State board hears testing concerns
Thanks to everyone who contacted members of the North Carolina Board of Education to recommend that they eliminate the problematic test-score-based Standard 6 from the state teacher evaluation.
Board members seem to have heard you loud and clear.
“I doubt we’re going to find anyone who’s opposed to this based on the emails we’ve received,” board member Eric Davis told DPI’s Tom Tomberlin, who presented the recommendation. “You’re the most popular person in North Carolina.”
Board members had a generally favorable discussion of the recommendation, and should vote on it at their March meeting.
This is only a first step. Eliminating Standard 6 will not eliminate any tests. For now, the state will continue the problematic strategy of giving teachers “value added measurement” (VAM) scores based on their students’ test results – despite widespread evidence that VAM scores are both unreliable and unfair.
Without Standard 6, however, the influence of these scores should be significantly reduced.
Eliminating Standard 6 will also open the door for a re-examination of the many additional tests and other evaluations that have been piled on North Carolina students and teachers in recent years – particularly the North Carolina Final Exams, the Analysis of Student Work endeavor and numerous tests in grades K-2, where standardized testing is particularly intrusive and inaccurate.
MecklenburgACTS recommends that the state stop requiring any standardized test that is not mandated by the federal government. (the feds require the reading, math and science EOG tests in grades 3-8 and the high school EOC tests in math, English and biology). The limited information these tests provide is not worth the time, energy and funding that goes into them. Let’s get back to teaching and learning.
Coming months should bring further discussion of the number and nature of these tests. Please take any opportunity you can find to inform your representatives on the state school board, at the Department of Public Instruction and in the General Assembly about the many problems with excessive testing.
More details about the problems with high-stakes testing and with VAM scores can be found here.