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Mayor Scott Lang Launches Sharp Criticisms of PARCC

"Mayor Scott Lang of New Bedford launches sharp criticisms of PARCC and Commissioner Mitchell Chester: "We know what a standardized test is, but I don't know what a standardized kid is. PARCC is forcing us to forfeit teaching citizenship, phys ed, history, and other subjects. Commissioner Chester miscalculates the problem of the unfunded liability, when kids fall off the school system and become wards of society."...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omiC6zDJvKE&amp

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"This collection has been gathered to raise awareness about concerns related to high-stakes standardized tests and related assessments. The collection serves as a research tool to organize online content. There is a grey funnel shaped icon at the top right corner of the screen (in desktop view mode) where one can enter keyword searches of content (such as PARCC, SBAC, Smarter Balanced, CAASPP, SAT, Pearson, validity, etc.).  Readers are encouraged to explore related links within each post for additional information. Views provided here are for information only and do not necessarily constitute an official position of the curator nor her employer. For more updates, see Educator Resources tab at http://EduResearcher.com [Links to external site].
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Educational Polices and Youth in the 21st Century: Problems, Potential, and Progress // Edited by Sharon Nichols 

Educational Polices and Youth in the 21st Century: Problems, Potential, and Progress // Edited by Sharon Nichols  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

Educational Policies and Youth in the 21st Century // Edited by Sharon L. Nichols, University of Texas at San Antonio]

 

Published 2016

"As our student population diversifies rapidly, there is a critical need to better understand how national, regional, and/or local policies impact youth in school settings. In many cases, educational policies constructed with the goal of helping youth often have the unintended consequence of inhibiting youth’s potential. This is especially the case when it comes to youth from historically underrepresented groups. Over and over, educational legislation aimed at improving life for youth has had the negative effect of eroding opportunities for our most vulnerable and often times less visible youth.

The authors of this book examine the schooling experiences of Hispanic, African American, Indigenous, poor, and LGBT youth groups as a way to spotlight the marginalizing and shortsighted effects of national education language, immigration, and school reform policies. Leading authors from across the country highlight how educational policies impact youth’s development and socialization in school contexts. In most cases, policies are constructed by adults, implemented by adults, but are rarely informed by the needs and opinions of youth. Not only are youth not consulted but also policymakers often neglect what we know about the psychological, emotional, and educational health of youth. Therefore, both the short and long term impact of these policies have but limited effects on improving students’ school performance or personal health issues such as depression or suicide.

In highlighting the demographic and cultural shifts of the 21st century, this book provides a compelling case for policymakers and their constituents to become more sensitive to the diverse needs of our changing student population and to advocate for policies that better serve them.

 

CONTENTS
Preface. Acknowledgments.
PART I: CHARACTERISTICS AND EXPERIENCES OF 21ST CENTURY YOUTH.
Educational Policy and Latin@ Youth in the 21st Century, P. Zitlali Morales, Tina M. Trujillo, and René Espinoza Kissell.

The Languaging Practices and Counternarrative Production of Black Youth, Carlotta Penn, Valerie Kinloch, and Tanja Burkhard.

Undocumented Youth, Agency, and Power: The Tension Between Policy and Praxis, Leticia Alvarez Gutiérrez and Patricia D. Quijada.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Education: Making Schools Safe for All Students, Charlotte J. Patterson, Bernadette V. Blanchfield, and Rachel G. Riskind.

Youths of Poverty, Bruce J. Biddle.

PART II: PROMINENT EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AFFECTING YOUTH.

Language Education Policies and Latino Youth, Francesca López. The Impact of Immigration Policy on Education, Sandra A. Alvear and Ruth N. López Turley.


Mismatched Assumptions: Motivation, Grit, and High‐Stakes Testing, Julian Vasquez Heilig, Roxana Marachi, and Diana E. Cruz.

PART III: IMPLICATIONS FOR BETTER POLICY DEVELOPMENT FOR 21ST CENTURY YOUTH.
Searching Beyond Success and Standards for What Will Matter in the 21st Century, Luke Reynolds.

New Policies for the 21st Century, Sharon L. Nichols and Nicole Svenkerud‐Hale.
Social Policies and the Motivational Struggles of Youth: Some Closing Comments, Mary McCaslin."

 

http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Educational-Policies-and-Youth-in-the-21st-Century 

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Unpacking College & Career Readiness [SBAC / Smarter Balanced] Metrics: Do They "Level the Playing Field"? Or Create [More] Systemic Barriers to Educational Access? // Presented at NAACP/ESSA Civil...

To download presentation, click on title or arrow above. 

 

For more, see: 

Over 100 Education Researchers Sign Statement Calling for Moratorium on High-Stakes Testing, SBAC // California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education 

https://eduresearcher.com/2016/03/16/sbac-moratorium/ 

 

See also:

Critical Questions about Computerized Assessments and Smarter Balanced Test Scores https://eduresearcher.com/2015/07/06/critical-questions-computerized-testing-sbac/ 

 

Open Letter to the California State Board of Education on Release of [False] SBAC Scores

https://eduresearcher.com/2015/09/08/openletter/ 

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PARCC Pushback Prompts Illinois To Remake Controversial Test For 3rd-8th Graders // Chicago Tribune

PARCC Pushback Prompts Illinois To Remake Controversial Test For 3rd-8th Graders // Chicago Tribune | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-no-more-parcc-20180207-story.html 

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Thousands of Tests Scored Incorrectly in Tennessee // EdWeek

Thousands of Tests Scored Incorrectly in Tennessee // EdWeek | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

"Nearly 10,000 tests were scored incorrectly in Tennessee, marking the second time in the last few years that the state has had major problems with its standardized assessment.

According to the Commercial Appeal, 9,400 of the 600,000 TNReady tests given in 2016-17 were scored incorrectly. About 1,700 of those mistakes affected whether students were deemed proficient on the test, the newspaper reports.

State department of education spokeswoman Sara Gast said the errors don't affect statewide results. They occurred because Questar, the company that administers and scores the test, didn't update its scanning software, the Commercial Appeal reports. Questar has now rescored all the incorrectly scored exams, Gast said.


The mistakes affected 70 schools in 33 districts, Chalkbeat Tennessee reports.

 

"I don't think they can write it off and say it was just a few students," Shelby County Schools board member Chris Caldwell told Chalkbeat. "They owe it to every student to get to the bottom of it and correct anything that needs to be corrected."

The mistake also affects teachers, since student test scores factor into their evaluations, Chalkbeat reports. The Tennessee Education Association issued a statement saying it would be looking into testing mistakes it's heard about from teachers, from mistakes in the instruction booklets to "huge shifts" in the state's projections for teacher evaluations.

"This makes the fourth year in a row where major problems have surfaced in a system where there are a lot of high-stakes consequences for students, teachers, and schools based on test scores," TEA spokesman Jim Wrye said. "How do we know this is the full extent of the problem?"

 

In its own statement, Questar apologized for the error.

The company "takes responsibility for and apologizes for this scoring error," Chief Operating Officer Brad Baumgartner said. "We are putting in additional steps in our processes to prevent any future occurrence. We are in the process of producing revised reports and committed to doing so as quickly as possible."

Tennessee had trouble with TNReady with a previous vendor, also. It fired Measurement Inc. after that company botched spring 2016 testing. The state hired Questar on a two-year contract last summer."...

