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Battle Ground School District – Common Core Testing Review

At the School Board meeting this past Monday August 24th David Cresap (Director of Assessment) gave a presentation on the results of the SBAC (Common Core testing). This represents the districts view. I’m happy to share my thoughts if you are interested (they differ in some regards). Here is the material that was presented:

Communications Summary of State Testing Results Dr. David Cresap, director of assessment, and Allison Tuchardt, assistant director of assessment, presented an overview of BGPS’ 2014-15 state test scores. The presentation, which can be viewed online, explained the district’s assessment system as a pyramid with a foundation of daily, formative feedback; a mid-section of regular classroom and interim assessments and a peak of summative assessments once a year.

BGSD_Assessment_Pyramid

The presentation then highlighted several summative test scores including the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) for science, Smarter Balanced for English Language Arts (ELA) and math, and End-of-Course (EOC) exams for secondary math. The district as a whole BG Board Briefly, Submitted August 26, 2015 1 scored close to or above the state average on all tests.

WASL_MSP_SBA_7th_Grade_ELA

The presentation highlighted specific trends in the data. In regards to the new Smarter Balanced assessment for ELA and Math, the state is using the 2014-15 results as a benchmark in student achievement. The graph below shows that historically, test results improve over time as school systems become more familiar with expectations. BGPS average scores are shown in blue and state scores in orange.

Each time a new test is introduced, there is a dip in scores, and a new baseline is created. It is important to note that state tests have drastically changed over the years, and scores should not be compared from test to test. The graph also highlights that the 2014-15 results statewide are much higher than the 2013-14 field test results and expectations (shown by the white dotted line).

“We are in a peak of complexity with the new assessment systems,”Cresap said. The process will continue to be streamlined as the state irons out specific requirements and district staff and students become more familiar with the technology and style of testing.”

Board members asked questions about the future of district assessments and student participation rates. Students choosing to refuse to participate in the test receive a score of 0. This complicates the process by lowering class test scores and makes it difficult to truly assess student learning in alignment with standards. The Assessment Department will continue to communicate with staff, students and families on the full assessment system and provide information on the value of assessment as a part of good instruction and learning.

Comment: The test results have little meaning because they are NOT predictive of anything. The only “score” that has any predictive value is…GPA. The billions of dollars spent (nationally) on these tests WOULD make a difference in the class room.

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