Tuesday, March 24, 2015

PARCC update

Wulfson: "in general, testing has been going smoothly...some small glitches"
online testing started last week
about 44,000 tested completed thus far
"had the benefit of being one of the last states"
paper and pencil version of PARCC and MCAS window opens this week
small number of inquiries regarding "so-called opt out provision"
advice we've given is that there is no opt out provision under state law
"having said that, we advice districts to deal sensitively with students and parents"
Sagan asks if students are given option
Wulfson: all students given option, if decline, marked as absent
hearing it is not too many
studies coming: looking at content by college professions regarding level of work
administer PARCC and MCAS to college freshmen
upcoming dates of public forums
"will be plenty of opportunties for various stakeholders to weigh in"
controversy nationally about Pearson monitoring social media
"something we have done for many years and have done with our own staff...considered good practice without MCAS"
not going into personal information on Twitter or Facebook
looking for student who sneaks a cell phone into a test and posts a photo of an exam question
Pearson does not go to schools; Pearson goes to DESE, superintedent goes to student, get post taken down
"longstanding practice"

Wulfson (in response to Q from Roach); moving into that space (of online testing) regardless of vote for PARCC or MCAS
McKenna asks number of states in: 12 states administering
a lot of discussion nationally, particularly in states where commissioner is elected
"can't predict to you what will happen"
Bickerton: many states "taking wait and see"

Stewart: parents who have expressed a concern about the PARCC, not sure why MA would give up test that has led us to be fourth in the world if we were a country
Wulfson: MCAS set as minimum level of proficiency needed to graduate from high school
'though test has been successful, part of feedback from college and business is students who passed MCAS were not necessarily succeeding at next level
revisit to put students on path after high school
"not a Massachusetts way" of doing English and math
Chester: when testing contract rebid, anticipated doing more online components, could do due to state recession
Stewart notes Rennie Center concerns about technology needs
"found the interface to really get in the way...could not see the full problem" when doing math
various dragging and dropping of texts for ELA
"going forward I'll be looking" at technology
Wulfson: Q we're very interested in answering
students more comfortable in front of a keyboard than writing something out

Willyard: "putting student first, the test second"...consequences for students who refuse
Wulfson: "we're advising schools that we don't think any discipline is called for"
students will get results, but districts held harmless
Willyard cautioning ability on testing of critical thinking

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