Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Essential Background Reading for the NECAP Struggle

Sherman Dorn:

I remember the sequence a little differently: the primary pushback came from parents when their children’s high school graduation was threatened. When the test was crafted in the mid-90s, the original plan was for AIMS to become the graduation test for the high school class of 2001. But when there were problems guaranteeing instructional validity (i.e., making sure all students required to take the test had been taught what the test covered), Keegan proposed a one-year delay, almost 15 years ago to the day. Then in 2000 and 2001, as it was clear that students were failing the exam in well-off communities such as Scottsdale, there was enormous pressure on legislators to modify the implementation of the graduation requirement. Keegan left her position, AIMS was delayed, and the cut-score thresholds were dropped quite a bit in terms of the number of students who were failing. On that last point, Ladner and I agree, but not on the cause. While educators were deeply concerned with what they saw, nothing would have changed without suburban parents who complained to their legislators. I think it’s clear in retrospect this was a classic case of Keegan’s system brought down by a politically-unacceptable failure rate.

No comments: