Testing, 1-2-3

Testing, 1-2-3

The Internet ate the morning news roundup -- I'll try and get it reconstructed later today.  Meantime, here's some more news on last week's now-revised TeachPlus report on district testing burdens plus what's going on in other parts of the country around testing time and information-gathering:

As many noted, the initial TeachPlus numbers were too low -- but not because they didn't include test prep time (that wasn't part of the study) or because they didn't include teachers' experience of the testing time taken (generally double what was officially required) or because they didn't include network or school-level testing requirements (again, not part of the study).

The main problem in terms of the report's accuracy was that the time estimate for the ISAT was too low -- an oversight or discrepancy between CPS and ISBE that TeachPlus has since revised.

In a perfect world, TeachPlus would have gotten the ISAT number right from the start, and would have been able to tell us which networks were requiring which tests in addition to district requirements.  A good follow-up for someone would be to include estimates of test prep time, too, though you can imagine that one person's test prep is another person's regular old instruction.

There's an AFT study out there looking at two districts that includes some test prep time estimates and costs to administer -- I'll dig it out and put it in comments.

Other notes:

- Neither the AFT nor NEA have blasted the TeachPlus study (yet), though the AFT has touted its study as being more granular.

- Neither CPS nor ISBE (nor any other district that I know of) has responded to the report, pro or con -- despite the wide variations that the report finds.

- No one seems to know how common or uncommon it is for districts to do what CPS has done in terms of streamlining district requirements but letting networks establish their own testing schedules.

- MTAS Chicago is extremely active on Twitter - which is fine -- but doesn't say who they are and won't ID anyone individually.  I generally like to know who I'm talking to.  Anyone know who's in charge?

- In a new column over at Scholastic, I propose that Secretary Duncan conduct a national audit of state and local testing practices and get a committee together to establish some best practice guidelines for states and districts to consider.





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  • here's the revised report, showing 7 hours of testing time in math and reading - still among the lowest (but not including network-required assessments)


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