Sunday, August 16, 2015

We Have A Long Way To Go With Testing, But Where To? | The Jose Vilson

We Have A Long Way To Go With Testing, But Where To? | The Jose Vilson:

We Have A Long Way To Go With Testing, But Where To?



wile-e-coyote-falling-off-cliff


I’m opting out of the latest testing results discussion.
Columbia University professor Aaron Pallas astutely observed that every city and state politician came to their respective podiums with some variation of “We have a long way to go” as part of their statements about the newly released New York State test scores. Considering how virtually useless they are on an instructional level, it’s amazing how much passion in all directions we’ve ascribed to these numbers. The New York Times lamented the opt-out movement in New York State may have rendered the data useless, or at least may have skewed it in one direction or another.
Um, yes. I suppose anything can skew any set of data, man-made or otherwise. Mass opt-outs are another lever by which some parents provide feedback to unresponsive school systems.
To wit, I know of schools (meaning, I looked at the numbers) who changed their whole curricula, from standards to text books, and only increased their test scores by a few percentage points. I know of schools who used their resources better than others, had better funding per student vis-a-vis donations, or simply had better leadership with a vision for how schools ought to work. Everyone tries to make their case for growth with this undercurrent of urgency, not for student learning per se, but to assure that accountability monsters won’t come at their doors.
In this city, as with so many places across the nation, we’ve grown accustomed to educators as litigators. Professionals in such an uncanny wrong way.
The reasons “we have a long way to go” seem so half-baked is that we can have a long way to go on We Have A Long Way To Go With Testing, But Where To? | The Jose Vilson:

Will New York State Flunk Most of the Class of 2022? | deutsch29

Will New York State Flunk Most of the Class of 2022? | deutsch29:

Will New York State Flunk Most of the Class of 2022?




The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the NY Board of Regents are standing firm in their allegiance to the state’s Common-Core-aligned exams.
Sure, there is no proof that passing a Regents exam aligned to Common Core will deliver on the ad nauseam “college and career readiness” Common Core advocates promise. There is also no proof that scoring well on a Regents Common Core exam means little more than mastering taking that exam.
When testing stakes are high, teaching and learning are replaced by concentrated test prep. That is the single direction that test-centric reform is driving public education.
And by the time that New York’s Class of 2022 is ready to graduate, New York public school students had better master those Regents Common Core exams. But mastering the exams is not objective; the state is able to manipulate passing rates based upon its cut-score-to-raw-score determinations.
Until 2022, the Regents Common Core exam cut score is 65, but the raw scores associated with that 65 are in flux, and Regents does not have a handle on the fairness aspect. For the 2015 Regents algebra exam, for example, students with more than 80 percent correct were actually penalized by the Regents scoring scheme. Moreover, a student scoring 35 percent on the Regents algebra exam was credited as scoring that “proficient” 65.
In 2015, the state set the cut scores in order to achieve a particular outcome– to allow a certain percentage of students to pass. They did the same in 2014. They also did the same in 2013. The state calls this “stability of passing rates.”
The state determines the percentages of students passing. This means that the state determines the percentage of students failing. The outcome of Regents exam “proficiency” rates rests with the whimsy of NYSED/Regents.
A 65 is the passing score, but what 65 means in terms of actual raw scores is in constant adjustment and re-adjustment by NYSED/Regents. This means that for the class of 2022, the passing score is to be 75 in English and 80 in math– but the raw scores associated with a 65, or 75, or 80 is not fixed. “Proficiency” air hockey.
Yet there are “gains,” right?
Just dismiss any thought of a meaningful, year-to-year comparison. The state’s ability to predetermine the percentages of students “passing” New York’s Regents Common Core exams (and to alter raw-score-to-cut score conversions) makes any Will New York State Flunk Most of the Class of 2022? | deutsch29:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/16/15


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM





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