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Data is State Priority

Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell addressed superintendents at a back-to-school meeting this morning at A.I. Prince Technical High School.

Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell addressed superintendents at a back-to-school meeting this morning at A.I. Prince Technical High School.

The state Mastery Examination Committee is scheduled to meet again on September 21 as it prepares to answer key questions posed by the General Assembly, including whether Connecticut’s Mastery Examinations, and in particular SBAC, respond to student needs and inform teachers of student progress.

In the meantime, Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell told superintendents gathered for an annual back-to-school meeting this morning that her department continues to pore through the voluminous data provided by SBAC. She pointed to what she called a source of pride—SBAC scores in half of the Alliance Districts grew at a faster rate than did the state’s SBAC scores overall between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

While CEA continues to voice concerns about the validity and reliability of SBAC scores, Wentzel says her department is working to track cohort growth from last year to this year. Stay tuned since she says an announcement will be forthcoming in the fall.

Students’ year-to-year growth on the SBAC exam will be factored into the state’s school and district accountability systems for the first time this year.

data life cycle

Click to enlarge.

It was clear from today’s superintendents’ meeting that data is the driving force in public education. Check out the “Data Life Cycle” document at right. As it says, Connecticut “collects vast amounts of data about students, schools, and educators.”

CEA worried about the protections for this data and was instrumental in passing a data privacy bill earlier this year. The new law protects and regulates the use and handling of student information by contractors and online content providers and penalizes those who don’t act in the best interest of students.

For more on Connecticut’s accountability system, click here.

2 Comments
  1. John Bestor #

    Once again, Education Commissioner Wentzell spins the release of SBAC scores without any substance in her flawed interpretation of test results that are neither standardized, valid, reliable, or fair. The controversy surrounding SBAC continues to build, yet she simply proclaims positive talking points in an effort to convince educators and the general public that these test results have value. I certainly hope that the CEA will stand up courageously as the Mastery Examination Task Force provides an opportunity to push-back both demonstrably and publicly against this disingenuous study of statewide testing practices that refuses to acknowledge any of the reputable research that raises serious concerns associated with many aspects of SBAC.

    August 22, 2016
    • Kim Nagy-Maruschock #

      Well said John!

      August 22, 2016

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