Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nobody Could Have Predicted

Burkins and Yaris:

One main idea we gathered from reading the PARCC text and test items (Pun intended!) is that PARCC seems to be confusing text complexity with text that is difficult because it is poorly written. Complexity is not the only reason a text may prove challenging, but it is the purpose of the PARCC assessments, as they clearly state that every item in the test is designed to assess text complexity. Making something complex involves more than making it “hard.”

This to me was always the risk of emphasizing "text complexity."

Also, text complexity in assessments is one of the few things in this whole process which can be "objectively" enforced. Not that each text has some Platonic true complexity, but you can write an algorithm to spit out a number which "proves" your case. So you can add in the commentary to the standards "Also, this has to be a genuinely valuable, well written, virtuous, whatever" text, but at the end of the day, that's not going to carry much weight in the test writing process. But they will get the complexity numbers to come out right.

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