Utah looking to dump tests Florida paid millions for.

You ever get the feeling Florida doesn’t know what it is doing when it comes to education? Now I am not talking about Florida’s teachers, by all accounts some of the best in the country but it’s policy makers.  

A little background, Florida paid Utah five million dollars to field test the questions of our upcoming Florida Standards test, you know because Utah and Florida are so similar. Well Utah has just announced they are planning to scrap their test all together.

From the Salt Lake Tribune: Thursday, lawmakers turned on the SAGE test, like Frankenstein from his monster.

“There will be legislation this year to create a task force to look at doing away with the SAGE test entirely,” Stephenson said during a Public Education Appropriation Subcommittee hearing. “I think we need to be looking at the whole issue of whether we should be having end-of-level tests.”
The committee conversation was prompted by Rep. Justin Fawson, R-North Ogden, who objected to a plan by the state school board to lease SAGE to other states and use the revenue to create new questions for the test.
Why expand a test, he asked, if his ultimate hope is to see the assessment abandoned?
“I don’t support high-stakes testing,” Fawson said, “so to that end, I can’t support additional development of assessment questions for that test.”
Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, agreed. He said students don’t like the test and the results from the first year of implementation, which showed widespread failure in math and English, can’t be trusted.
“The data comes out low and it’s treated as an accurate assessment of where we are, when in reality it’s inherently flawed,” Christensen said. “If you’re going in the wrong direction, you don’t step on the gas pedal.
This is the test by the way that Florida intends to use to grade students, schools and teachers  and will have pay, employment and promotion repercussions. A test Utah thinks is fundamentally flawed.
Florida which has already spent tens of millions of dollars should follow Utah’s lead and get rid of the test after all if they were good enough for us to go to for our questions they might just know something about its quality. 

2 Replies to “Utah looking to dump tests Florida paid millions for.”

  1. The tests probably are accurate and FL and UT just don't want to face the results. The standards for passing cannot go any lower. It's pathetic that my high school students cannot subtract without a calculator or add one-digit numbers. I'm not talking about students with Downs Syndrome or any learning disability, just ignorant children of ignorant parents. They can't read either or use simple vocabulary words in a sentence. "I have a DIVERSE." Really? "What's a POLLUTE?" I was asked by one, emphasis on the first syllable. Are these words too difficult for high school kids? They would score a one out of 10 on the new test and they should, for Christ's sake.

    When students score low on these tests, people say the tests are no good. It's not the test! It's the kids who can't do shit and make A's and B's. I graded a multiple choice test today and several got 1 in 20 correct. How is that possible? Had they chosen "A" for every answer, they would have gotten 4 correct. They had a study guide, but why study when you can make an A or a B by just showing up? School is like soccer now – everybody gets a trophy. And that makes me a babysitter. And my boss is the parents, who don't call with concern when they see their kids' report cards, but with anger when I take their child's phone.

    And no, I don't teach at an inner-city school. Rigor, ownership, accountability are just buzz words. Want the boss wants is to move them across the graduation stage and too bad if businesses can't find anybody who can use a ruler.

    You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! Your kid is in high school, reading and doing math on a first grade level. He's not getting into UCLA, even on a football scholarship!

  2. Conversely, I have students who cannot past the FCAT but can score at college-ready on the SAT/ACT and on the PERT (placement test for community college). Which test is more valid? Beyond that, no college professor cares how well a student scored on FCAT. Can that student read a text and write in response? Usually, students are given weeks or months to craft a paper. Now, we give students 90 minutes to analyze 2-4 sources and respond in a coherent researched-based way. Most adults couldn't accomplish that.

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