State achievement tests are (presumably) valid for one thing...and one thing only. They were (supposedly) made and validated for measuring student achievement.
- Achievement tests are not made to evaluate teachers.
- Achievement tests are not made to evaluate schools.
- High stakes decisions should not be based upon achievement tests...grade placement, graduation, required summer school.
The education establishment of state departments of education and the federal department of education (see what I did there!) regularly misuses test scores in this way...State sponsored tests -- encouraged by the US DOE -- are regularly used to make invalid conclusions about students, teachers and schools. So it's ironic that the validity of the already invalid tests is being questioned. To do so gives the false impression that the tests were, at one point, valid.
In any case...we should learn from this mistake before we continue down this destructive road...
CTB/McGraw-Hill has had a few problems this week.
Validity of ISTEP+ exam disputed
Indiana's online testing for ISTEP+ was halted this past week due to computer and network errors.
Educators in Allen County and across the state are questioning the validity of the ISTEP+ exam after problems plagued this week’s round of online testing.Put yourself in the mind of a third grader. What's your reaction to seeing a big FAIL message on the screen as you're taking your "very important" test?
“We are at the point where we doubt very seriously that the results will indicate the effort of our teachers, parents and students,” Mark GiaQuinta, FWCS board president, told a news conference at Grile Administrative Center on Friday.
GiaQuinta is calling on legislators to commission an independent investigation into the reliability of the test.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Friday she is considering bringing in a third party to review ISTEP+ scores.
Like the story of one student in the district who started crying when a “fail” message appeared on her computer screen, indicating a network failure.It's not just in Indiana, though...it seems that CTB/McGraw-Hill has had national problems...
“However, at 9 years of age, a ‘failed’ message does not always translate into ‘a technical issue occurred with uploading the answers,’” [Northwest Allen County Schools Superintendent, Chris] Himsel wrote in an email to staff, thanking the student’s teacher and others who’ve calmed students with similar reactions.
Oklahoma school testing glitch What happens next in the aftermath of the Oklahoma school testing glitch?
For the second day in a row, Oklahoma students taking state exams -- some of them required for high school graduation — were booted out of online programs by a technology failure.Computerized Testing Disaster Preview
Tuesday morning, about 1,000 junior high and high school students were prevented from finishing the tests midway through when servers crashed, according to the state Education Department.
Students experienced a similar problem Monday when the company that administers state exams, CTB/McGraw-Hill, experienced server malfunctions while uploading student testing results.
School testing came to a halt statewide early Monday because the CTB/McGraw-Hill testing company servers in New Jersey crashed around 9 a.m., state education officials said.It's time to stop the madness...Let teachers teach. Let students learn. End the overuse and misuse of tests.
In the last week of Oklahoma's April testing window, the outage has raised rescheduling concerns among school officials across the state.
"We're working with (McGraw) very closely" to resolve the problems, said Sherry Fair, spokeswoman with the state Department of Education.
School districts were advised to cancel online testing because of the server crash, although some students in a few schools somehow were able to complete tests.
Stop the Testing Insanity!