Wednesday, March 20, 2013

To Be Honest, This Is All Just Kabuki

Elizabeth McNamara:

The big question for Mercurio is about how to judge a student's improvement. If a student taking the test for the second time again fails to score a 2, that student could use the test for graduation if he showed growth.

"So the question is, how much is good enough when it comes to growth? What does that look like?" Mercurio said.

According to Gist, it would be “any growth that’s not by random chance – any growth at all that’s meaningful."

She said specific score targets are available now for every child but did not explain exactly how each target was calculated.

"The goal score will vary," she said via Twitter Monday night, "however, the calculation of growth is the same."

If the NECAP needs to be taken a third time, Gist said, the hardest questions would be culled from the test, with the idea of making it less intimidating. "But it doesn’t mean that it’s easier for them to get the score that they need to graduate."

When asked why that version of the test wasn't used for the second go-around, Gist said, "The range of why those students didn’t score a 2 varies really wildly – everything from they did their very best and they didn’t do very well, to they got really nervous and they didn’t do very well, to they just flat out didn’t try because they didn’t think it counted or it mattered. So there no need for us to make that determination until we’ve at least given it a second try."

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