Thursday, July 22, 2010

Testing, one, Two, Three – Testing, One, Two, Three – Testing...


....on and on through an infinite loop.

We haven't dealt with the major testing story. You see, Tisch and Steiner, that dynamic duo that run the NY State Ed Dept, embarrassed about the national joke NY State tests have become even as they are used by Merryl Tisch's next door neighbor (Bloom) and her Sedar buddy (Klein) to justify the scam they are pulling about how they raised student levels, decided to commission a Harvard study on NY State Tests. The researchers happened to be Daniel Koretz and Jennifer Jennings – the great Eduwonkette, an old - actually, really a young - buddy from a few years back. No fooling around there. And no Gates money involved I bet to steer the results the "right" way.

Leonie's blog and listserve have been dead on the story.

Bloomberg's Education Gains "Illusory" -- Harvard Researchers
State Ed Commisioner Steiner is making the rounds with analysis prepared by Harvard researchers showing the state tests are simply getting easier.

She links to the Times coverage. Leonie keeps asking why Tisch and Steiner refuse to release the entire study for public viewing. Maybe they think the viewing will play like a mob funeral. Tony Soprano and friend for Steiner and Tisch jobs anyone?

We heard from old pal Fred Smith who sent along his article in the NY Post with this comment:

Norm,

Hope you saw this. Opens up a few windows that go beyond talk of "score inflation" to expose how defective the test instruments are. It aint that the clock is ticking too loudly. It's that the clock is broken.


Here is an excerpt from Fred's work:

Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner David Steiner have admitted that the state has badly bungled its testing of New York's schoolchildren. They are promising to do better -- but want to close the book on what went wrong.

Sorry: Assurances of more honest days ahead aren't enough -- we need to resolve accountability for the dishonest days of the recent past. After all, Tisch and Steiner are implicitly acknowledging that the critics have been right, and the state Education Department wrong, for years -- since 2006, at least.

The department and test publisher, CTB/McGraw-Hill, have reduced the tests' "cut scores," so that a student could score fewer points but still be graded as "proficient."

Department spokesmen, buffered by the head of the state's Technical Advisory Group, defended the adjustment by saying the questions had gotten harder. In fact (as was shown by data I later obtained via the Freedom of Information process), the questions were getting easier. Lowering the bar made no sense -- yet the department insisted it did.

A Harvard study quantifies some inevitable long-term consequences: Students labeled "proficient" in fact struggle to graduate from high school; most are unready to do college-level work. That Tisch and Steiner commissioned the study doesn't absolve anyone of responsibility for this sham.

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