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Testing and Data Gathering


Update: August 14th

Ever wonder what other states are doing regarding Opt-Out efforts from the High Stakes Testing? New York has evolved from low concern to high concern over the past ~3 years. Take a look at this story from The New York Times and then share your thoughts here with us.



In addition here is a slide deck that New York released showing much more detail:


Update: August 14th 

This article in on the main page but is posted here because it’s releveant.

This link takes you to the blog of Sarah Blaine called: parentingcore. Her post is a follow up to a Facebook discussion she had. In this blog article she expands on the discussion and adds more details and information.

It will take 3-4 minutes to read the article. After reading it stop back by here and share your thoughts. The graphic is from her blog.



Update: August 13th

This is an article in the Washington Post about the testing results and Op-Out effort in New York state. You may find it interesting.


Update: August 12th

Here are the slides from the OSPI “media update” on August 12th. The full data set will be made available to the public on August 17th. Under each slide I’ll make some comments:


In 2014 the test was given on paper and 2015 on computer (for most). 2015 was the second time students had taken the test and used the format. They did slightly better in 2015 which allowed OSPI to claim that students “did better than anticipated”. No matter how you look at it these are terrible scores. This is English Language Arts (ELA)


This is the math portion of the SBAC test. The results are even worse than the ELA


They need 95% participation or the data isn’t useful and the district would receive a failing grade. It appears that with the exception of 3rd and 6th grades otherwise others barely had enough students and Juniors clearly said NO.


What does this slide say? It shows that they LOWERED the passing standard. Up until the test results a 3 and 4 were passing with 1 and 2 failing. To make the test results more acceptable they decided that a 2.5 is now passing. In essence they threw out what the planned because the reality would have raised a storm. This says the testing process is not just flawed it’s fatally flawed.

Updated August 9th

This is a letter multiple elected officials in Washington State wrote to the public about High Stakes testing. The only issue I have with their comments is the statement that the minimum number of tests should be based on federal laws. This needs to be a state level and not federal.

Why We Oppose Excessive and Harmful High Stakes Tests

This post is an article I co-wrote with seven other Senators on June 15 2015 explaining why high stakes tests often do more harm than good and therefore should be reduced to the minimum number required by federal law:

The more than 60,000 high school seniors who graduate here in Washington state this month are to be commended for 12 years of successfully completing dozens of courses. Thousands other high school seniors will not graduate with their classmates, however, even though they successfully completed the same courses as the students who are graduating. These thousands of seniors will not be allowed to graduate solely because they failed one or more state-required, high-stakes tests.

This is neither fair nor sensible. Some students are simply not very good at taking high-stakes tests — even when they know the material and did well in their courses. There are students who earn A’s in courses only to freeze up and forget on the day of a high-stakes test. This is not a test of knowledge; it’s a test of who tests well.

Numerous studies confirm that some students — especially low-income and minority students — do much worse on high-stakes tests than students in the same school, in the same courses and with the same grades. A study of thousands of California students in 2009, for example, found low-income and minority students with matching grades were 19 percent more likely to fail a high stakes test than their peers.

Some argue that we need high-stakes tests to determine who is career and college ready. But numerous studies over many years have found no high-stakes test has ever been able to predict college readiness. Indeed, the most accurate predictor of college readiness is high school grade point average. If we want students to do well in college, we should encourage them to do their daily homework and do well in their courses — not spend months of time worrying about test prep trivia for a misleading high-stakes test.

Mind you, we’re not opposed to testing per se. We still want to be able to gauge how our students do compared to students in other states, as we did with the Iowa tests; but high-stakes tests are not the answer.

Academic achievement is not measured by a single test. It is measured by the diligence of students who master the curriculum. How a student performs over the course of a 180-day school year is far more telling than how a student performs on a 180-minute test.

Despite the evidence that high-stakes tests have little value, Washington requires high school students to pass four high-stakes exams — in reading, writing, math and biology — to earn a high school diploma. House Bill 2214 would eliminate the biology exam as a graduation requirement, a change that would allow 2,000 additional high school seniors to graduate. Information recently released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction indicates there are more than 10,000 students who will not graduate this year due to failure to pass one of more high stakes tests. But only a few of these students would be helped merely by waiving the biology exam because most of the affected students have failed two or more of the required high-stakes exams.

There is another, better option. Senate Bill 6122, co-sponsored by 11 senators, would allow all 10,000 students to graduate — provided they have completed all of their course requirements — by eliminating all high-stakes tests as a graduation requirement. Half of all states in our nation do not require high-stakes tests for graduation. It is time Washington was one of them.

Written by: Sens. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline; Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver; Karen Fraser, D-Olympia; Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill; Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle; Karen Keiser, D-Kent; John McCoy, D-Tulalip; and Pam Roach, R-Auburn.

Updated August 4th

The teacher in this video says he helped write the Common Core standards as way to correct “white privilege”. Somehow I thought that all children should be treated equally and given the same opportunity rather than education being used to redress someone’s perception of “privilege”.


This page is dedicated to information about testing and data gathering.

Update: June 25th 2015: Do you know what the ACT is? It’s one of the two (the other being the SAT) tests usually taken by high school students going to college. The SAT is being completely revised to follow the Common Core standards. Now it appears the ACT is going down the same path. Take a couple of minutes to read the story in this link: http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-act-is-tattling.html 

Post #1:   (reposting from a blog by Diane Ravitch)

The University of Puget Sound has joined some 800 other colleges and universities by dropping the SAT

“Put away your study guides, college applicants — the University of Puget Sound doesn’t care how you do on the SAT or ACT.

“The Tacoma university has joined a small number of Washington colleges, and a growing list of colleges nationally, that don’t require undergraduate applicants to submit standardized test scores when submitting an application for admission.

“The reason? UPS has found that grade-point averages are much more predictive of how a student will do in college than a score on a test.”


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