Friday, September 05, 2014

Items of Interest - Smarter Balanced/NCLB Waiver

The WEA did a survey of schools that field tested the Smarter Balanced assessments

The highest score - on a 1-4 scale - was "alignment with Common Core."  That came in at 2.65.

The lowest was a 1.72 for "Overall Impact of SBAC Practice and Administration on the School Day."

50% (!) of member respondents said it 11-20+ hours for student to take the test.

Also SB had an estimate of how long it would take students to complete tests in various subjects.  Most respondents said it was about one hour more than estimated.  (Learning curve?)

But when asked what were challenges to students in taking the LA test, the biggest one was
"keyboarding skills" followed by "test screen - split screen, navigation, scrolling."

For math, the biggest student issues were "test tools - fractions, calculator, graphs, formulas), followed by "difficult, above grade level."

The biggest concern for teachers was "Schedule disruptions, loss of instructional time."

About Washington's loss of its NCLB waiver:

PAA, Social Equality Educators, and  several others have come together to form OurSchoolsAreNotFailing.org
Our Schools are not Failing is a website dedicated to telling the stories about the positive contributions of our schools.  Along with the website we have launched an online petition that calls for the reinstatement of the waiver from NCLB by Secretary Duncan.

If we get hundreds or thousands of signatures it has the potential to become a national news story and put pressure on Arne Duncan.
We really hope that many parents and students will write short statements about what they like about their school to submit to our website.  let me know if that is something you could help encourage. 

7 comments:

Transparency Please said...

"50% (!) of member respondents said it 11-20+ hours for student to take the test."

Holy cow! This spring, when our students take tests, our community will finally become aware of the meaning of Common Core!

Transparency Please said...

""keyboarding skills" followed by "test screen - split screen, navigation, scrolling."

We've been informed that our students will be taking LA tests on a computer and there are concerns about technology. For those that have been watching this issue...we have been aware of this issue.

I hope these kids have the skills to type!

Lynn said...

I wonder how high the opt-out rate will be?

Linh-Co said...

Could schools lose funding if a large number of students opt out? Will the EOC's be replaced by Smarter Balanced. I'm inclined to opt out if it's not punitive to the school and/or my child.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Linh-Co, yes, your school (and possibly teacher)will be "hurt" by opting out. If your child is a good student, there goes that good score that helps bump up the average. That's what NCLB is and, of course, punishes schools with a large number of transitory students, ELL or Sped. Even if those schools are doing the best job they can for those students (with the funding they get).

I don't think schools lose funding, though.

The district is trying every which way to cut off opting out. They did it with MAP, using it was the gatekeeper for AL. That was wrong but they did it any way.

I don't think the EOCs are replaced by Smarter Balanced.

Anonymous said...

If you go to the OSPI site you can see when the common core and NGSS tests will replace the HSPE and EOC at high school. http://www.k12.wa.us/assessment/StateTesting/default.aspx
It's a rolling replacement (especially as the NGSS test hasn't been written yet, and the authors of the standards suggest not testing until a full cohort has gone through), but I expect Smarter Balanced to replace HSPE in the next year or so, but I'm unsure about the math EOC as the math SB is really hard to use.

Glad I left

Anonymous said...

If most students finish a given test "in about an hour", rest assured that some will take all day, and possibly longer. Multiply that out by every test and every grade level, not to mention computer limited computer access, and you see why schools are already spending 6 weeks in spring on absolutely nothing bit testing. Think your kid will spend his hour testing and move on to instruction, think again. The whole school gets bogged down. This is sure to make a pitiful situation worse.

Privates Dont