Friday, August 5, 2016

Education Lessons From A Sparkly District

Education Lessons From A Sparkly District:

NJ State Board of Ed Ignores Public Testimony

If the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and the New Jersey State Board of Ed (NJSBOE) are not listening to the public, who are they listening to? What is their reaction to all of our testimony? NJDOE provided responses to testimony when they released the August 3rdagenda and this is what stood out for me.

In some cases they simply disagreed and said so. In other cases, they had some interesting citations to back up their claims related to validity. And, for the special education-related comments, clarification of just who is in control of the graduation requirements for students with IEPs.

One comment, in particular, stuck out (besides the ones that were aimed at me) because the testimony belonged to Dr. Eric Milou, a Rowan University professor, recipient of the Max Sobel Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award, former president of Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey (AMTNJ) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This is exactly the kind of education professional this board should have listening to, but this is their response:

40. COMMENT: The commenter stated there is no evidence the PARCC assessment is an improvement over previous standardized tests, raises student performance, provides useful diagnostic information, or indicates career or college readiness.  The commenter also stated only rigorous curriculum, instruction, and the use of formative assessments will have a significant impact on student educational success. (99)
RESPONSE: Several studies (e.g., National Network of State Teachers of the Year, 2015; Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, 2015; Center for American Progress, 2016; Fordham/Human Resources Research Organization, 2016; American Institutes for Research, 2016) have supported PARCC as an accurate measure of college and career readiness and endorsed PARCC as an improvement over previous assessments.
Dr. Milou got right to the heart of what's wrong with standardized tests in general and what's Education Lessons From A Sparkly District:

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