Standardized Testing Update: MTAS meeting with CPS 12/12/13

CPS invited members of More than a Score to meet last week.  A summary of the meeting:

Present from CPS: John Barker, Chief of Accountability, Annette Gurley, Teaching/Learning, Didi Swarts, Assessment, Katie Ellis, Office of Access and Enrollment

Which test will be used for Selective Enrollment admissions in 2014? CPS will be announcing this in January. It will not be the ISAT.  The March 2014 ISAT cannot be used for 2015 SE admissions because the Illinois State Board of Education cut the SAT10 questions, which were necessary to find the national percentile ranks that CPS used to set a third of a student’s SE score.  

In addition, this raises the question - what’s the point of the ISAT this year? It’s not going to be used for selective enrollment admission or school performance ratings.  Why do our kids have to lose a week of teaching/learning to take this test this year? CPS will be using the NWEA to rate schools for their new Level 1-5 system next year…

California has suspended some of their state testing as they transition to the MAPP:

http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/local/signing-of-state-bill-suspends-some-star-testing-for-next/article_28072738-2cc9-11e3-8e86-0019bb30f31a.html

Amount of testing: MTAS discussed the amount of CPS testing. Based on the CPS assessment calendar, it seemed that the number of tests administered to a child in a grade had effectively gone up, not down. Chief Accountability Officer John Barker and Director of Assessment Didi Swartz  said that students in 2nd grade should not be tested on both the NWEA MAP and the NWEA MPG and that if optional winter MAPs were being given, then that should be the primary literary assessment for 2nd graders. REACH assessments should cover only one subject in homerooms. They acknowledge that at some schools, more testing was occurring than should be. They asked that parents inform them if this is this case. Please email info@morethanascore.org to tell us what the assessment schedule is at your school.

Promotion Policy. MTAS asked about the promotion policy for grades 4,6 and 8 for students who choose to opt-out of testing. CPS has no current policy to exempt students who are otherwise academically qualified for promotion from being declared “Level 2B” if CPS has no NWEA test scores for them. CPS is open to proposals for alternative promotion option. We will meet with CPS again in late January to discuss.

Opting out. If you want more information on how to opt your children out of testing contact More than a Score: info@morethanascore.org.

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