Thursday, September 10, 2015

California’s Smarter Balanced Results Capture Poverty | deutsch29

California’s Smarter Balanced Results Capture Poverty | deutsch29:

California’s Smarter Balanced Results Capture Poverty

On September 09, 2015, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson released California’s Smarter Balanced results, which comprise the largest component of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CASPP).
As San Jose University professor Roxana Mariachi notes, a major issue with California’s Smarter Balanced results involves the apparent inability of the California Department of Education (CDE) to produce evidence that the Smarter Balanced tests are reliable and valid:
At the September 2nd, 2015 State Board of Education meeting, you heard public comment from Dr. Doug McRae, a retired test and measurement expert who has for the past five years communicated directly and specifically to the Board about validity problems with the new assessments.  He has submitted the following written comments for Item #1 [CAASPP Update] at the latest meeting and spoke again about the lack of evidence for validity, reliability, and fairness of the new assessments.
“My name is Doug McRae, a retired testing specialist from Monterey.
“The big question for Smarter Balanced test results is not the delay in release of the scores, or the relationships to old STAR data on the CDE website, but rather the quality of the Smarter Balanced scores now being provided to local districts and schools. These scores should be valid reliable and fair, as required by California statute as well as professional standards for large scale K-12 assessments. When I made a Public Records Request to the CDE last winter for documentation of validity reliability and fairness information for Smarter Balanced tests, either in CDE files or obtainable from the Smarter Balanced consortium, the reply letter in January said CDE had no such information in their files. I provided a copy of this interchange to the State Board at your January meeting. There has been no documentation for the validity, reliability, or fairness for Smarter Balanced tests released by Smarter Balanced, UCLA, or CDE since January, as far as I know.
“Statewide test results should not be released in the absence of documented validity reliability and fairness of scores. Individual student reports should not be shared with parents or students before the technical quality of the scores is documented.” [Emphasis removed.]
The absence of evidence that Smarter Balanced tests are reliable and valid means that there is no evidence that the tests measure what they purport to measure (i.e., “college and career readiness”), nor is there any evidence that the tests measure anything consistently.
I wrote about Smarter Balanced in November 2014. At that time, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) had decided that “college ready” meant California’s Smarter Balanced Results Capture Poverty | deutsch29: