When Test Scores Are Meaningless Why Subject Your Child to the Test? It’s the “Why are Fire Trucks Red” Illustration.
Common sense and the rule of law long ago flew out the window when the Common Core State Standards Initiative was adopted before the standards were written and implemented in school districts without the knowledge of the taxpayers who paying were for these mandates. The transformation of public education has been set to morph speed toward a centralization of learning, teaching and assessing for the sake of equity. Increased academic excellence is not a goal of the Initiative. Measuring academic assessments to determine increased equity on unvalidated assessments is the data dream of the reformers. It doesn’t matter that the data is based on unvalidated assessments/research, it’s a financial bonanza for data mining companies/repositories and third party researchers. It’s job security for local, state and federal bureaucrats compelled to gather the data under the threat of withholding of funding to continue meaningless data.
Not only do the data miners/bureaucrats gather meaningless data, if that data can be construed as problematic for the bureaucrats, then enact a law withholding poor results to minimize dissatisfaction and questions on why the test results are so dismal. This data gathering of meaningless information and withholding of this data if it doesn’t fit into preconceived talking points is apparent in the latest published (or not) test results coming from from Indiana. From Only a small share of Indiana schools earned higher A-F grades in 2015 (updated):
…when the Indiana State Board of Education released grades for the 2014-15 school year this morning, it seemed clear that many schools benefitted from a “hold harmless” bill that Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Thursday. That law, prompted by tougher standards that triggered a dramatic drop in 2015 ISTEP test scores, barred the board from giving schools grades for 2015 that were lower than the ones they received the year before.
With that law in place, the grades released by the board today reflected new grades for a fraction of Indiana schools that took last year’s test. Since most schools’ test scores dropped between 2014 and 2015, just 120 of more than 2,000 schools that took ISTEP saw their marks rise, about 5.5 percent. That percentage doesn’t include new schools that got a first-time grade last year or those that switched from “no grade” to a letter grade in 2015.
According to updated data from the Indiana Department of Education, 36.7 percent of school grades stayed the same, and 56.6 percent of schools that took ISTEP were actually “held harmless” at their 2014 grade levels, meaning that otherwise, their grades would’ve gone down.
The article continues:
“After more than 18 months spent advocating to hold our schools and teachers harmless for the transition to more rigorous college and career ready standards and the results of a more rigorous ISTEP assessment, I am pleased to release 2015 school accountability grades that do not penalize schools and communities for this transition,” said state Superintendent Glenda Ritz.
Ritz said that she was pleased lawmakers enacted the “hold harmless” legislation, but the root of the problem is ISTEP. She’s spoken in recent weeks about her plan to re-work the state’s testing system.
“While I appreciate the work of the legislature to hold schools harmless for the results of last year’s ISTEP assessment, Indiana should move away from labeling Hoosier schools, and in turn Hoosier students, based on the results of a lengthy, pass/fail, high-stakes assessment,” Ritz said in a statement.
Last year’s exam was plagued by scoring problems, design issues and computer glitches, all which have lawmakers looking for a way out once the state finishes its next two-year contract with British-based test company Pearson in 2017. California test writer CTB administered last year’s test.
So the teachers/schools get a break on accountability this year due to the differences in present assessments that are not validated but the root of the problem is ISTEP. Question to parents: Why subject students to taking this test that is faulty and why should you take any of these results as a barometer of student achievement? From a grandfather in Indiana whose children are in the public education system:
So the ISTEP Test, which Indiana instituted a few years back to get on board with “No Child Left Behind”, was a complete disaster in Indiana. So much so that the legislature had to pass a special measure to “Hold schools harmless” because the test scores were so lousy. Several reasons have been put forth for the lousy scores – More “rigorous” standards this past year (after they dropped Common Core, which is a lie because they didn’t, really), and computer glitches where kids were held up waiting for the ballyhooed digital thingy to do it’s thingy, and differences between taking the test digitally or with paper and pencil and/or mixing the two up.
In other words, we’ve got NCLB, ISTEP, Common Core, a school board and a superintendent and a legislature and an interstate conspiratorial conglomeration all squawking and posturing and blaming and as a result, we have children who are not only not being taught how to read and write and do arithmetic, but who are developing complexes because the entire bent of their education is”testing, accountability, standards” and a whole bunch of absolutely meaningless BS, MS and PHD. What time isn’t wasted on this testing is wasted on their “social and emotions” sessions and of course celebrating diversity, ecology and all that rot. These kids spend weeks prepping for these stupid tests, which a bunch of clowns in Indianapolis finally decided could be reduced from TWELVE HOURS to a completely reasonable EIGHT OR NINE HOURS.
We need one-room schoolhouses with primers and chalkboards and schoolmarms.
We also need a meme illustrating the ludicrous arguments on why these assessments should be taken by any public education student. Or why parents aren’t standing firm and saying *NO*.
Graphic taken from Completely Illogical Logic.