When testing becomes too high stakes, there are lots of unintended consequences. Officials in India are seeing that this week as images of parents climbing the outside of school buildings to pass cheat sheets to their children make world-wide news.
Luckily things aren’t as bad here in Connecticut, but they are the worst in our memory. Testing is taking over schools and that’s why CEA leaders have launched a powerful effort to get the state to change course.
CEA President Sheila Cohen and Executive Director Mark Waxenberg explained CEA’s proposal to replace SBAC with progress monitoring assessments to the legislature’s Education Committee during a hearing yesterday. Watch Cohen explain some of the problems with SBAC below.
Dr. Monty Neill, executive director of FairTest, told the Education Committee why a high stakes standardized test such as SBAC limits students.
Neill, responding to a question by Education Committee Co-Chair Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, explained how CEA’s proposal would meet federal testing requirements under No Child Left Behind.
Read more about CEA’s proposal.
CEA President Sheila Cohen and Wesleyan professor Daniel Long listen as Hamden teacher David Abate discusses his experience with the alternative evaluation initiative.
A teacher evaluation initiative, studied in new research released today, offers an alternative to using unreliable standardized test scores to evaluate students and teachers. This alternative holds educators more accountable and is supported by the new flexibility options for teacher evaluation, but contrasts sharply with the state evaluation model (SEED).
Seeking a better way than the state way, CEA advocates a holistic, qualitative approach that trusts educators. Read more
Photo by albertogp123 via Flickr.
On Saturday, high school students in Providence, Rhode Island were the ones giving the test. They gave 50 professional adults an exam consisting of questions that have previously appeared on a state standardized test.
This year Rhode Island is implementing a new policy that requires high school students to pass the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) in order to graduate.
How did the adults do? Students released the test results this afternoon and 60% failed — receiving scores that would put a high school student at risk for not graduating.
Below is an excerpt from the Providence Journal with some of the adults’ reactions Saturday after taking the exam.
“So how do you think you did?” one of the students asked. “Terrible,” one adult said. “Awful feeling,” said another.
Most adults interviewed by The Journal thought they tanked the test. Even those who were math geeks in high school found the questions challenging, and a couple complained that the test included questions with “trick” answers.
“I was good at math,” said state Rep. Larry Valencia, D-Richmond. “I took trig, statistics, pre-calculus. I have a degree in chemistry. I think the test is very unfair. It doesn’t represent what the average high school student should know.”
The Rhode Island students’ undertaking will likely make headlines in the hours ahead. Whether the event warrants those headlines is up to interpretation. What’s yours?