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Adult education teacher Rachael Rossi writes article for textbook

Fri, Apr 28th 2017 03:55 pm

Orleans/Niagara BOCES adult education teacher Rachael Rossi, Ph.D., recently contributed to the textbook, "Confronting Oppressive Assessments."

The book is an anthology of perspectives regarding the current testing reforms and has chapters written by researchers, teachers, administrators, superintendents, parents, board members and college professors. Specifically, it addresses how standardized testing stifles creativity in the classroom.

Rossi's chapter is about what causes students to drop out of school. She points to the fact they are bored and have no connection to the school environment, and they do not see the real life application of school.

She also discusses how high school equivalency assessments are becoming increasingly rigorous, so a student's second chance at achieving a diploma dwindles with each new iteration of the test.

"Our schools are now little test-prep factories, because so much of what we measure a school's or even a teacher's performance is dependent on test scores. Meanwhile, I am on other side of the problem and working with high school dropouts who left, because they were bored and didn't get credit for classes that they took, because they did not pass the exams," she said.

"I was really excited when I was asked to be part of the book," Rossi explained. "I think that too often the high school dropout population is sort of overlooked in educational reference materials. At the time of the 2010 census, there were 39 million U.S. adults (age 16 and older) who did not have a high school diploma or its equivalent and were not enrolled in school. That is over 10 percent of the population. I think fewer students would dropout if they had more authentic learning opportunities. I spent a lot of time researching to back this up and it was a real honor to be asked to contribute."

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