MARLBORO -- In an attempt to measure
Marlboro Elementary School's quality without federally mandated exams,
surveys will be sent out to graduates from the past eight years.
A draft of the survey has been written by Marlboro Elementary alumnus
Ariel Poster, who is a sophomore at Barnard College in New York City, a
women's college affiliated with Columbia University. She was hired by the
Marlboro Elementary School Action Plan Committee to evaluate the school's
ability to educate.
"The School Board does not believe that proposed federally mandated
testing is an accurate or useful form of evaluation," Poster wrote.
The effort comes two months after the Marlboro School Board announced
they would say no to federally mandated standardized tests unless they are
"I think that'll gather us some very good information," school board
member Andy Reischman said at Tuesday's meeting.
The draft featured eight questions, but is expected to be expanded,
said Marlboro Elementary Principal Francie Marbury. The draft only asked
positive questions, and negative ones are expected to be added.
It started off in a flattering fashion, reading, "Congratulations, you
are an incredible person! You had the unique opportunity to spend a huge
portion of your childhood learning and growing at Marlboro Elementary
School and the Marlboro community is extremely proud of your
Before anything is sent out, the school needs to come up with a list of
alumni. The school currently has about 77 students.
The tricky part will be finding all the graduates, said board member
Lauren Poster, Ariel's mother. The survey will go to high school students
and graduates old enough to be in college.
In May, the school board announced that the school would no longer
administer any tests which the principal finds void of educational value,
participate in Adequate Yearly Progress as determined by the act, or
forward any information to the Windham Central Supervisory Union that can
be connected to a specific student's name.
The agreement was signed by all three board members, who will also
support staff and administration threatened by legal action.
The school will not be in jeopardy until they refuse to hand out tests.
The state will be forced to act if the school refuses to administer
state-mandated standardized tests.
President Bush signed No Child Left Behind into law in early January
2002. Educators and politicians have criticized the law, saying they agree
with the concept of equal education for everyone, but dislike the
Schools that continue to descend in test scores and don't replace
teachers deemed unqualified risk losing Title I funding. The federal
government pays Title I funds to aid school that meet established poverty
guidelines for their students.
Marlboro Elementary does not have enough students below the poverty
threshold, and therefore; the school does not receive the funding.
The draft said that the surveys are due back at the end of the month,
but it was unclear Tuesday whether that date would be pushed.
A CD-ROM will accompany the survey, with the top 10 reasons the
graduates should fill them out.
Poster, the survey's writer, could not be reached for comment Tuesday
Vermont Education Commissioner Richard Cate was scheduled to meet with
school officials Tuesday evening to discuss the school's decision, but had