Tuesday, April 2, 2013

PARCC assessment update

Perda: PARCC has grown out of some of the RTTT program from the federal government
(the other is SMARTER Balanced..almost all states are part of one or the other)

"we're in the gearing up phase"
administered for the first time in 2014-15
piloting, field testing going on now
administered in grades 3-11 in ELA and math
different from MCAS in that there will be a performance based assessment (3/4 through) and then final assessment after 90% of days are through
diagnostic performance assessment and performance assessment at midyear: optional
Bob Walton is here to talk IT, as they want this to be an online assessment
still be a paper and pencil option, but this is a big difference: 48 boxes of 18,000 reports
provide everyone with results "pretty much right away"
Walton: technical guidelines released
can be administered over a window of time (different from MCAS)
we don't have a one-to-one ratio anywhere
"if we're going to test kids...not going to scatter kids throughout the entire school"
will administer similar to MAPs: over time
district currently has a 300MB; we pay for that through Erate; we want to move to 500MB connection, will cost $22,000 after Erate reimbursement
we have about 700 iPads in the district; tablets can be used, but can't "tab out" of an application during testing; iPads can't do that, so they can't be used for the PARCC assessment
for 2014 assessment, we do meet minimum specification
for future years, have to meet recommended specification; only 20% of our computers meet that
Blue Ribbon panel has recommended replacement of computers for 2014 (due to Windows); another reason to do it
planning spreadsheet from PARCC; will give you how many computers you need to test in so many days
for example, Burncoat Middle could do it in 20 days or 15 days
CityView is going to struggle to finish in 20 days
will have to go through school by school
need keyboards to take the test
elementary has 10MB
middle will have 100 MB
high will have 100MB
Heard Street's lab is on wheels (they're the one school that doesn't have space to have a dedicated lab)
Novick: Writing is going to be part of this test: are we adding keyboarding?
Motion to consider it!
What are the conditions in our computer labs?
Motion to look at them (they're some of the hotter rooms in the buildings)
Also, if we're going to need the full 20 day window, we need to not have our schools in lockdown mode (like in MCAS) for that full period
Monfredo: concern that this is not how kids write (on computers)
Biancheria asks for timeframe
Perda: big line item in upgrading technology for FY14
Biancheria: "students are prepared"
"this is larger than life, not only in the dollars, but in what we have to prepare...another item with zero funding..."
is there any conversation going on about districts not meeting the timeline?
"no fault of Worcester...a lot being asked here..."
Biancheria: "I would say that this is hear to stay"
Perda: science MCAS is here to stay, history and social studies MCAS rolling out and possibly others that we need for teacher evaluation
Walton: they may at some point require a stylus (with a touchscreen); but that then creates an issue for not having the technology

Perda: this could potential replace something like the MAP
could potentially replace DIBELs
creating some not very firm ground as all of these things are changing, while at the same time needing multiple measures are of data
"and final question is how much time do we want to spend testing our kids?"

Item held for updates all meetings

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