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Saturday, April 16, 2016

MCAS 2.0 Suggestions

I'm a fan of streamlined standardized testing.

For MCAS 2.0, I believe the test should include no more than 2 or 3 2-hour tests for grades 3-5. I believe the tests should be online, simple to administer, take, and analyze tests that give us an overview of student standardized test performance.

I believe the tests should be progressive meaning that you take the test where you left off the year before. Instead of the same students taking tests that are multiple grade levels below or above their current performance, they take the next level test no matter how old they are. For example if you're a fourth grader performing at 8th grade level, you take that test, or alternatively if you're a fifth grader performing at 3rd grade, you take that test. Let students test up to their current level of performance. It's a crime to have students continue to take tests that are too easy or too difficult as that only tells us what we already know about those students.

In summary, streamline the efforts. Spend less money and make the tests a more efficient, straightforward measure. Then use the measure for what it is worth which is a fraction of the overall evaluation of positive teaching/learning.

I hope this is what happens because spending three weeks giving 5th grade students nine "one size fits all" tests is not appropriate, valuable, or time worthy. We can do this better.