establish measurable goals to help improve the results of education in public schools. If these standards are not met, repercussions for the school are the result.

Adequate Yearly Progress
Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP reports are given to each school annually to determine each school’s fifth grades level of success based on end of year standardized test scores. If the fifth grade students within the school fail to reach these standards for one year or more, there are consequences and a series of steps that must be taken and may have results such as replacing of teachers or administration members. Each year of consecutive failure can result in more and more severe action.

Getting results
Like the previously mentioned categories, overall test results must be improving each year to ensure a successfully ran school under NCLB. Since the installation of the NCLB act, there has been improvements in reading, math and sciences throughout the country.

Closing the achievement gap
One aspect of NCLB educational development is to ensure that there is not a gap between those of minority races, white students as well as lower class and upper class. The idea is to narrow these class and racial gaps between students by giving all students the same standards to uphold. NCLB requires schools and districts to focus the attention on the students who need the most help and improvement, which often ends up being students of minority races or of a lower socioeconomic class.

The future of No Child Left Behind
Recently U.S. President Barack Obama has announced future changes to the NCLB legislation. The new plan is to focus more on making sure students are ready for college and the workplace that recognize student growth and overall goals toward school progress. Many felt like the previous concept behind NCLB resulted in too many schools setting extremely low standards for its students to ensure the NCLB testing objectives were being met. The new idea is to reward successes rather than low set goals.

Sources: http://www2.ed.gov