 

For full post, see:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/high_school_and_beyond/2017/10/thousands_of_tests_scored_incorrectly_in_tennessee.html 

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Mississippi Fires [Pearson] Testing Firm After Exams Wrongly Scored

Mississippi Fires [Pearson] Testing Firm After Exams Wrongly Scored | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Jeff Amy

JACKSON, Miss. (AP)

"The Mississippi Department of Education is firing a testing company, saying scoring errors raise questions about the graduation status of nearly 1,000 students statewide.

The state Board of Education revoked a contract with NCS Pearson in closed session Friday, after the Pearson PLC unit told officials it used the wrong table to score U.S. history exams for students on track to graduate this spring. Students who did poorly got overly high scores, while those who did better didn’t get enough credit.

 
Associate Superintendent Paula Vanderford says it’s too soon to know how many students may have graduated or been denied diplomas in error, or what the state will do about either circumstance.

Pearson spokeswoman Laura Howe apologized on behalf of the company and said Pearson is working to correct the scores.

 

“We are disappointed by today’s board decision but stand ready to assist the state in any way possible,” she wrote in an email.

 

Students typically study U.S. history in their third year in high school, and take the subject test that spring. Students who score poorly, though, can take the test up to three more times as a senior. The 951 students in questions were either seniors, or juniors scheduled to graduate early, and needed their scores to earn diplomas.

 

The answers about graduating students will be tricky because students have different options to graduate. Formerly, every student had to pass each of Mississippi’s four subject tests in biology, history, algebra and English to earn a high school diploma. Now, students can fail a test and still graduate if class grades are high enough, they score well enough on other subject tests, they score above 17 on part of the ACT college test, or earn a C or better in a college class.

 

Eventually, the tests will count for 25 percent of the grades in each subject.

 

About 27,000 students took the test overall. Vanderford said scores for each one will have to be verified. The exam scores also affect the grades that Mississippi gives to public schools and districts.

 

“The agency is committed to ensuring that the data is correct,” she said.

 

Vanderford said Pearson has had other problems with its Mississippi tests. In 2012, a scoring error on the high school biology exam wrongly denied diplomas to five students. Pearson compensated them with $50,000 scholarships to any Mississippi university. Another 116 student who were affected less severely got $10,000 or $1,000 scholarships. In 2015, Pearson paid the state $250,000 after its online testing platform crashed for a day.

 
Pearson had a contract worth a projected $24 million over the next six years to provide tests for history, high school biology, 5th grade science and 8th grade science. The board hired Minnesota-based Questar Assessment to administer all those tests for one year for $2.2 million.
 
Questar, which is being bought by nonprofit testing giant ETS, already runs all of Mississippi’s language arts and math tests. Because Mississippi owns the questions to the history and science tests, Vanderford said it will be possible for Questar to administer those exams on short notice. The state will seek a contractor to give those tests on a long-term basis in coming months."

 

For main story, please see: 

https://apnews.com/115d48fe350843d6baa60bc277fd1bc8 

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Computer Problems Delaying English Tests Across New York // Democrat and Chronicle 

Computer Problems Delaying English Tests Across New York // Democrat and Chronicle  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau Chief

 

"Albany -- The company administering state tests Wednesday may be the one getting the bad grades from schools. Questar Assessment Inc., which provides computer-based testing to New York schools, failed in its ability to get the exams to nearly 300 districts on Wednesday — the first day of English exams in grades 3-8.

 

"Questar has been working to resolve this as quickly as possible," the state Education Department said in a statement. "We have been in constant contact with schools and reminded them that there is flexibility built into the test schedule."

 

More than 1 million students are eligible to take the English exams that were initially developed under the Common Core standards. And more districts than ever were hoping to use computer-based testing instead of paper exams.

 

Last year, 184 districts had signed up to offer computer tests. Some of the computer testing started Tuesday in select districts, but when the tests went more widespread Wednesday, the site appeared to crash.

 

The state Education Department stressed that districts have flexibility in giving the exams.

 

"At their discretion, schools are able to postpone this morning’s testing and resume testing later today or on another day," the department said."

 

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/politics/albany/2018/04/11/computer-problems-delay-english-tests-across-new-york/507479002/ 

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A Historical Overview of Corporate Influences on Education Policy in the United States from 1983 to 2010 // T. Jacobson Dissertation 

http://librarydb.saintpeters.edu:8080/bitstream/123456789/201/1/T.Jacobson_DissertationFinal_09.15.15.pdf 

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Between A Rock and a Hard Place With College Board and SAT: College Board Says It Allows Subcontractors to Access Personal IEP and 504 Disability data // Missouri Education Watchdog 

Between A Rock and a Hard Place With College Board and SAT: College Board Says It Allows Subcontractors to Access Personal IEP and 504 Disability data // Missouri Education Watchdog  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Cher Keisecker

Sunday, January 28 is International Privacy Day. Please, when you think of privacy, remember that in today’s high-tech classrooms,  K-12 students are a captive audience, in a state of nearly constant surveillance and ever increasing data collection. Student data does not stay in the classroom. Parents cannot opt out of the data collection and many worry about the lack of privacy and security with student data and parents worry how this data could be used to profile studentsThe College Board, owners of the SAT college entrance assessment, just added to this concern.

 

The new SAT is 100% Common Core aligned and Colorado, like other states, mandates the SAT assessments.  Colorado students must take the PSAT in grades 9, 10 and SAT in grade 11. 

Parents of high school students with disabilities recently received this letter from their child’s school, saying the College Board must have access to their child’s disability records without limitation and if needed, any additional or supplemental data requested to verify that the student needs accommodations when taking the SAT test in Colorado this Spring. 

 

The College Board letter also lists subcontracted corporations who will have access to the students’ disability records (see this list below).

With this demand for extremely sensitive data, to be disclosed to subcontractors, the state of Colorado and the College Board have put parents between a rock and a hard place.

Parents feel like they are held hostage.  (We know students’ disability records have a high monetary value. We also know that HIPPA does not protect student records.  Have you ever seen a student’s 504 medical file or IEP file?  These files can contain diagnoses, very personal mental and/or medical health information, information on student and family background, behaviors, attitudes and beliefs.)

Is it ethical that a parent must choose between their child having accommodations and a fair shot on these high-stakes mandated tests, or protecting their child’s privacy knowing that their disability records will be shared with the College Board and accessed by outside corporations: Pearson, Conduent Inc. (formerly Xerox), ETS, and Alorica Inc

Should states like Colorado require that parents grant the College Board and subcontractors access to very sensitive documents about their children? Why do these subcontracted companies doing support work need access to disability data? Why does Pearson need access to the Student Data Questionnaire, when Pearson is only scoring answer sheets?  

 

Of course we understand the need to verify that the child does have an IEP or 504 plan and does require specific accommodations, but instead of giving companies access to this information,couldn’t the student’s disability status be verified by the school principal or even district or state school board by checking the records and telling College Board, “Yes, these accommodations have been verified.”?

Is requiring this sensitive data sharing a violation of FERPA?

We know that the College Board also sells licenses to student data.  Keep in mind that the subcontractors that the College Board listed in the accommodation letter do not include the thousands of entities that College Board licenses access to student data.

I sent letters (like the one posted below) to the Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Board of Education, my School District.  I also sent a similar letter to the College Board saying,  “In light of the Agora USDoE FERPA decision, and Colorado HB16-1423, will the College Board please provide the terms of service and data sharing policies of each subcontractor listed in the accommodation request letter?”  

