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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Reply - Majority of PG students taking state English test fail (Updated)

(Posted November 20, 2005)
From: Rick Tyler
Date: Sun Nov 20, 2005 7:49 pm
Subject: Reply - Majority of PG students taking state English test fail (Updated

Neither I nor most of the groups or folks I am associated with support High Stakes Assessments or Test. However, most also wish those who write these stories or criticize Prince George's Schools its children, staff and others would also learn to use the correct terminology.

Students taking any of the HSA or MSA Assessments do not receive a PASS or FAIL Grade. Therefore, why is the media, administrators and others using it? They are assessed based on a variety of pre-determined scores that depend on the subject, grade level , etc. and cut off scores that are not given to the students, parents or the public unless you specifically ask for them. The score results determine if the students, school, school district and/or state perform at a Basic, Proficient or Advance Level.

One could argue that those who support the design, implementation and evaluations used for these assessments are actually failing many of our kids including those who consistently perform at the proficient or advance level, because that may be on the only thing they learn or are assessed on in some of our schools. We also do not know if all students, schools or school districts are assessed adequately or equitably on the same information.

In addition, we do know that our various special populations of students (I.e., ELL, FARM, TAG, GSLN, etc. require a variety of different teaching strategies and/or instructional resources in order to master similar academic material. In many cases that may require a variety of additional staff with diverse professional development, skills, experiences and more over and above the definition of High Qualified as described in law. We also must factor in that no two students learn the same requiring additional considerations not factored into what I call cookie cutter curriculums and instructional techniques based on similar cookie cutter assessments that assume all sizes fit all.

So I again ask - who failed?

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