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Friday, May 03, 2013

Assessment Taskforce Speaks

According to the Seattle Times, the Assessment Taskforce is recommending that MAP not be mandatory for high schools...next year.  But it will still be mandatory for K-8. 

The Taskforce will deliver their report to the Superintendent on Monday and then have the full report available later in the week. 

Here's what the Times says they said:

Among them: The MAP test alone should not be used to determine whether a student can enter a certain program; assessment results should be more clearly communicated to families; and teachers should be better trained to administer and understand assessment. 

What the group didn’t address is how each school will determine optional use of the test, leaving that decision to each school’s leadership. 

I want to read their report but this is a little wishy-washy.  And, it puts the district in the great position of saying, "See the Taskforce said to continue to use it" and renewing the contract (which is now up).

I find it interesting that the Times wrote "whether a student can enter a certain program" - maybe that's how it was phrased - but we all know they are talking about Advanced Learning.  I am grateful the Taskforce got that right.

I am also glad - and I hope this is pointed out in the report - that the district needs to provide better information to both parents and teachers (but this should have been done sooner and was not as stated by Michael Tolley).  



9 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

I wonder where the reporters got their copy of the Task Force recommendations? From the meeting?

Maureen said...

You know, MAP ALONE isn't used now to determine whether a student can ENTER a certain PROGRAM. But it is used to determine whether a student can access a certain CLASS (i.e., Algebra I in 6th grade). And it is used to determine whether you are allowed to TEST to enter a certain program (i.e., IBx at 8th grade). So does this phrasing mean nothing will change?

Po3 said...

It is mandatory that schools give the test in K-8, it is not mandatory that students take the test. That is an important distinction that should be noted.

unclear said...

Yes, MAP alone is used to determine whether a student can enter Algebra in 6th grade. Will this continue, or is the task force recommending a change to this policy? It's unclear based on the Seattle Times article.

Anonymous said...

Alg 1 isn't a "program," so it sounds like the task force may have given the district an out on this one.

I will be interested to read the actual report. I am thinking of Bill Clinton now after reading about the task force committee findings. It all depends on what the meaning of "program" is.

I am sorry that they found value at all in the MAP test. I sure haven't.

-pickle

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Does anyone know anyone on the Task Force?. It seemed like the district wanted to be controlling at the outset so I'd be interested to know if the report is representative of the Task Force or the district's opinion.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am very disappointed by this report. It seems that the Task Force came to believe that MAP was only a high school problem. I predict a lot of elementary teachers are going to feel completely ignored by this conclusion, and there are a lot more elementary teachers than high school.

Emile

Charlie Mas said...

Is Algebra I a program? A service? A curricular focus?

Is it a class? A course? A course of study? A curriculum?

The District intentionally creates a swirling chaos of words with fluid meanings, done specifically to combat accountability, discredit outsiders by making them appear un-informed, and negate rules.

The Board makes rules about programs, so the staff responds by re-defining programs as services to evade the rules.

The Board makes rules about curricula so the staff re-defines it as instructional materials.

The staff re-defines the word curricula and make sneering dismissals of teachers and activists who use the previous definition.

Anonymous said...

The district has changed programs to services because IDEA requires "service". The actual wording is "Special education is a service, not a place." This wording in the law was a response to student isolation in special education programs with 0 expectations of them. And, it was a response to the notion that students are "in" special ed, instead of the intended "extra service" coming to them in addition to the general education they recieve.

It's pretty obvious that it is also a way to avoid responsibility, since it's hard to track a service.

-sped parent