Ninety-five Theses on State Testing

“Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute withContinue reading “Ninety-five Theses on State Testing”

The Three Ps of State Testing

We are all familiar with the Three Rs, reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, which have been the focus of federally-mandated assessment and accountability systems for the this first quarter of the 21st century. Those actually involved in education in the 21st century undoubtedly also have intimate knowledge of the Four Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity),Continue reading “The Three Ps of State Testing”

Assessment by Any Other Name, Please

Edy’s Pie, Ben’s Original Rice The Chicks, Lady A The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs The Washington Football Team The Altria Group, American Outdoor Brands Corp. WW, Dunkin’ One of the legacies of 2020 is a spate of name changes, most for the same underlying reason.  As demonstrated by final rows of theContinue reading “Assessment by Any Other Name, Please”

All Systems Go

What Has Stopped Us from Getting to Go on Balanced Assessment Systems K-12 large-scale assessment generates a great deal of discord, but there are two statements regarding large-scale assessment on which there is near universal agreement: The importance and impact of large-scale assessment on K-12 education is disproportionate to its utility in improving student learning.Continue reading “All Systems Go”

Little Boxes All The Same

It’s time to stop trying to fit performance assessment into the large-scale assessment box When I think of the repeated attempts over the past twenty-five years to integrate performance assessment into large-scale K-12 assessment two images come to mind.  The first image is Pete Seeger singing Little Boxes. Little boxes on the hillsideLittle boxes made of tickyContinue reading “Little Boxes All The Same”

When it seems the magic slipped away

A blog year in review If there was ever a year in which it seems the magic of large-scale, K-12 testing had slipped away, 2020 was that year. Our field  found itself under attack for its racist past and a present in which tests produce outcomes that have a disproportionately negative impact on non-white and economicallyContinue reading “When it seems the magic slipped away”

A Pawn’s Life

The Queen’s Gambit, the compelling Netflix mini-series, has created a mini-resurgence in interest in chess, boosting sales of chess sets and chess books.  For nerds of a certain age, however, it wasn’t a fictional account of a troubled young American chess champion taking on the Soviets that grabbed our attention and made chess a required chapter in ourContinue reading “A Pawn’s Life”

The Stakes are High, The Water’s Rough

In the wake of the events of 2020, the assessment and measurement community has made a commitment to do the right thing to ensure that tests are used appropriately.  The community has vowed to be more proactive in speaking out against policies and test uses that result in inequitable outcomes or consequences, while actively promotingContinue reading “The Stakes are High, The Water’s Rough”

Would AYP Have Sucked Less Without Test Scores?

In my previous post, Whose Job Is It, Anyway?, I did not include accountability systems in my discussion of a state’s responsibility for the validation of common uses of test scores.  As I mentioned in that post, that omission was not because accountability systems do not require careful scrutiny; they certainly do. It is precisely because thereContinue reading “Would AYP Have Sucked Less Without Test Scores?”

Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

Whenever I come across the story Whose Job Is It, Anyway?, I cannot help but think of validity and K-12 large-scale assessment.  Who among us has not sat through countless TAC meetings where the mere mention of the lack of validity evidence in the technical report results in blank stares and handwringing; or in recent years, listenedContinue reading “Whose Job Is It, Anyway?”