 

Side note:  If you aren’t familiar with The US Department of Education’s recent decision regarding FERPA rights and schools not allowing students to opt out of data sharing, see the Agora letter here. It was first brought to my attention when Attorney Elena Zeide posted this tweet:

 

"An unprecedented letter from @usedgov re: #studentprivacy finding school violated #FERPA by not giving students the ability to opt-out of #edtech. Great proactive & specific guidance frm Priv. Tech Assistance Ctr http://bit.ly/2mQPcWB  I will write more on implications ltr today"

 

Parents in other states should be paying attention, asking questions.  The College Board had to comply with Colorado’s new student data transparency law, in telling us who they share data with.  Parents should ask if the College Board has similar data sharing policies in every state. 

 

Please check back, updates will be posted on this blog.  

 

"From: Cheri Kiesecker

Date: Tue, Jan 23, 2018
Subject: RE: College Board student disability verification/consent

Dear Colorado Board of Education, Colorado Department of Education, and XX School District,

You may remember that Colorado students with disabilities received this overly broad request for the child’s school records and any other documents the school may have… in order for the College Board SAT /PSAT to honor student accommodations. https://www.collegeboard.org/pdf/ssd/ssd-consent-form-accommodations.pdf

Knowing the College Board sells licenses to student data and wondering what disability data the College Board might have access to and share, I contacted the CO Dept of Ed and College Board with my concerns; CDE agreed the data request letter needed to be updated. See the modified/ updated CB accommodations request letter for Colorado students attached. 

 

The updated accommodations request form still gives the College Board access to broad “additional” requested and supplemental documents. If a parent wants their child’s accommodations (ie: extended time) to be honored when taking SAT or PSAT (or AP, NMSQT), you will see that several organizations (Pearson, Xerox, ETS, and Alorica) can have access to the child’s personal disability information. Keep in mind that these subcontractors listed do not include the thousands of entities that College Board licenses access to student pii data.

 

My concern remains. How can we accommodate special need students without granting College Board and third parties access to all /any sensitive records?

Why do these subcontractors need access to “SSD Online including the required and supplemental student data listed above” when they are providing only support services ? Why does Pearson need access to a child’s Student Data Questionnaire …if Pearson is only providing “operational activities” such as grading and scanning answer sheets?

Why must special needs students who require accommodations forfeit their privacy, in order to have necessary accommodations on this state mandated test?

Can’t districts or CDE step in and verify accommodation needs rather than supplying companies this very sensitive information?

Thank you for any help you can offer.
Best,
Cheri Kiesecker, parent"...

 

For original post, see:

http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-with-college-board-and-sat/ 

 

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California's Standardized Test Score Results Delayed Indefinitely Due To 'Data Issue' // Los Angeles Times

California's Standardized Test Score Results Delayed Indefinitely Due To 'Data Issue' // Los Angeles Times | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Joy Resmovits

"The California Department of Education is delaying the release of state standardized test scores.  The Department was preparing to release the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress early next week, on Aug. 29. 

 

But on Friday, department spokesman Bill Ainsworth said the release was delayed indefinitely. "Release of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test results for 2017 will be postponed to address a recently identified data issue," he said in an email.  This will mark the third consecutive year of results for the test, which is aligned to the Common Core standards."...

_________

 

For more on Smarter Balanced 'data issues', cut/paste URL below into a web browser:

http://www.scoop.it/t/testing-testing?q=Smarter+Balanced  

 
For original post on LA Times see:

http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-essential-education-updates-southern-california-s-standardized-test-score-1503703716-htmlstory.html   

 

 

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Some Long Island Students Given Wrong Common Core Exam // NewsDay 

Some Long Island Students Given Wrong Common Core Exam // NewsDay  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

"Sixty-four third-graders — including 12 from Long Island — were erroneously given exams meant for fourth-graders on the first day of computer-based English Language Arts"

 

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/some-li-third-graders-given-wrong-common-core-exam-1.13325036 

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Nevada Accepts $1.8M Settlement Over [SBAC] Student Testing Program // Review Journal 

Nevada Accepts $1.8M Settlement Over [SBAC] Student Testing Program // Review Journal  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it
By Sean Whaley // Las Vegas Review-Journal Capital Bureau. [Photo credit: Jeff Scheid, Las Vegas Review Journal]

"CARSON CITY — A state panel on Tuesday approved a $1.8 million settlement in favor of the Nevada Department of Education over a botched student testing program.


The settlement with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a part of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, follows a $1.3 million settlement reached last year with Measured Progress Inc. The Smarter Balanced part of the contract involved providing test content and the platform to provide the testing.

The settlements will allow Nevada to avoid litigation over the failed testing system that prevented thousands of Nevada students in grades three through eight from taking federally mandated assessments under new Common Core standards in the spring of 2015.

The Board of Examiners, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, approved the Smarter Balanced settlement, which is composed of several parts, including goods and services from the organization worth nearly $1 million. Another $100,000 is being spent by the organization to hire a firm to assess the validity of the 2015 criterion-referenced test scores.

 

The 2016 testing effort was accomplished with no major glitches, said Greg Bortolin, public information officer for the state Department of Education.

“In light of what happened in the previous year this was really good news,” he said.

Only 30 percent of the roughly 214,000 students expected to take the online tests in 2015 successfully completed the assessments because the system repeatedly crashed and many students were unable to log into the testing server. School officials eventually gave up.

Sandoval acknowledged the good news this year, but noted that the 2015 effort was a disaster that almost put the state’s federal funding at risk.

The settlements also show clearly that the two entities were responsible for the failures in 2015, he said.

 

“The people who got hurt were the kids,” Sandoval said."...

 

For full post, click on title above or here: 
http://m.reviewjournal.com/news/education/nevada-accepts-18m-settlement-over-student-testing-program 

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How The SAT and PSAT Collect Personal Data On Students — and What The College Board Does With It // Washington Post 

How The SAT and PSAT Collect Personal Data On Students — and What The College Board Does With It // Washington Post  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Valerie Strauss
"If your child takes the SAT or PSAT, is his or her personal information being collected, profiled, licensed and sold?

 

That is the question that Cheri Kiesecker, Colorado parent and member of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, asks and attempts to answer in the following important post. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy is a national alliance of parents and advocates defending the rights of parents and students to protect their data.

 

The SAT has traditionally been used as a college entrance exam but it, and the ACT, also a college entrance exam, are increasingly being used as high school tests. In fact, 25 states now require that high school students take them for school accountability purposes, Education Week reported here.

 

The protection of personal data is in the news with the recent passage by Congress of legislation that eliminates landmark online privacy protections established by the Obama administration. It removes limits that had been placed on Internet service providers —  such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon — on how they can use data they collect on their customers, including browsing habits and Social Security numbers. Privacy advocates are especially concerned with how this will affect young people."..

 

 

For full post, see: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/03/30/how-the-sat-and-psat-collect-personal-data-on-students-and-what-the-college-board-does-with-it/?utm_term=.6ac82597d1af 

 

[Image adapted from Janneke Staaks v Creative Commons Flickr]

 

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Technical Glitches Plague Computer-Based Standardized Tests Nationwide // Washington Post

Technical Glitches Plague Computer-Based Standardized Tests Nationwide // Washington Post | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Emma Brown

"As most states have moved to new standardized tests based on the Common Core during the past two years, many also have switched from administering those tests the old-fashioned way — with paper and No. 2 pencils — to delivering them online using computers, laptops and tablets.

