Sunday, September 21, 2014


We can tell you that we would be better off without them.  Below are comments made to Dr. Sutherland on the SCAs and how teachers are having more time taken away from instruction.  Funny how one thing Sorum forgot to mention is accommodating students who have an IEP, 504, etc.  You also have dual language that needs tests in Spanish and then some make them take both.

Please read the comments below and see if this is how it went in your classroom.  Board and anyone who listens, what have you done to completely disrupt the educational flow?  We told you so!

Readers comment on the first SCA

by Ann Sutherland on 09/16/14
I received a copy of the testing schedule today--fifth grade has 48 tests in English and 38 in Spanish--and on some days the teachers have to do BOTH tests.   (I didn't count the other grades.)

*Unrealistic expectations for first 3 weeks. Items are not field tested, consequently there is no data on reliability nor validity. Instruments are questionable at best. Translations from English to Spanish are questionable. Tests take 1 1/2 days to complete. Time wasted on test administration. Time wasted on searching for information on Eduphoria and an internet system that consistently collapses. Let's go back to CBA's!! We went from the frying pan to the fire!!

*I observed the same things commented on by the teacher. Additionally, students needing special test accommodations were pulled out, had to find additional space, and their testing took at least 1 hour for each test. The loss of instructional time is horrendous! The ISIP testing is going on within the same window of time causing more loss of instuctional time. The portion of HB5 you posted says "no more than 2 assessments related to the STAAR", but those 2 exclude other tests traditionally given including PSAT, SAT, ACT, IB and regular tests given by the classroom teachers trying to make their own assessments to inform their teaching, which the SCAs don't. Also, this first one at least is really a picture, not of this year's teacher, but previous teachers. These SCAs are intrusive to the regular flow of the academic year. This is a lot of data. Where is it going? What is its true purpose? Some wonder if someone at central admnistration is working on a doctorate and needing data to analyze. Is this a possibility? This is just another disaster that will produce no good results and further limit valuable instruction time. These SCAs were treated like the CBAs in that the tests were put under lock and key and lines formed outside the test coordinator's offices so that teachers could turn in their test stuff. There were long faculty meetings following. Is this going to be every time?

*Reflections on the first SCA:
           What was supposed to be a 30 minute test ended up taking an hour and 
a half.  (This was for the 3rd  grade math test.)

           Because of the reordering of the curriculum, we taught Origo Module  
7 which covers graphing first, our students had not been exposed to many of the 
topics embedded in the test yet this year.  For example,  all ten questions     
required the students to add and subtract two digit numbers.  Although this was 
taught in 2nd grade, there has been no refresher on this in 3rd, because we     
taught the Origo Modules out of order.            

6 out of the 10 questions were “How many more questions.”  This made it a test  
less of graphing and more about subtraction comparison questions which has not  
been reviewed this year and is one of the most difficult concepts for students  
to understand.

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