Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September Board of Ed: MCAS competency certification

backup memo is here
Wulfson intro's, praising the assessment group for all the juggling they've done
Stapel: update on MCAS and on competency determination
two years of next generation testing in grades 3-8 in English and math
this spring (2019) is first tests in grade 10
adding science as well in spring of 2020
participation rate (has a chart) "really happy to see that" rate over 99%
89% of students grades 3-8 tested on a computer
continued phase-in of computer-based testing: grades 3-8 in all three subjects; grade 10 in ELA and math; high school science in 2020
official embargoed data to districts on 25th
planned official release is Sept 27th
parent guardian reports get to superintendents on the 28th
Sagan asks if they only get their own results or get everyone's "so if they leaked it, it would only be their own results" which clearly takes many aback
been two decades since we've set a bar for high school
plan is to vote in winter of 2019-20 for standard beginning with class of 2023
"they will be entering high school next fall" so want to make that decision while they are still in their ninth grade year
advisory committee in summer/fall 2019 to inform that decision

West: hope competency determination could be informed by where kids end up
(aka after graduation)

On Science: (this is Katie Bowler) some of same considerations
which science tests are/have been taken: 75.8% in biology, 20% in physics, 3.3% in tech/engineering, 0.6% in chem
"definitely the sequence"
"the chemistry is usually a grade 10 or 11 tests...typically have already taken a biology test"
Tech/engineering "has just not increased"
Peyser: chemistry test-takers have already taken bio? Yes, most have already taken another
number is first time test takers: transfers or others missed, usually taking chem and others
Peyser: what would we expect those students to do?
bio or introductory physics still offered
Sagan: just following this: "we're not creating a cul de sac of failure for kids"
Peyser: is there a way of students to meet the competency determination that is sufficiently aligned and sufficiently rigorous by taking another test?
would like to keep that on the table
Wulfson: portfolio review is successful for most students
adding a mid-year physics assessment, so students entering will not have to wait until the end of the year
Peyser: computer science added "I think the next question people are asking is 'what's our assessment strategy?'"
interest in the exception to the rules; and what message is being set to the room
Morton: having portfolio reviews is going to be important
need to be figuring out how we're going to introduce kids to STEM earlier in life
ensure we aren't creating an unintended consequence
Wulfson (to question) engineering: "the built world rather than the natural world"
Matthews: when tests are phased out, I wonder if it's more cost effective if students would be expected to take tests outside of schools and would that be covered
Wulfson: this is being driven by budgetary considerations
"is it a good use of our limited resources" to provide a test for only a few students
"we certainly can't expect students to pay for something that's required"
ESSA requirement that we "give all students the same test"
argument to date is all are under the MCAS umbrella; same intention
McKenna asks about how hard it is to recruit good biology and physics teachers to high poverty schools
Riley: always in high demand

continuing to investigate ways to reduce the testing time
and turn around time on results; working to make that closer and closer "so while those students are still in that classroom, the teacher can have results"
lots of opportunities around computer-adaptive testing

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