Tuesday, September 27, 2016

update on new MCAS

written update here
Chester: where we're headed with the competency determination (the graduation requirement)
Wulfson: signed contract with Measured Progress
"well engaged in the work now"

provided information to districts about their choices on computer-based testing
grades 4 and 8 required to be computer-based this year, 'though waiver available
on other grades, districts will have a choice
"good to be able to focus on a single test now"
on target for offering test in grades 3-8 in spring
making decisions around high school testing
Board set a policy that class of 2019 would still take legacy test (this year's sophomores)
originally class of 2020 would take new test; concern raised by staff and stakeholders is "we will not have given that cohort sufficient exposure to the new test"
class of 2021 will all be taking next generation MCAS on computers
"we feel that's good preparation for taking the next generation 10th grade test"
also gives time to focus on 3-8 tests completed
more time to discuss with field what 10th grade test should look like: what science? should it include social studies? should it be moved to 11th grade?
deserves additional conversation with the field
have been talking about moving legacy test to 2020 with the field
"fair to say that everybody that we've heard from that it is the agreement that makes the most sense"
asking that you not vote until next month
"give everybody one last chance to weigh in"
Peyser asks about new tests lower pass rates
sample tests?
"how we socialize that more rigorous assessment in 10th grade"
Wulfson: can put up sample questions on platform that students can access
Peyser: is it a practical thing to do ...Wulfson: certainly as it goes on, will be able to put up sample items
standard-setting committee is meeting: start dialogue that will lead to recommendations to you on how many scoring categories there are and what those grading rubrics look like
"will need to have discussions with the Board on where that passing level is"
may be something that gets phased in over time
"need to make sure we give people plenty of notice" before making changes
Peyser: if we weren't changing tests, would be going through a standard setting process on testing
competency rates "have drifted upward"
not that high competency rates aren't good but clear not reflective of what is required
revisit what is required to graduate
Wulfson: assessment that is fine enough to distinguish those higher levels
Noyce: question of whether to do this at 10th grade or 11th grade
difficult to design test at end of 10th grade that demonstrates college competency
11th grade doesn't give much time for remediation
have we considered decoupling from grade level?
could more legitimately set an 11th grade standard
more administration of test, but not necessarily more testing
Wulfson: have considered 9th grade test...
Noyce: not saying new test, but saying let everyone take 10th grade test
Wulfson: "disruptive to schools" as well as expense
McKenna: "it would be great, but it would probably be an expensive disruption, but" having information at 9th grade would be useful (on where kids are)
on being prepared: phasing in what the cut scores are
want this to be aspirational, but concerned about how new it is to this group
Wulfson: if adopted, new test will be given in spring of 2019
Fryer: back to idea of needing a richer assessment
perfect time to think through what sort of data we want on our students more longitudinally
are they in college , do they get through college, are they employed
standards and benchmarks "are somewhat arbitrary"
data that we really care apart we aren't really collecting
Wulfson: some in coordination with higher ed
Chester: getting some data now
get a bead on setting standards for likely success
Fryer: allows for a different level of family engagement
correlation that you just described could be very different for different subgroups
"what sort of trajectory our kids are on?"
McKenna: interesting data on what sort of schools kids went to and their persistence in college
Noyce: assessment scores between test scores and success in college
"the correlations are not that high"
beginning to establish for ourselves that that's something we're going to look at over time, is important

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