Today philly.com published an article highlighting Unionville Chadds Ford’s approach to testing. You can find the article here, which features quotes from UCF school board members Jeff Hellrung and Michael Rock, and also UCF Superintendent Dr. Sanville. Continue reading
Are for-profit companies incompatible with public education? Some opt out advocates think so. Critics of testing argue that we are sending millions of dollars into the hands of ‘Big Testing’ companies. And those companies, motivated by profits, shouldn’t be trusted with our student’s futures. (Examples of this thinking here here and here)
Instead of sending taxpayer money to Pearson, CTB McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, we should instead send those funds to our local schools … to reduce class sizes or raise teacher salaries.
Moreover (the critics say) the large testing companies use their profits to lobby state and federal government officials, which only leads to more and more emphasis on testing from our Department of Education
In my last post I argued that only PSSAs provide benchmarked, validated, and reliable results about school performance. Perhaps I have convinced you that PSSA data is uniquely useful to schools, especially to those who run them.
But even if tests are useful, is testing worth the additional stress it places on our already stressed-out students? Continue reading
In my last post, I made this argument:
if we want to accurately assess student growth and achievement, we must use a criterion-referenced and valid instrument, administered to all students in Pennsylvania, under controlled conditions. And the assessment must be linked to what we’re teaching … the PA standards.
Only the PSSA hits all of these criteria. In the attached chart, I show how I arrived at that conclusion. How do the tests that are widely used in our classrooms stack up? For those who like charts … enjoy! (Corrections welcome — leave a comment) Continue reading
In my recent “Opt In” posts, I argued that PSSA data is powerful and valuable. And if we “Opt Out” of testing, then we undermine the ability of our schools to see their true level of performance, be accountable, take corrective action, and deliver an even better education to our students.
“Maybe the data is useful,” the critics may counter, “but we have too many tests in schools. And the PSSAs don’t even provide any diagnostic value back to the teacher. Test results aren’t available for 6 months, and by then it is too late to help individual students.”
Let’s unpack this critique and address it in three parts: Continue reading
One of the problems with the ‘Opt Out’ movement is its disdain for standardized testing. Without testing, we would not have access to rich data sets that tell us how our schools are truly performing.
Although “Opt Out” has a few things right, the movement’s desire to do away with standardized testing is, in my opinion, a major mistake.
Without testing, we would not have access to rich data sets that tell us how our schools are truly performing.
With testing, we have an honest assessment of the academic strengths and weaknesses of our program. With testing, we can see achievement results (performance against a standard) and growth results (progress between two points in time). With testing, school boards have objective and benchmarked information on school performance.
In yesterday’s post we looked at PSSA Math results for UCF. Today, it is PSSA reading.
In my most recent Opt In post, I argued that PSSA data provides powerful insight into student achievement and school performance.
Today I take a break from the theoretical case against “Opt Out” and get very practical. What data is available from standardized tests? How is that information be used? What insight does that information provide to parents, administrators, teachers, and school directors?
In my next three posts, I will publish data taken from PDE’s public test score database, which is found here. First up — how are our students and schools performing on PSSA math?
I talked in my previous post about uniquely powerful information that comes from PSSAs. In today’s post: what makes PSSA data so powerful?
Imagine you are moving to take a new job, and you need to find the best school for your children. How do you measure and compare school performance?
Opting Out of standardized tests is a hot issue in many communities, but thankfully not yet in UCFSD. In recent posts I have covered the arguments made by Opt Out proponents, and what I see as the valid points Opt Out makes.
In this post, I make the case for keeping standardized tests, and why parents and teachers should “Opt In”. Continue reading