An Example of the Critical Thinking Envisioned by Common Core Assessments? How/Why is This Thinking Being Tracked?
Read MEW’s previous post here about the Federal Register’s announcement (above) for further student data tracking. This is not solely for academic achievement. It also tracks underlying dynamics…that influence student achievement, growth, and personal development over time. Can these underlying dynamics be defined as attitudes, behaviors and beliefs targeted in the Common Core State Standards Assessments? What outcomes are envisioned by the USDOEd from the tracking of these dynamics?
Here’s an example of a quiz from a randomized test bank used in an Arkansas charter school (K 12 Arkansas Virtual Academy under the CCSS mandates) which has reportedly been pulled:
(h/t Karen Lameroux)
We apologize for any offense that was taken. This test question populated from a randomized question bank in a course that is new to Arkansas Virtual Academy this year. This quiz is being disabled today, and going forward, all questions will be reviewed before they are posted to quizzes.
(Mitzi Tittle Bingaman is the principal of AVRA 9-11)
What answer would you pick? Which is your best answer? Does the answer reflect your attitudes, behaviors and beliefs or does it reflect academic knowledge about a subject? Is this the type of critical thinking the CCSS creators envisioned, that there is no one correct answer? From With Common Core Testing, You Get What You Pay For:
Parents aren’t privy to seeing assessment questions that are taken in a public on-site school so they would have no knowledge about questions which have several correct answers. What should be of high interest to parents is how their child’s answers are tracked, and how specific answers assess your student’s underlying dynamics (attitudes, values, beliefs) which the USDOEd believes influences student achievement, growth, and personal development over time. If a student doesn’t respond in the desired manner, how/will that be noted on his/her personally identifiable data set? Wouldn’t the decision on what is the ‘best answer’ from the scorer be as subjective as the student’s answer on this particular assessment question? Who will have access to your student’s answers on such questions and how will these organizations, agencies, researchers interpret your student’s attitudes, values and beliefs?
Maybe a good career path for this 9th grader would be that of a reality television screenwriter. Ramona combines current events with personal bias and emotional upheaval. She’s got her character lined up for next season’s television commentary on same-sex marriages, the role of the courts in these marriages, and strained personal relationships. If this script doesn’t play well on the global stage, it should fit right in with American television and educational assessments.