 

The transition aims to harness the power of technology to move beyond simplistic multiple-choice questions, using interactive questions and adaptive techniques to measure students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

 

But the shift to computer-based testing has been riddled with technical glitches that have spanned many testing companies and states, including those that have adopted Common Core and those using other new academic standards.

 

Stressed-out students have found they sometimes can’t log on to their exams or are left to panic when their answers suddenly disappear. Frustrated teachers have had to come up with last-minute lesson plans when testing fails. Some school systems — and even entire states — have had to abandon testing altogether because of Internet hiccups thousands of miles away."....

 

For full post, click on title above or here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/technical-glitches-plague-computer-based-standardized-tests-nationwide/2016/04/13/21178c7e-019c-11e6-9203-7b8670959b88_story.html 

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'Deliberate Cyberattack' Delays Online Assessments In Five States

'Deliberate Cyberattack' Delays Online Assessments In Five States | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

https://edscoop.com/deliberate-cyberattack-delays-online-assessments-in-five-states  

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Over 100 Education Researchers Sign Statement Calling for Moratorium on High-Stakes Testing, SBAC // California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education

Over 100 Education Researchers Sign Statement Calling for Moratorium on High-Stakes Testing, SBAC // California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

"The California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education recently released a research brief documenting concerns and recommendations related to the Common Core State Standards Assessments in California (also referred to as the CAASPP, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress or “SBAC” which refers to the “Smarter Balanced” Assessment Consortium).  A two-page synopsis as well as the full CARE-ED research brief may be downloaded from the main http://care-ed.org website.  The following is an introduction:

“Here in California, public schools are gearing up for another round of heavy testing this spring, including another round of Common Core State Standards assessments. In this research brief, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education (CARE-ED), a statewide collaborative of university-based education researchers, analyzes the research basis for the assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that have come to California. We provide historical background on the CCSS and the assessments that have accompanied them, as well as evidence of the negative impacts of high-stakes testing. We focus on the current implementation of CCSS assessments in California, and present several concerns. Finally, we offer several research-based recommendations for moving towards meaningful assessment in California’s public schools.

Highlights of the research brief are available for download here.
The complete research brief on CCSS Assessments is available for download here.”

Background from the 2 page overview includes the following summary of concerns:

  • “The assessments have been carefully examined by independent examiners of the test content who concluded that they lack validity, reliability, and fairness, and should not be administered, much less be considered a basis for high-stakes decision making.
  • Nonetheless, CA has moved forward in full force. In spring 2015, 3.2 million students in California (grades 3-8 and 11) took the new, computerized Math and English Language Arts/Literacy CAASPP tests (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress). Scores were released to the public in September 2015, and as many predicted, a majority of students failed.
  • Although proponents argue that the CCSS promotes critical thinking skills and student-centered learning (instead of rote learning), research demonstrates that imposed standards, when linked with high-stakes testing, not only de-professionalizes teaching and narrows the curriculum, but in so doing, also reduces the quality of education and student learning, engagement, and success.
  • The implementation of the CCSS assessments raises at least four additional concerns of equity and access. First, the cost of implementing the CCSS assessments is high and unwarranted, diverting hundreds of millions of dollars from other areas of need. Second, the technology and materials needed for CCSS assessments require high and unwarranted costs, and California is not well-equipped to implement the tests. Third, the technology requirements raise concerns not only about cost, but also about access. Fourth, the CCSS assessments have not provided for adequate accommodations for students with disabilities and English Language learners, or for adequate communication about such accommodations to teachers.”…

And the following quote captures a culminating statement:


“…We support the public call for a moratorium on high-stakes testing broadly, and in 
particular, on the use of scientifically discredited assessment instruments (like the current SBAC, PARCC, and Pearson instruments) and on faulty methods of analysis (like value-added modeling of test scores for high-stakes decision making).”…

For the full research brief, including guiding questions and recommendations, please see: http://www.care-ed.org

As of February 2, 2016, the following university-based researchers in California have endorsed the statement.
University affiliations are provided for identification purposes only.

Al Schademan, Associate Professor, California State University, Chico
Alberto Ochoa, Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University
Allison Mattheis, Assistant Professor, California State University, Los Angeles
Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Professor, San Francisco State University
Amy Millikan, Director of Clinical Education, San Francisco Teacher Residency
Anaida Colon-Muniz, Associate Professor, Chapman University
Ann Berlak, Retired lecturer, San Francisco State University
Ann Schulte, Professor, California State University, Chico
Annamarie Francois, Executive Director, University of California, Los Angeles
Annie Adamian, Lecturer, California State University, Chico
Anthony Villa, Researcher, Stanford University
Antonia Darder, Leavey Endowed Chair, Loyola Marymount University
Arnold Danzig, Professor, San José State University
Arturo Cortez, Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco
Barbara Henderson, Professor, San Francisco State University
Betina Hsieh, Assistant Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Brian Garcia-O’Leary, Teacher, California State University, San Bernardino
Bryan K Hickman, Faculty, Salano Community College
Christine Sleeter, Professor Emerita, California State University, Monterey Bay
Christine Yeh, Professor, University of San Francisco
Christopher Sindt, Dean, Saint Mary’s College of California
Cindy Cruz, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
Cinzia Forasiepi, Lecturer, Sonoma State University
Cristian Aquino-Sterling, Assistant Professor, San Diego State University
Danny C. Martinez, Assistant Professor, Universityof California, Davis
Darby Price, Instructor, Peralta Community College District
David Donahue, Professor, University of San Francisco
David Low, Assistant Professor, California State University, Fresno
David Stronck, Professor Emeritus, California State University, East Bay
Elena Flores, Associate Dean and Professor, University of San Francisco
Elisa Salasin, Program Director, University of California, Berkeley
Emma Fuentes, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Estela Zarate, Associate Professor, California State University, Fullerton
Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
George Lipsitz, Professor University of California, Santa Barbara
Gerri McNenny, Associate Professor, Chapman University
Heidi Stevenson, Associate Professor, University of the Pacific
Helen Maniates, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
Cynthia McDermott, Chair, Antioch University
Jacquelyn V Reza, Adjunct Faculty, University of San Francisco
Jason Wozniak, Lecturer, San José State University
Jolynn Asato, Assistant Professor, San José State University
Josephine Arce, Professor and Department Chair, San Francisco State University
Judy Pace, Professor, University of San Francisco
Julie Nicholson, Associate Professor of Practice, Mills College
Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, Professor, San Diego State University
Karen Grady, Professor, Sonoma State University
Kathryn Strom, Assistant Professor, California State University, East Bay
Kathy Howard, Associate Professor, California State University, San Bernardino
Kathy Schultz, Dean and Professor, Mills College
Katya Aguilar, Associate Professor, San José State University
Kevin Kumashiro, Dean and Professor, University of San Francisco
Kevin Oh, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Kimberly Mayfield, Chair, Holy Names University
Kitty Kelly Epstein, Doctoral Faculty, Fielding Graduate University
Lance T. McCready, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Lettie Ramirez, Professor, California State University, East Bay
Linda Bynoe, Professor Emerita, California State University, Monterey Bay
Maren Aukerman, Assistant Professor, Stanford University
Margaret Grogan, Dean and Professor, Chapman University
Margaret Harris, Lecturer, California State University, East Bay
Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor Emerita, San Francisco State University
Maria Sudduth, Professor Emerita, California State University, Chico
Marisol Ruiz, Assistant Professor, Humboldt State University
Mark Scanlon-Greene, Mentoring Faculty, Fielding Graduate University
Michael Flores, Professor, Cypress College
Michael J. Dumas, Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Miguel López, Associate Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay
Miguel Zavala, Associate Professor, Chapman University
Mónica G. García, Assistant Professor, California State University, Northridge
Monisha Bajaj, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Nathan Alexander, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
Nick Henning, Associate Professor, California State University, Fullerton
Nikola Hobbel, Professor, Humboldt State University
Noah Asher Golden, Assistant Professor, Chapman University
Noah Borrero, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Noni M. Reis, Professor, San José State University
Patricia Busk, Professor, University of San Francisco
Patricia D. Quijada, Associate Professor, University of California, Davis
Patty Whang, Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay
Paula Selvester, Professor, California State University, Chico
Pedro Nava, Assistant Professor, Mills College
Pedro Noguera, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Penny S. Bryan, Professor, Chapman University
Peter McLaren, Distinguished Professor, Chapman University
Rebeca Burciaga, Assistant Professor, San José State University
Rebecca Justeson, Associate Professor, California State University, Chico
Rick Ayers, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
Rita Kohli, Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside
Roberta Ahlquist, Professor, San José State University
Rosemary Henze, Professor, San José State University
Roxana Marachi, Associate Professor, San José State University
Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath, Adjunct Professor, San Francisco State University
Scot Danforth, Professor, Chapman University
Sera Hernandez, Assistant Professor, San Diego State University
Shabnam Koirala-Azad, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Sharon Chun Wetterau, Asst Field Director & Lecturer, CSU Dominguez Hills
Sumer Seiki, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
Suresh Appavoo, Associate Professor, Dominican University of California
Susan Roberta Katz, Professor, University of San Francisco
Susan Warren, Director and Professor, Azusa Pacific University
Suzanne SooHoo, Professor, Chapman University
Teresa McCarty, GF Kneller Chair, University of California, Los Angeles
Terry Lenihan, Associate Professor and Director, Loyola Marymount University
Theresa Montano, Professor, California State University, Northridge
Thomas Nelson, Doctoral Program Coordinator, University of the Pacific
Tomás Galguera, Professor, Mills College
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen, Adjunct Faculty, University of San Diego
Uma Jayakumar, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
Ursula Aldana, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco
Valerie Ooka Pang, Professor, San Diego State University
Walter J. Ullrich, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Fresno
Zeus Leonardo, Professor, University of California, Berkeley

