WHAT EVERY PARENT AND TEACHER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIGH STAKES STANDARDIZED TESTING
1. NO standardized test should be used for HIGH STAKES purposes (pass/fail, teacher evaluation, funding) because a HIGH STAKES test MUST BE closely aligned with the curriculum (teacher tests what she teaches). When every school or every districtdesign their own curricula, there CANNOT BE ALIGNMENT. http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OCR/archives/testing/introduction.html#40
2. HIGH STAKES standardized tests are called "secure" tests which means that NOBODY can see them. Teachers and parents are not allowed to see the test before or after grading. This raises questions of errors and curriculum alignment. Companies who create the tests also grade the tests. Mistakes by Pearson, creator of PARCC, are documented and crucial to children, teacher and schools being held accountable.
3. Parents MUST demand to see their child's graded tests. Parents should NEVER allow their students to receive a grade on ANYTHING that they do not review. A new state law requires teachers/schools to provide ALL instructional materials to parents upon request with only SECURE TESTS being an exception. This is NOT acceptable! The only way to eliminate this problem and produce a meaningful assessment is to remove the high stakes value. This must be done through legislation.http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=913599&n=HB1199%20Act%20436
3. Teachers and students are required to sign an affidavit that they will not discuss anything on the test to anybody. Here is one of the lines of the STUDENT OATH: I understand that I may receive a zero on this test if I: discuss the test questions at any time with anyone. Educators should NEVER tell students they must not share information with their parents! What are the consequences? Students cannot be held legally accountable! Parents SHOULD inform their schools that their children ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SIGN THIS AFFIDAVIT! There is little to no value in a test that is not used to inform instruction.
4. Not every state uses their standardized tests for HIGH STAKES accountability. HIGH STAKES are not only NOT REQUIRED by U.S.ED, they warn against it. (See above link) Applying high stakes makes accountability PUNITIVE rather than CONSTRUCTIVE. We need a system of constructive accountability!
5. Did you know that our standardized test scores and School Performance Scores are controlled by Supt. John White? He sets the CUT SCORES and the SPS formula and CHANGES THEM REGULARLY! Doesn't this make the use of accountability for FUNDING using taxpayer dollars ILLEGAL? http://louisianaeducator.blogspot.com/2014/08/leap-scores-manipulated.html
6. Did you know that your children’s test scores are used to evaluate a teacher and determine whether she will be fired and lose her Louisiana Certification? No Child should have that responsibility! The evaluation system is called COMPASShttp://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=793654
Follow these two St. Tammany Parish Teachers against the Common Core Initiative for more information -
Dr. Mercedes Schneider is also author of the ed reform whistleblower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education
Lee P. Barrios, M.Ed., NBCT Retired
BESE Candidate District 1, 2015 – Elect an Educator