Sunday, January 29, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: OR: Protecting the Tests

CURMUDGUCATION: OR: Protecting the Tests:

OR: Protecting the Tests

Oregon has a law-- House Bill 2713-- that directs their Secretary of State to conduct an audit of "use of statewide summative assessment in public schools in this state." It's an audacious, wacky move-- don't just implement the Big Standardized Test, but actually check back and do some studies to see if it's a big waste of money or not.

The audit was actually released back in September of 2016, to what appears to be not very much fanfare or attention. I ran across it only because of an op-ed published earlier this week.So this is definitely Not Breaking News. But I'm always intrigued when  a state actually bothers to see if their reformy measures are doing any good or not, and Oregon has just started out with the Smarter Balanced Assessment folks, so I've decided to take a look at the report.

Here are some of the findings:

The new tests are more expensive. In 2013-2104, Oregon shelled out $5.2 million to run the statewide Big Standardized Test. In 2014-2015, that leapt up to $10.2 million.$8.2 million was for the test and the scoring thereof. $1.8 was for "membership fees." Who knew that belonging to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium was like belonging to a really fancy country club? Also, the assertion is out there that this is a lowball-- it does not account for the inhouse costs for Department of Ed supervision and administration of the test.

The audit declares that "statewide results are a measure of school performance" They say that "organizations" that use test results to "facilitate learning and improvement" can "deliver better outcomes." This is all part of using "measurement information" as part of a "broader performance management framework," and a lot of other baloney that come straight from corporate management consultant boilerplate.

But the audit noted that some people have concerns about the testing, like " how certain student 
CURMUDGUCATION: OR: Protecting the Tests:

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