RE: Assessments

Date: Thu Mar 02 2000 - 17:09:59 EST

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    I will use Linda's remarks as a platform to respond to the insightful
    commentary that all of you have contributed. The results in Colorado are
    very similar to those Linda is reporting in Maryland, even with the
    emphasis on literacy that the state has had for the past three years. What
    is coming to light in a very glaring way is that our boys are scoring
    substantially behind girls in reading, writing, and math at the lower
    grades. The middle schools assessment are just beginning here, but the
    speculation is that the patter n will continue. When the test results are
    disagregated not only by race and gender but also by SES, the results are
    predictable. The concern I have is how the results are being used. If
    they become a driver to have the curricula in line with the standards and
    their supporting rubics (not always the case in many districts) that is one
    consideration. If the results are used as a catalyst to make the changes
    in the school systems so that all students are helped to achieve, that is
    another consideration. What is in the offing is that low test scores are
    being used as a rational to take accreditation away from schools, to push
    for vouchers and charter schools, and possible state take over of low
    performing schools. The debate about the fairness of assessment processes
    is not new nor are the patterns of achievement found in assessments. What
    does appear to be new is the use of assessment results in the political
    processes to meet agendas which may or may not have the success of all
    students at their core. Our region may be unique in that respect, but what
    has been the political climate around assessements in your areas?

    Kathleen Rigsby <>

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