_______________________

California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education. (2016). Common Core State Standards Assessments in California: Concerns and Recommendations. Retrieved from http://www.care-ed.org.

 

##

CARE-ED, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education, is a statewide collaborative of university-based education researchers that aims to speak as educational researchers, collectively and publicly, and in solidarity with organizations and communities,to reframe the debate on education. 

___________________________________

 

For main post, see: 

http://eduresearcher.com/2016/03/16/sbac-moratorium/ 

 

For Washington Post coverage of the document, see: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/03/16/education-researchers-blast-common-core-standards-urge-ban-on-high-stakes-tests/

For related posts on EduResearcher, see here, here, and here.
For a collection on high-stakes testing with additional research and updates, visit “Testing, Testing, 1,2,3…”
http://bit.ly/testing_testing 

 

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Student Data Being Stored and Swapped Among Many Agencies // By Morgan Boydston, KTVB [Click on title for full news video/report]

Student Data Being Stored and Swapped Among Many Agencies // By Morgan Boydston, KTVB [Click on title for full news video/report] | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Morgan Boydston, KTVB
BOISE - How would you feel if you found your child was being tracked from the minute you registered them for kindergarten, until they enter the work force? Idaho has several agreements that allow and require them to do just that. Many parents don't realize that their student's personal information is being collected and shared at the state and federal level, among many different agencies.


KTVB talked with concerned parents, as well as the State Department of Education to get to the bottom of why students' data is being stored and shared.


"I believe our youngest, most vulnerable citizens probably should have the most protection of privacy," said Mila Wood, a concerned mother and spokesperson for Idahoans for Local Education.
 

From the very beginning of the school day, children are shedding data. From the bus stop to the classroom laptop, hundreds of data points are being collected by state, corporate and federal agencies.


"They collect everything, they absolutely collect everything," Wood added. "Actually one of the very first items that kind of brought my attention was this little card in my son's wallet when he was in eighth grade and it's an Idaho Department of Labor card." 


Stacey Knudsen is another parent active in finding out how, where and why her children's personal information is being stored. Sensitive information attached to their individual student ID numbers such as disciplinary actions, meal choices, socioeconomic status and much, much more.


"This information is really sensitive," Wood added.

"When we talk about keeping kids safe, and their data, that's extremely important," said Jeff Church, spokesperson for the Idaho Department of Education.


The Idaho State Board of Education is constitutionally responsible for supervising public education from kindergarten through college.

For that reason, a state-wide data system was created to evaluate and improve the process by which a student moves through the education system in Idaho. The Board works in conjunction with the State Department of Education, which tracks K-12 data.


"We only collect the data that we truly need, whether it be for federal reporting, state reporting or financial calculations and payments out to school districts," Church said. "Over the last year we have gone through a process of removing upwards of 200 data elements within that system."


Department officials say they have been working to collect a lot less data than they used to by asking the question: Do we need the data?

"If we don't for federal or state or financial calculations, we don't need it and we don't want it," Church added.


But parents say they are still concerned because the Department of Education still collects 390 elements and many of those elements are alarming.


"There's certainly not a need for us to be storing the amount of data that we're storing," said Knudsen.


Church argues that the aggregate academic information, like test scores, is crucial for policy-making decisions and measuring Idaho's success compared to other states.


"Seeing the data and how students across the state are doing on math informs the superintendent on policy decisions to say we need to make a change and move toward what works," he said.

Concerned parents believe the problems stem from personally identifiable information that other state, federal and private agencies have access to.


"Where is this information going? Who is utilizing my child's psychometric data?" Wood asked.


Parents also wonder why they are not given the option to give, or deny, consent for the data.


"Nobody can really give us a clear picture of who is accessing and how they're keeping that data safe," Knudsen said.


To protect that data, there is a federal law in place called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. But activists say it's become too relaxed over the last several years. In 2014, Idaho enacted its own student privacy law. The Board of Ed says the state-appointed Data Management Council does not allow a free-flow of information because the council oversees any requests to get ahold of any data.


"At no time is an individual student's data utilized for decision-making purposes or for individual purpose of any kind," Church added.


The department shares group and personal data with many state and federal departments, as well as private companies, including, but not limited to:

  • The Department of Health and Welfare
  • Federal Education Facts
  • Smarter Balanced Consortium
  • Title I Student Counts
  • Migrant Student Information Exchange
  • ISAT, College Board
  • Data Recognition Corp
  • Individual Student Identifier for K-12 Longitudinal Data System
     

"So they are all sharing the data together within our state longitudinal data system," Wood said.


They also share with the State Board of Education, which has agreements with other state and federal agencies such as the Department of Juvenile Corrections, Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, and National Student Clearinghouse.

Knudsen and Wood have plenty of advice for parents that are just finding out about this phenomenon.
 

"What you think is just between you and the teacher and the school, that's no longer the case," Knudsen said. "Be a little more wary of what you fill out, and really read through the documents that you're signing at school."
 

Church says parents can contact the the Department of Education and ask to see their child's personal data. Parents must file a public records request, and then meet with a representative in person.
 

The Board of Education says parents also have the option to go directly to their child's school and request to see the data there, at the source."


For full post including news video coverage, click on title above or here: 
http://www.ktvb.com/news/investigations/7-investigations/student-data-being-stored-and-swapped-among-many-agencies/50092079 

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Error Invalidates Hundreds of ISTEP+ Math Scores // Journal Gazette Indiana

 

By Niki Kelly // The Journal Gazette
"INDIANAPOLIS - A testing error has invalidated hundreds of student ISTEP+ math scores around the state, including at three area schools.

 

The students were mistakenly given access to calculators on a section of the test where calculators were not allowed.

 

The Indiana Department of Education and school officials say testing vendor Pearson is to blame for the error.

 

"It's so discouraging for the children. It's discouraging for everyone," said Lori Vaughn, assistant superintendent at DeKalb Central United schools. "It is what it is. I hate that expression but we're going to move on. It's a black eye when DOE puts (scores) out."

 

She said 34 students in third grade at Waterloo Elementary and 19 students in fourth grade at the school will receive "undetermined" scores. This results in passing rates of less than a percent for third grade and 17 percent for fourth.

 

"It's horrific," Vaughn said. "And that's what's going to be put out with no explanation. It will impact our participation rate and our accountability grade."

 

Test scores are a large factor in the A to F accountability grades that schools will receive later this year.

 

Department of Education officials told Vaughn there is nothing that can be done now but schools can appeal those A to F grades when they are issued.

 

She explained that schools received guidance on calculators that seemed different than previous years. Two people in the district called the company separately to verify the information and were told by Pearson to proceed as directed.

 

So when the test began the calculator icon came up on the screen for students who shouldn't have been allowed to use a calculator. Some special education students are provided calculators as an accommodation.

 

Vaughn said two other schools in the district luckily hadn't started testing before the error was realized. Pearson said it is aware of the "isolated issues" having to do with calculator accommodations.

 

"In some cases, Pearson inadvertently provided inaccurate or unclear guidance on the use of calculators during testing. In these instances, we followed up quickly to help local school officials take corrective action," a statement from the company said. "Pearson regrets that any Indiana students, teachers, and schools were impacted by this issue."

 

It affected only 20 schools out of hundreds, including New Haven Middle School and Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School in Fort Wayne Molly Deuberry, communications director for the Department of Education, didn't have an overall number of students affected.

 

The biggest problem came at Rochester schools in Fulton County, where 700 elementary, middle and high school kids mistakenly had access to the calculator. Some used it and others were stopped by individual teachers.

 

Their results have been invalidated. Some sophomores who were specifically affected will need to retake the math portion of the assessment.

 

A Department of Education press release said it is working with school corporation's to evaluate options for limiting the accountability impact.

 

Rochester and other schools may have a high volume of undetermined math results due to the invalidation, which in turn leave proficiency rates and growth scores to be based on a small subset of the overall school population in 2016-17, and student test results from the 2015-16 school year.

 

The department does not have any authority under current statutes to address or rectify this concern. However, the State Board of Education conducts an appeals process for schools that believe the final A-F letter grade does not accurately reflect the school's performance, growth, or multiple measures.

Parents received access to student scores starting this week. Individual appeals can be brought."...


For original post, please see: 

http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/indiana/20170620/error-invalidates-hundreds-of-istep-math-scores 

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Pearson Botches Mississippi Testing [Again]; Mississippi Immediately Severs Contract

Pearson Botches Mississippi Testing [Again]; Mississippi Immediately Severs Contract | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

"Education and testing mammoth Pearson has an established history in botching high-stakes testing.

 

Pearson did it again, in Mississippi.

 

According to the Associated Press (AP), Mississippi canceled its contract with the testing giant after Pearson fessed up to mixing up scoring tables for an exam that now has approximately 1,000 Mississippi students either graduating when exit scores were not actually high enough or not graduating because of test scores that were not too low after all.

From AP on Friday, June 16, 2017:
"The Mississippi Department of Education is firing a testing company, saying scoring errors raise questions about the graduation status of nearly 1,000 students statewide.

 

The state Board of Education revoked a contract with NCS Pearson in closed session Friday, after the Pearson PLC unit told officials it used the wrong table to score U.S. history exams for students on track to graduate this spring. Students who did poorly got overly high scores, while those who did better didn’t get enough credit. Associate Superintendent Paula Vanderford says it’s too soon to know how many students may have graduated or been denied diplomas in error, or what the state will do about either circumstance."

 

The AP release continues with an inept-yet-contrite Pearson will “assist the state in any way possible.”

 

Of course, the way to assist the state is to not put the state in this awful position to begin with.

 

And it’s not the first time Pearson incompetence has caused Mississippi problems.

 

As the AP continues:
"In 2012, a scoring error on the high school biology exam wrongly denied diplomas to five students. Pearson compensated them with $50,000 scholarships to any Mississippi university. Another 116 student who were affected less severely got $10,000 or $1,000 scholarships. In 2015, Pearson paid the state $250,000 after its online testing platform crashed for a day.

 

What is astounding is that even as Pearson profits are suffering to a record extent, its CEO, John Fallon, received a 20-percent pay raise in May 2017.

 

From the May 05, 2017, Telegraph:

"Two thirds of shareholders rejected the company’s remuneration report at its AGM after Mr Fallon received a £343,000 [$439,383] bonus, equivalent to a 20pc [percent] pay rise, despite having presided over its worst 12 months in nearly half a century on the stock exchange.


Mr Fallon’s position was undermined as 66pc of shareholders voted against his pay in a meeting marked by protests from teaching unions over Pearson’s activities in the developing world. …

Earlier in the day, Mr Fallon had sought to calm criticism of his bonus by spending all of it, net of tax, on Pearson shares to align his own interests with those of shareholders.


He declined to comment on whether he considered rejecting the bonus, which came after a £2.6bn [$3.34 billion] annual loss and the biggest ever one-day fall in Pearson’s shares following a massive profit warning. …


Despite the controversy, the shares were up nearly 12pc in the afternoon after Pearson unveiled a new £300m [$384 million] tranche of job cuts and office closures, in the latest phase of Mr Fallon’s battle to reverse its fortunes. His third round of restructuring comes after 4,000 staff were cut last year, when it sought similar savings."

 

Indeed, Fallon is being rewarded for throwing the crew overboard on a poison ship that is taking more water than ever.

 

It seems, however, that the Mississippi Board of Education has finally had enough of Pearson."

 

For original post, see: 
https://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/pearson-botches-mississippi-testing-again-mississippi-immediately-severs-contract/ 

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#AB1035 Calls for Fix to Data Flaws of Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments // Cabinet Report 

#AB1035 Calls for Fix to Data Flaws of Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments // Cabinet Report  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Tom Chorneau

(California) "One of the Legislature’s leaders on education is fed up with the multi-state consortium that provides schools with assessments, and has suggested that California should consider going it alone.

 

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach and chair of the education committee in the lower house, said in an interview last week that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has failed to give teachers useable feedback from interim exams and doesn’t seem too interested in fixing the problem.

 

“I think California ought to think about going it alone,” he said. “I don’t think we need to be a member of the consortium. We can develop these tools on our own if they are not going to develop them for us. So, my question becomes, why are we in this consortium?”

