Monday, May 30, 2016

PARCC Get an "F" So What about the SBAC?

Update: read this blog thread below from Wait What and then appreciate that the Seattle School Board recently passed a resolution, 5-1 (with Director Blanford voting no and Director Geary not at the meeting), to ask the state to allow districts to be able to select/create an alternative summative assessment framework to show academic mastery.  (Their discussion is in Part Two of the video of the board meeting. Here's the cue-up from the Seattle Education blog.)

end of update

From the Wait What? blog by Connecticut writer, Jonanthan Pelto with Wendy Lecker, news that PARCC is not as advertised.   (bold his)
In the most significant academic study to date, the answer appears to be that the PARCC version the massive and expensive test is that it is an utter failure.
William Mathis, Managing Director of the National Education Policy Center and member of the Vermont State Board of Education, has just published an astonishing piece in the Washington Post. (Alice in PARCCland: Does ‘validity study’ really prove the Common Core test is valid? In it, Mathis demonstrates that the PARCC test, one of two national common core tests (the other being the SBAC), cannot predict college readiness; and that a study commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Education demonstrated the PARCC’s lack of validity.

This revelation is huge and needs to be repeated. PARCC, the common core standardized test sold as predicting college-readiness, cannot predict college readiness. The foundation upon which the Common Core and its standardized tests were imposed on this nation has just been revealed to be an artifice.

(Dr. Mathis’ entire piece is a must-read. Alice in PARCCland: Does ‘validity study’ really prove the Common Core test is valid?)
Who is William Mathis?
Dr. Mathis is not an anti-testing advocate. He was Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the state of New Jersey, Director of its Educational Assessment program, a design consultant for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and for six states.   As managing director for NEPC, Dr. Mathis produces and reviews research on a wide variety of educational policy issues. Previously, he was Vermont Superintendent of the Year and a National Superintendent of the Year finalist before being appointed to the state board of education.
And what about the SBAC? (black bold his, red bold mine)
The SBAC has yet to be subjected to a similar validity study.  This raises several questions.  First and most important, why has the SBAC not be subjected to a similar study? Why are our children being told to take an unvalidated test?

Second, do we have any doubt that the correlations between SBAC and freshman college GPA will be similarly low?  No- it is more than likely that the SBAC is also a poor predictor of college readiness.
How do we know this? The authors of the PARCC study shrugged off the almost non-existent correlation between PARCC and college GPA by saying the literature shows that most standardized tests have low predictive validity.

This also bears repeating: it is common knowledge that most standardized tests cannot predict academic performance in college. 
Why , then, is our nation spending billions developing and administering new tests, replacing curricula, buying technology, text books and test materials, retraining teachers and administrators, and misleading the public by claiming that these changes will assure us that we are preparing our children for college?

And where is the accountability of these test makers, who have been raking in billions, knowing all the while that their “product” would never deliver what they promised, because they knew ahead of time that the tests would not be able to predict college-readiness?
 These are all good questions.


Anonymous said...

At one point Dr. Mathis weighed whether it cost Vermont more to meet the mandates in NCLB than it did to just skip all federal money. I haven't been able to find his article/study recently - probably in one of my boxes someplace - but it was an interesting read, and I can't remember the final outcome.


Voting Reykdal said...

I looked at the issue of SBAC validity last summer. I felt that the consortium had a large role in determining SBAC validity and it was to be done at the federal level. I sent an e-mail to one of Dorn's staffers. I received a vague response and Dorn was linked into the e-mail. I felt I was getting close to a serious issue and Dorn's office was nervous. After watching Dorn help Gates circumvent the court's ruling regarding I 1240- I have no reason to believe that Gates isn't working directly with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on more than one issue.

I was thrilled to see that Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate- Chris Reykdal- took a shot at SBAC during the last legislative session. He was one of the legislators that sponsored a bill that would mandate SBAC results be available by June 15th. The bill passed unanimously in the House.

Reykdal looked at the board's SBAC resolution and he didn't feel the opt-out language was strong enough. Again, I suspect the legislatre needs help.

Some like Erin Jones because she is inspirational. Worth noting Jones is an inspirational speaker, but I have not seen any type of solid plan to address serious issues in a divided legislature. I'm sticking with Reykdal.

Anonymous said...

A group of California professors & researchers have openly questioned the SBAC & its reliability/validity as a measurement of student learning (and in some states, of teaching) and called for a moratorium on its use.
They have a decent research brief on this site:


Anonymous said...

Seriously, SPS can not even adhere to a standard quality math curriculum and somehow this board expects SPS to be able to design an appropriate assessment standard and schools to use it.

I doubt even if SPS started such a folly that it could complete the work.

It's not clear why Blanford's voted no, but he was correct in doing so.

Common sense