Y!News: California tells high school color-coded IDs based on test scores not allowed

6 10 2011

Okay, on what planet did they come up with this idea, and how could they possibly think it would be in any way acceptable? I’ve worked in schools that had a “rewards card” system, which they could use to get special privileges, like discounts in the school store or free admission to events… but it was never anything that was actually worn, or anything that could be used to immediately identify academic performance. – dEV

By Liz Goodwin | The Lookout

Is this the modern-day academic equivalent of the Scarlet Letter?

Kennedy High School in La Palma, California gave out IDs and student planners in three different colors to its students based on how well they performed on state standardized tests. The school distributed black and gold cards to students who scored “advanced” or “proficient” on the tests–distinctions that gave them special privileges and discounts at school events and at some local businesses, reports Scott Martindale at the Orange County Register. Students with white cards–more than half of the 2,400-strong student body–had to stand in a separate cafeteria line at lunch and received no special privileges.

The California Department of Education is now intervening, saying the school’s policy violates a state law that prevents anyone from publicly releasing a student’s standardized test scores. “It’s clear—when you see a white card, that inadvertently identifies a student as low-performing. We really urge them to find another way,” department spokeswoman Tina Woo Jung told the paper.

(Full Story)

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