 

O’Donnell is running legislation aimed at getting the state and school districts to provide classroom teachers with better interim data. AB 1035 would clarify that the Legislature expects student scores on interim assessments will be recorded so that teachers can view them by the standard being tested.

 

Interim testing is considered an extremely valuable component because it gives teachers early insight into what material students are having trouble comprehending. But the current system delivers a single score on a broad block of content that might contain multiple standards.

 

Teachers are also not able to see actual student responses to specific test questions, which prevents the kind of ‘item analysis’ educators had hoped to conduct using the new platform. O’Donnell’s bill passed out of the state Senate last week without dissent and returned to the Assembly for concurrence on only minor amendments.

 

“This way the teacher will be able to tell what standard a student is struggling with,” O’Donnell said. “Right now, with the way the interim assessments are being recorded, you can’t do that.”

 

The consortium is one of two established in 2010 with a grant from the Obama administration to design tests that were aligned with the Common Core curriculum standards. As many as 45 states at one point utilized the assessments developed by one of the consortiums but, largely because of a shift in political sentiments related to the Common Core itself, only 27 states used the consortium assessment in 2016-17.

 

California joined the Smarter Balanced group in 2011 when there were a total of 30 states participating. Today there are only 16.

 

California is by far the largest state still a member of Smarter Balanced, which also includes Michigan, Washington, North Carolina and Oregon.

 

Officials at Smarter Balanced have said they will make the changes needed to give teachers scores by content standard, but O’Donnell remains skeptical.

 

“I met with the executive director and we held a hearing on the issue earlier this year,” he said.  “I understand that they will be making improvements, but I’m still concerned that SBAC doesn’t appreciate the importance of the issue.”


For full post, please see: 

https://www.cabinetreport.com/curriculum-instruction/data-flap-could-lead-ca-to-drop-test-consortium 

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Open Letter to the CA State Board of Education on Release of [False] "Smarter Balanced" Scores

Open Letter to the CA State Board of Education on Release of [False] "Smarter Balanced" Scores | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

"Dear Members of the California State Board of Education,

Last Spring, 3.2 million students in California (grades 3-8 and 11) took the new, computerized Math and English Language Arts/Literacy CAASPP tests (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress). The tests were developed by the SmarterBalanced Assessment Consortium, and administered and scored by ETS (Educational Testing Service). Costs are estimated at $360 million dollars in federal tax dollars and $240 million dollars in state funds for 3 years of administration and scoring.
 

Despite the documented failure of the assessments to meet basic standards of testing and accountability, [invalid] scores are scheduled to be released to the public on September 9th.  According to media reports, the 11th grade scores will be used for educational decision-making by nearly 200 colleges and universities in six states. For detailed documents, see Critical Questions about Computerized Assessments and SmarterBalanced Test Scores, the SR Education SBAC invalidation report, the following video, and transcript provided here.
 

At the September 2nd, 2015 State Board of Education meeting, you heard public comment from Dr. Doug McRae, a retired test and measurement expert who has for the past five years communicated directly and specifically to the Board about validity problems with the new assessments.  He has submitted the following written comments for Item #1 [CAASPP Update] at the latest meeting and spoke again about the lack of evidence for validity, reliability, and fairness of the new assessments."...

 

For full post, click on title above or here:

http://eduresearcher.com/2015/09/08/openletter/ 

 

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Pearson Explores Sale of Its U.S. K-12 Curriculum Business // EdWeek Market Brief

Pearson Explores Sale of Its U.S. K-12 Curriculum Business // EdWeek Market Brief | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

"Pearson, the largest education company in the world, announced today that it’s considering selling off its U.S. K-12 digital and print curriculum business, citing the “slow pace of digital adoption” in schools.

 

Besides that issue, the company cited a “challenging competitive and market environment” and the high capital needs of the digital curriculum market as reasons for its announcement of a strategic review of that portion of the business.

 

The U.S. Learning Services business, as Pearson refers to the division in question, sells K-12 print, digital, and blended curriculum, and includes products like enVision Math and iLit. It does not include Advanced Placement (AP), career and technical education, or online courses taken in high school, a company spokesman said.

 

The announcement was part of the company’s sharing of its 1st quarter 2017 results. A release accompanying that report touted the company’s “progress” in accelerating some aspects of digital delivery of the company’s content, focusing on its higher education and K-12 efforts in that vein.

 

For K-12, the company said its future focus will be in three areas: investing in virtual schools via Connections Education, which the company said is one of its fastest-growing businesses; building on the company’s position in U.S. school assessment, and “powering online learning,” by investing in digital courses for use in blended and virtual teaching within physical schools.

 

The influence and outcomes of virtual schools or cyber charters were examined in a November 2016 Education Week investigation by Ben Herold and Arianna Prothero. Connections Academy, an online school provider for grades K-12 that Pearson purchased in 2011. was covered in the series of stories.  Pearson’s Connections Education provided a  defense of cyber charters in the Education Week coverage.

 

No timeline of the potential sale or valuation of the business is available at this time, said a company spokesman."

 

For full post, see: https://marketbrief.edweek.org/marketplace-k-12/pearson-explores-sale-u-s-k-12-curriculum-business/ 

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Got "Grit"? Maybe... // Phi Delta Kappan

 

Shared with permission from author. To download, click on title above or link below. Full April 2017 edition of Phi Delta Kappan, including this article is also available at: http://www.kappanonline.org/april-2017-table-contents/ 

 

Duckor, B. (2017). Got grit? Maybe... .Phi Delta Kappan, 98, (6), 61-66. Available online at https://www.pdkmembers.org/members_online/publications/archive/pdf/PDK_98_7/61pdk_98_7.pdf

 

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Despite Warnings, College Board Redesigned SAT in Way That May Hurt Neediest Students // Reuters

Despite Warnings, College Board Redesigned SAT in Way That May Hurt Neediest Students // Reuters | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Renee Dudley  
"Part Six: Internal documents show the makers of the new SAT knew the test was overloaded with wordy math problems – a hurdle that could reinforce race and income disparities. The College Board went ahead with the exam anyway." 
[Picture caption] SOUNDED ALARM: Dan Lotesto, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, helped the College Board review potential questions for the redesigned SAT and warned that many questions were sloppy or too long – and that test-takers would suffer. REUTERS/Darren Hauck

 

"NEW YORK – In the days after the redesigned SAT college entrance exam was given for the first time in March, some test-takers headed to the popular website reddit to share a frustration.

 

They had trouble getting through the exam’s new mathematics sections. “I didn’t have nearly enough time to finish,” wrote a commenter who goes by MathM. “Other people I asked had similar impressions.”

 

The math itself wasn’t the problem, said Vicki Wood, who develops courses for PowerScore, a South Carolina-based test preparation company. The issue was the wordy setups that precede many of the questions.

 

“The math section is text heavy,” said Wood, a tutor who took the SAT in May. “And I ran out of time.”

 

The College Board, the maker of the exam, had reason to expect just such an outcome for many test-takers.

 

When it decided to redesign the SAT, the New York-based not-for-profit sought to build an exam with what it describes as more “real world” applications than past incarnations of the test. Students wouldn’t simply need to be good at algebra, for instance. The new SAT would require them to “solve problems in rich and varied contexts.

 

But in evaluating that approach, the College Board’s own research turned up problems that troubled even the exam makers."...

