Sunday, September 11, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: OR: Oh Noooos!! SBA Results Are In!

CURMUDGUCATION: OR: Oh Noooos!! SBA Results Are In!:

OR: Oh Noooos!! SBA Results Are In!

Out in Oregon, the Smarter Balanced Assessment results were in this week, and various outlets raised the cry of dismay over the results. But Betsy Hammond at the Oregonian did an outstanding job of capturing everything wrong with SBA fever in her "8 Sobering Takeaways..." piece.

First, she reminds us that "the tests are designed to measure whether students are on track to be ready for college, starting in third grade." I'll remind us that while that may have been the intent, since A) we have no idea how to measure whether or not a nine-year-old is "in track" for college consequently, B) we have no idea whether or not SBA is doing so. It's a patently ridiculous idea-- can a standardized math and science test tell us if that nine-year-old is on track to earn any college degree?

But let's look at those eight sobering takeaways (and may I just add that I wonder, as I always wonder when someone tosses "sobering" into a conversation, what exactly Hammond thinks got us all drunk in the first place?)

1) 53% of Oregonian nine-year-olds aren't "on track" in reading and math. This could prevent them from graduating, because nothing that could possibly happen in the next nine years of their education could alter their destiny. It is set in stone, chiseled there by this single standardized test. One has to wonder if this fits with other statistics in Oregon-- has Oregon routinely been experiencing a mere 50% graduation rate, or does this pack of children represent a particularly low ebb in academic achievement. Id so, what could account for that?

2) The test result gap between students who are wealthy and/or white and students who are not-- well, that just hasn't been fixed yet. It's almost as if all the great reform ideas that have been 
CURMUDGUCATION: OR: Oh Noooos!! SBA Results Are In!: