On the whole "Assessment" push, I hate it. There is a difference between an Assessment and a Test, yet the amazing state of Ohio decided to change the name of our huge, big, this determines how your school is reported, how the teacher is viewed (no one bothers to compare if each of our students' progressed 1 year of knowledge or more, for instance, I am teaching 6th in a new school for me-same big Urban district- the 6th grade students at this school did Very well (for our district) as a group last year, and the year before that, etc. All I keep hearing is "last year we had a 78% passing rate in 6th grade reading" so you have big shoes to fill. however, the group of students that I am teaching had a 57% passing rate as 5th graders last year. Looked at logically, If I can get 57% or more to pass the 6th grade test, then I will have helped my students gain 1 year or more of knowledge. However, I keep hearing how I "have" to match or exceed last year's 6th grade scores. The scores need to move up with the individual chid/average for the grade, each year. Different kids, different groups of kids, different abilities. Can you tell I am stressed
) how the districtis are viewed, etc.
It has been the Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) for the last 4 years (was the Ohio Proficiency Test previously) About 2 months ago (yes, in the middle of the school year) the state officially changed the name to the Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) In my opinion, it really is not an assessment, it IS a Test. It is standardized based only on grade level across the state, same "assessment" for every child of that grade level regardless of incoming ability level, district make-up (rural, sub-urban, urban) and each school district may only count "Alternate assessments" for 2% ( i believe that is the new mark) of all Students, regardless of IQ, IEP Goals, Identified Learning Differences, etc. Our Large urban district has about 18% of our students with Identified learning Disabilities, and much more than 2% of our total enrollment have IQ's under 70. Yet, they must be given the Standardized tests appropriate for their grade level if they don't make the 2%, or we do what is right for the child and just not give the "Assessment" that will frustrate them because, while most are hitting their IEP goals, our student population has more than 2% who will not be able to read/understand the actual grade level test. Right now we are supposed to be able to get 75% of 98% of our enrollment to be at grade level proficiency, regardless of the above mentioned issues. The "plan" is that in 5 years, 100% of 98% of our enrollment is supposed to be proficient. There are currently no accomadations for districts with higher percentages of students with IQ's of 70 or lower (urban districts tend to have much higher percentages than sub-urban) and no differences in requirements for low-income districts vs the affluent districts. No differences made for the ability level that students come to the schools with, parental involvement, anything.
I have faith in my students, their families, and myself, but to ignore, or pretend, that the only issues affecting how and what a child learns is the child and the teacher, is unfair.
Wow, I am so sorry to derail the thread! I actually like "celebration of knowledge" but agree it depends on how the teacher presents and uses it