 

----------------

  • Part One: College Board gave SATs it knew were “compromised”

  • Part Two: Despite tighter security, new SAT gets hacked

  • Part Three: Chinese cheating rings penetrate U.S. colleges

  • Part Four: Widespread cheating alleged in program owned by ACT

  • Part Five: Breach exposes questions for upcoming SAT exams


For full post and links to Parts 1-5 of the Investigative series, click on title above or here: http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/college-sat-redesign/ 

 

 

 

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Who’s Marking Those Common Core High-Stakes Tests? 

Who’s Marking Those Common Core High-Stakes Tests?  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/whos-marking-those-common-core-high-stakes-tests_us_5922bf13e4b0b28a33f62dcd 

 

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Results of Removing Standardized Test Scores from College Admissions // Hampshire College 

Results of Removing Standardized Test Scores from College Admissions // Hampshire College  | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

By Jonathan Lash, President, Hampshire College

"You won’t find our college in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings released this month. Last year Hampshire College decided not to accept SAT/ACT test scores from high school applicants seeking admission. That got us kicked off the rankings, disqualified us, per U.S. News rankings criteria. That’s OK with us.

 

We completely dropped standardized tests from our application as part of our new mission-driven admissions strategy, distinct from the “test-optional” policy that hundreds of colleges now follow.  If we reduce education to the outcomes of a test, the only incentive for schools and students to innovate is in the form of improving test-taking and scores. Teaching to a test becomes stifling for teachers and students, far from the inspiring, adaptive education which most benefits students. Our greatly accelerating world needs graduates who are trained to address tough situations with innovation, ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and a capacity for mobilizing collaboration and cooperation.

We weighed other factors in our decision:

Standardized test scores do not predict a student’s success at our college

  • SATs/ACTs are strongly biased against low-income students and students of color, at a time when diversity is critical to our mission
     
  • We surveyed our students and learned not one of them had considered rankings when choosing to apply to colleges; instead they most cared about a college’s mission
     
  • Some good students are bad test takers, particularly under stress, such as when a test may grant or deny college entry; Multiple-choice tests don't reveal much about a student
     
  • We’ve developed much better, fairer ways to assess students who will thrive at our college.

In our admissions, we review an applicant’s whole academic and lived experience. We consider an applicant’s ability to present themselves in essays and interviews, review their recommendations from mentors, and assess factors such as their community engagement and entrepreneurism. And yes, we look closely at high school academic records, though in an unconventional manner. We look for an overarching narrative that shows motivation, discipline, and the capacity for self-reflection. We look at grade point average (GPA) as a measure of performance over a range of courses and time, distinct from a one-test-on-one-day SAT/ACT score. A student’s consistent "A" grades may be coupled with evidence of curiosity and learning across disciplines, as well as leadership in civic or social causes. Another student may have overcome obstacles through determination, demonstrating promise of success in a demanding program. Strong high school graduates demonstrate purpose, a passion for authenticity, and commitment to positive change.

We’re seeing remarkable admissions results since disregarding standardized test scores:

  • Our yield, the percentage of students who accepted our invitation to enroll, rose in a single year from 18% to 26%, an amazing turnaround
     
  • The quantity of applications went down but the quality went up, likely because we made it harder to apply, asking for more essays; Our applicants collectively were more motivated, mature, disciplined and consistent in their high school years than past applicants
     
  • Class diversity increased to 31% students of color, the most diverse in our history, up from 21% two years ago
     
  • The percentage of students who are the first-generation from their family to attend college rose from 12% to 18% in this year’s class.

Our “No SAT/ACT policy” has also changed us in ways deeper than data and demographics: Not once did we sit in an Admissions committee meeting and "wish we had a test score." Without the scores, every other detail of the student’s application became more vivid.  Their academic record over four years, letters of recommendation, essays, in-person interviews, and the optional creative supplements gave us a more complete portrait than we had seen before. Applicants gave more attention to their applications including the optional components, putting us in a much better position to predict their likelihood of success here.

This move away from test scores and disqualification from the U.S. News rankings has allowed us to innovate in ways we could not before. In other words, we are free to innovate rather than compromise our mission to satisfy rankings criteria:

  • We no longer chase volumes of applications to superficially inflate our "selectivity" and game the U.S. News rankings. We no longer have to worry that any applicant will "lower our average SAT/ACT scores" and thus lower our U.S. News ranking. Instead we choose quality over quantity and focus attention and resources on each applicant and their full portfolio.
     
  • At college fairs and information sessions, we don’t spend time answering high school families’ questions about our ranking and test score "cut-offs." Instead we have conversations about the things that matter: What does our unique academic program look like and what qualities does a student need to be successful at it?
     
  • An unexpected benefit: this shift has saved us significant time and operational expense. Having a smaller but more targeted, engaged, passionate, and robust applicant pool, we are able to streamline our resources.

How can U.S. News rankings reliably measure college quality when their data-points focus primarily on the high school performance of the incoming class in such terms as GPA, SAT/ACT, class rank, and selectivity? These measures have nothing to do with the college’s results, except perhaps in the college’s aptitude for marketing and recruiting. Tests and rankings incentivize schools to conform to test performance and rankings criteria, at the expense of mission and innovation.

Our shift to a mission-driven approach to admissions is right for Hampshire College and the right thing to do. We fail students if we reduce them to a standardized test number tied more to their financial status than achievement. We fail students by perpetuating the myth that high standardized test scores signal "better" students. We are in the top one percent of colleges nationwide in the percentage of our undergraduate alumni who go on to earn advanced degrees—this on the strength of an education where we assess their capabilities narratively, and where we never, not once, subject them to a numerical or letter grade on a test or course.

At Hampshire College, we face the same financial challenges as many colleges. But these challenges provide an opportunity to think about who we are and what matters to us. We can not lose sight of our mission while seeking revenues or chasing rankings. We are committed to remaining disqualified from the U.S. News rankings. We’re done with standardized testing, the SAT, and ACT."

Read more about student outcomes

View article in Washington Post

View article in Inside Higher Ed

 

 

For original/full post, please see: 

https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2015/09/21/results-of-removing-standardized-test-scores-from-college-admissions 

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The Soft Cage: Surveillance In America From Slavery to the War on Terror // Christian Parenti

The Soft Cage: Surveillance In America From Slavery to the War on Terror // Christian Parenti | "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..." | Scoop.it

"On a typical day, you might make a call on a cell phone, withdraw money at an ATM, visit the mall, and make a purchase with a credit card.

 

Each of these routine transactions leaves a digital trail, logging your movements, schedules, habits, and political beliefs for government agencies and businesses to access.  As cutting-edge historian and journalist Christian Parenti points out, these everyday intrusions on privacy, while harmless in themselves, are part of a relentless (and clandestine) expansion of routine surveillance in American life over the last two centuries – from controlling slaves in the old South to implementing early criminal justice and tracking immigrants.  Parenti explores the role computers are playing in creating a whole new world of seemingly benign technologies – such as credit cards, Web site “cookies,” and electronic toll collection – that have expanded this trend in the twenty-first century.

 

The Soft Cage offers a compelling, vitally important history lesson for every American concerned about the expansion of surveillance into our public and private lives."

 

http://www.christianparenti.com/the-soft-cage/ 

 

_______

 

For articles documenting current privacy and security concerns related to computer-based assessments, see: 

http://www.scoop.it/t/testing-testing?q=privacy+  

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