Friday, November 6, 2015

Less Testing, More Learning at MASC

and I'm among the presenters, so the blogging maybe uneven

Alain Jehlen: clearing up an misconception about the moratorium proposal
"we are not proposing stopping the test for three years, because you would probably lose all your Title I money"
proposal is to stop the penalties that would go with low scores
(both for schools and for students)
last for three years, so the state can put together a better way to evaluate the system

And I spoke here about the trickle down effect of state testing on district testing and the intimidation of state takeovers of Lawrence and Holyoke

Jehlen: Mathmatica study found little difference between PARCC and MCAS in college preparation
press release was "equally good" at predicting college grades
in fact "equally bad": between 5 and 18% of the variation of college grades
were in fact college ready (regardless of MCAS scores)

Julie Hackett, superintendent of Taunton
went with PARCC after a vote opposing high stake testing
"amount of time on testing was wrong and getting in the way of" real work of high school
counted up 10,800 hours for testing; conservative figure, as with test-taking fatigue, possibly double
Common Core alignment did not occur with MCAS; hold harmless year to "do what we need to do without the punishment"
kids spoke out about the kind of test they actually wanted
did a schoolwide PARCC; happened to pick top performing school for the sampling, so they suppressed test data
top 10% were droppped out; shifting demographics, but Taunton held the line
then were faced with district accountability review
state only interested in testing data: not dropout rate, high school graduation rate, fiscal management, teacher retention rates, and so forth
"lots of different ways to measure district success"

Alain Jehlen: door #3 is the "unclear" proposal rather than PARCC and MCAS
"we'll try something between MCAS and PARCC" from the Commissioner
Board of Ed votes on November 17, after taking testimony from November 16 from 4 to 7 in Malden
"there's an opportunity to make real change here, and if the Board won't do it, there are several bills before the Legislature"

Sen. Pat Jehlen: prospects for Legislation
"my frustration with school committees is they do not know their power. You have a lot more power than you use."
during the charter school debate, senators were making up their minds from school committees and superintendents, as well as parents
query: who thinks that MCAS is an adequate measure of student success, school success, district success?
districts get together and say let's try different ways of measuring

Dan French, Center for Collaborative Education
"how can assessments look different? how can accountability systems look different?"
why change? standardized testing has done little to close achievement gaps, income, & language
if your top is high, the gap is bigger 
more critical thinking, and more research on kids learn
Chief of State Schools: broad range of indicators, more flexibility
progression of assessments from narrow assessment to kids being engaged in meaningful work
New Hampshire: state performance assessments as primary determinant
can't do it all at once: institutes for district tests on performance assessments
first state in the country to be released from annual standardized testing
Smarter Balanced in each grade span (3,8,10)
performance based assessments designed by teachers for all others
regional teams together to have scoring sessions

NYPSC set of districts that lobbied to be released from state test
instead: literary essay, social studies research paper; orginal science experiment; application of higher mathematics

California released from their state assessments

Should be about having our children do meaningful
"we can say 'yes'"
"Massachusetts is behind the discourse on assessment that is taking place around the country"

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