Excerpts from this article:
…As scores came back from the very first round of testing, teachers noticed that many of the scores did not match what they were observing in their classrooms.
…We should have noticed that the RIT scores from the test failed to give us the specific information we needed about each student. We had strong evidence that the tests were cognitively inaccurate, and numerically unreliable, but we failed act. As a teaching staff, we were too busy doing the daily things that we had to do.
…But teachers reported that the growth graphs did not even come close to matching what they were observing in the classroom.
…At the meeting, I again pointed out that our data clearly showed 20% to 50% of the scores being unreliable. Both the curriculum coordinator and special services coordinator laughed at this claim and suggested that I did not understand statistics.
…I asked permission to review NWEA’s technical data to see what type of performance we should expect from MAP testing. The administrators present all approved. After about a month of reviewing manuals at home after school, I reported back to the committee. I had found that NWEA’s technical manuals showed the same low precision that I had reported. Consequently, we had no reason to expect much improvement in our testing precision.
…However, we had originally adopted MAP testing to provide data to guide differentiation. We had all attended training how to use test scores to differentiate. And she, herself, had instructed us to use test data as our primary guide for differentiation. And yet, we were now acknowledging that even NWEA advised against using MAP testing to guide differentiation.
…Footnote to Parents: Does your school emphasize that your child get high test scores, or that your child demonstrates high achievement?
…Footnote to Voters: Federal and state laws have imposed standardized tests on all students with the threat that funding would be based on how many students pass. The obvious consequence has been that schools are eliminating programs that offer students chances for real success, and they are replacing those programs with test skill programs. Schools are channeling resources that once helped average and above average students achieve into programs that help below average students pass tests. Continue reading