Monday, May 13, 2013

A testing time

The glitch in this year's ISTEP testing is certainly a major headache for schools. But the glitch will be fixed and if the scores truly are affected, they will probably be discounted in school ratings and teacher evaluations. One particular year is mainly a point in the trend, and schools have other means such as Acuity to gauge progress even if the official test is questionable. The faux outrage looks like a way to protect their butts just in case the scores look bad. Those "we are an A rated school district" banners were a joke anyway.

What's hard to believe is the stories about kids emotional reactions to the problem. Kids have no real stake in the outcome. Even if they fail every ISTEP they take, they will be socially promoted into high school. If they fail the ECA's in high school they will still get an "alternate path to gradation". There are really no cosequences for kids who fail the state tests, no asterisk on their diploma or disclaimer that they "graduated" from high school with an eighth grade education.

So Wendy's whining about losing the "culture of continuous improvement" because of one year of questionable data is ludicrous. Until they change their policy of blanket social promotion, they will remain just another "premier" urban school district that won't hold kids accountable.