While many states have embraced improvement in their statewide assessment programs and have rejected invalid tests, Connecticut remains stuck in a program that is harmful to teaching and discriminatory to students.
In spite of mounting concerns about the validity and fairness of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test—which is administered to students in grades 3-8—a divided state committee in charge of reviewing the test voted to retain SBAC and ignore concerns raised by teachers and administrators. Representatives of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Connecticut submitted a Minority Report detailing the problems with SBAC. Read more
The state’s Mastery Examination Committee met today to discusses purposes of student assessment and the state’s new growth model.
At a meeting of the state’s Mastery Examination Committee today, committee members discussed the purpose and use of standardized tests.
“One of the real things that occurred in the last era was a misuse of the state exam,” Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell said. “It created an over-focus on the exam itself and a narrowing of the curriculum in some cases to the things that were assessed.”
Don Williams, CEA director of Policy, Research, and Reform, pointed out that education researcher James Popham has strongly cautioned against misusing standardized tests designed for one purpose to fulfill a completely separate purpose.
Popham writes that the validity of a test, such as SBAC, which is designed to evaluate school and district performance, is rendered invalid if it is used for purposes not fully supported by evidence. Read more