Spare Change, State Tests and other Anachronisms

I emptied our spare change jar the other day.  The actual “jar” itself has at times been an empty ricotta container or peanut butter jar. But for years it has sat in the same spot collecting the loose change from our pockets at the end of the day. It’s right there at the entrance toContinue reading “Spare Change, State Tests and other Anachronisms”

The Most Important Question

In states across the country, lots of questions are being generated as state policymakers and local educators pore over results from the Spring 2022 state tests in English language arts, mathematics, and science. More often than not, however, the single most important question of all is not asked directly.  At the district and school level:Continue reading “The Most Important Question”

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

Once again, those of us on the technical side of large-scale assessment and educational measurement find ourselves behind the curve. In the 1990s, the public clamored for achievement levels and criterion-based results while we were comfortable reporting percentile ranks and grade equivalent scores. Just as we were “getting a handle” on standard setting and percentContinue reading “Slow Down, You Move Too Fast”

Don’t Be Constrained by Constraints

We all know that large scale state testing is bound by constraints. Some might go so far as to argue that state testing is defined by these constraints. Time, cost, security, well-intentioned but ill-conceived federal regulations, and outdated peer review expectations all tightly shape the who, what, when, where, why, and how of state testing.Continue reading “Don’t Be Constrained by Constraints”