It's great that the district has put up this information (I'm not sure how long it has been up - I saw this on Facebook via a reader). But, there's a lot of ed lingo in there and I really wonder many parents will truly understand it all. There is also a lot of language that is somewhat but not totally true.
These online assessments are designed to measure how well students are meeting new academic standards designed to better prepare them for college, career and life.
Maybe for community college but probably not many four-year colleges. That should be made clear.
Or how about this:
Rigor: Students will not be able to rely as much on process-of-elimination to find an answer. The assessment includes some multiple choice with more than one answer as well as other demands for higher-level thinking.
I'm hoping that this "more than one answer" issue is being addressed by teachers. I also think it worth having parents tell their kids that it might seem that there is more than one answer.
Even the math assessment includes some short-answer writing.
As you may recall, this was an issue on the WASL math as it seemed more about reading than math. Let me know what your student says. This disadvantages ELL students.
Interactive: More than just multiple-choice, students may be asked to drag-and-drop answers, complete a chart or highlight evidence.
Boy, your kid better know how to use a computer.
Remember that scoring shifts are normal whenever more rigorous academics and their assessments are introduced; teachers and students need time to adjust. Please know that this year’s scores will be viewed as a new baseline that will help our teachers (and families) measure future growth.
And teachers and school leaders will recalibrate their expectations.
All this to really say - don't be shocked by your student's score. It might be lower than your expectations. You might need to "recalibrate" that expectation and know that maybe it's the test rigor, not your kid.
For this reason, most third-graders with a Level 1 score (out of four levels) on the English language arts assessment will be scheduled for a teacher conference before the end of the year. Because schools need those scores early in order to make time for the state-mandated conferences, third-graders will be the first to take the English language arts assessment.
FYI, for third grade parents.
Here's what the district says on refusal to take the test:
- Students who do not participate will receive a "zero" score on the assessment and no score report for teachers or families to view.
- A zero will negatively impact the school's overall results.
- Teachers will not receive results that could be used as a tool to measure the student's academic growth.
- Families will not receive results that will enable them to chart the student's growth over time.
- High school juniors without assessment results will not be eligible for the remedial testing waiver offered by state colleges (see above).
- Students who do not participate will receive supervision but not instruction during assessment time.
As to point two, a zero only negatively impacts the school's overall results if there are a lot of them. And, what does that really even mean?
As to point three, see my point one.
As to point four, see my point one. As well, you will be receiving results from all the OTHER testing done on your child.
As to point five, there are other things to do to avoid remedial classes in college.
As to point six, well, the kids taking the test aren't receiving instruction, either.