Sunday, October 11, 2015

Teacher says 'opt out' of broken test |

Darcy Addo: Teacher says 'opt out' of broken test |

Darcy Addo: Teacher says 'opt out' of broken test

Special to The Record
Diane Ravitch recently called Florida legislators “test-crazy,” but if the legislators are test-crazy, then the commissioner of education, in conjunction with Alpine Testing Solutions and the Florida Department of Education, may be delusional.
Here are five fairly basic things I think every Florida parent should know about the testing debacle:
■ The florida commissioner of Education testified to the Florida Senate on March 4, 2015, regarding the Florida Standards Assessments Test: “The content of the test is absolutely psychometrically valid and reliable.” She said that she would “be happy to provide” the evidence to support that claim. Repeated requests for the evidence were made, with no success. You can come to your own conclusion about the truthfulness of her statements.
■ The Florida legislature demanded (in CS/HB7069) a “validity study” of the FSA. This $600,000 legislative requirement is in spite of the fact that studies of validity and reliability are not performed after a test with high stakes (graduation, retention, remedial placement, etc.) has been administered. Rather, best practice dictates that assessments are first alpha and beta tested, and then administered to students. Psychometric studies are certainly never done with a legislative deadline — in this case, less than three months.
■ The study found the test “valid,” which is difficult to take seriously, because validity is not a property of a test. We know, however, that the content does not align with the assessment. In layman’s terms, the FSA includes material that our students never learned in the classroom.
■ Best practice and test standards require a review of test items by Florida stakeholders. But the FLDOE rushed this process. The Florida legislature developed poor policy. Your kids didn’t learn the material.
■ Most importantly, your child does not have to take the Florida Standards Assessment. You can meet the graduation requirement with a concordant score on the ACT or SAT. A comparative score on the PERT meets the “required” Algebra 1 EOC test requirement.
The FSA is punitive. Results are used to punish teachers, students schools and districts.
The parent/guardian gets to make educational choices for your child. Opting out is not about how well or poorly you believe your child will do, it’s about denying the data that continues to keep this test- crazy machine moving.Darcy Addo: Teacher says 'opt out' of broken test |