NIFL-ASSESSMENT 2005: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1186] RE: high-stakes te

Share: Share on LinkedIn! Share on Google Plus! Share on Pinterest! Print page!

Archived Content Disclaimer

This page contains archived content from a LINCS email discussion list that closed in 2012. This content is not updated as part of LINCS’ ongoing website maintenance, and hyperlinks may be broken.

From: Nancy Hansen (sfallsliteracy@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Aug 01 2005 - 13:33:15 EDT


Return-Path: <nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov>
Received: from literacy (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by literacy.nifl.gov (8.10.2/8.10.2) with SMTP id j71HXFG19740; Mon, 1 Aug 2005 13:33:15 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 13:33:15 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20050801173138.56475.qmail@web40706.mail.yahoo.com>
Errors-To: listowner@literacy.nifl.gov
Reply-To: nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov
Originator: nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov
Sender: nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov
Precedence: bulk
From: Nancy Hansen <sfallsliteracy@yahoo.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list <nifl-assessment@literacy.nifl.gov>
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1186] RE: high-stakes testing, state/federal
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Status: O
Content-Length: 8348
Lines: 223

Hi Katrina et all:

A personal and sincere thank you, Katrina, for your
thorough, thoughtful reply to Howard's post.  And
Congratulations!  It must be an exciting time for your
family with a new baby born into it!  

I appreciate your taking precious, dear time to write
this e-mail while deep in the work of loving and
life-giving to your newborn.

You concluded with:  
<<I don't think there is an easy answer or solution.>>
 

I agree.  But I feel a compromise should be sought.

Another point I would like to see made is 
coordinators, directors, administrators -- whatever
their title -- should have the levity to make
*choices* about which assessment tools they feel best
suits the population they serve without being severely
punished for their choice.  

I feel that right now this is the case with using the
NRS system as a requirement for *all* AELS programs,
whether the chosen-testing tool is "fair" in their
state or not.  A "no choice" circumstance.

Nancy Hansen
Sioux Falls Area Literacy Council

--- Katrina Hinson <khinson@future-gate.com> wrote:

> I've been really quiet on this list for the last
> several weeks - partly because we just welcomed a
> brand new baby to our family - now that I've caught
> up on all the collected emails, I think I'll dive
> into this discussion.  A colleague and I were
> actually discussing "standardized" testing issues
> over coffee this past Saturday as it relates to our
> own program.
> 
> To answer the questions posed by Howard:
> 
> I don't like standardized tests. I never have -even
> as a student in school myself.  I think they are
> excellent guage of a student's ability to memorize
> and regurgiate information but not necessarily a
> good guague of a student's ability to APPLY the
> knowledge they have. I also think one of the fatal
> flaws with a standardized tests is that sometimes
> students learn something simply to pass  a test but
> then forget it as soon as they think they don't need
> it any longer. Unfortunately, because of reporting
> and funding, I think standardized tests,
> irregardless of which one a state or school uses,
> have become a necessary evil.  I happen to agree
> with others that spoke up on the list that stated
> that they don't really think standardized tests are
> the best way to go in terms of assessing students.
> Like others, my own school does intake testing
> before assigning a student to a class.  One of the
> problems I've found is that some students don't take
> the test seriously, they get really low!
>  scores, are improperly placed, and then  they quit
> coming b/c they get bored. For the record, we use
> the TABE test.  I've seen students test who simply
> opened their test booklet and just bubbled in
> answers - yet when doing work in class, it was
> discovered that they knew way more than the test
> showed. Likewise, I've had students test really
> high, and it not be an accurate indication of what
> they really knew. I've had students, especially in
> the math portion of the test, score at the 11th and
> 12 grade level yet those same students could not
> work with complicated fraction problems, had trouble
> with long division, etc,let alone the inability to
> do algebra and geometry.  The TABE, along with any
> standardized tests, is going to have inherent flaws
> - because it uses snippets of data to "test" a
> student's knowledge base but it doesn't come close
> to giving a real and sometimes completely accurate
> picture.  On a side note, I also agree with earlier
> comments that the TABE is not neces!
> sarily an ideal test to "assess" a student's reading
> ability.  In my t
> levels, as a GED instructor and even as an AHS
> instructor, reading ability is truly only assessed
> when an instructor spends some quality one on one
> time with his or her students gauging everything
> from fluency to  comprehension. The TABE, CASAS and
> even the GED definitely tests comprehension skills
> but give a weak assessment of the students' fluency
> skills. It can be assumed that if the student has
> trouble comprehending what they have read, then by
> defaulty they have trouble with fluency - but it
> doesn't begin to tell or help an instructor know
> just where that problem might lie. Is it with word
> recognition, phonetics, rate, etc.  There are a lot
> of questions that no standardized tests can ever
> answer and that the instructor is going to have to
> "assess" on his or her own.
> 
> My experience with CASAS is that it too doesn't give
> a complete picture BUT, I do like the fact that it
> is "Life Skills/Employability Skills" based. I think
> it's much easier to explain to someone in their 50's
> and 60's in terms of CASAS, than it is to have given
> them the TABE and show tell them that they are at a
> 4th grade level in a given area. I agree that such
> explanations are a bit demeaning to adults who have
> life experiences that the TABE does not take into
> account.  There is a huge difference between the 17
> year old who completed 10th grade and the 50 year
> old who held a job for 20 years before the plant
> closed and those differences are NOT Assessed or
> accounted for in assessments.
> 
> Howard asked if there was one tests that was "better
> than sliced bread". I think the answer to that is
> "no." No one tests will ever give a complete
> picture. I think that is also the fatal flaw in the
> NRS. It's data driven only and data is one sided. 
> Data like that can be skewed b/c not everyone tests
> well; data can be misleading - students tests high
> or low and it not be the real "indication" of their
> ability; students deliberately "blow" the tests b/c
> they don't understand or appreciate the significance
> of it. There are a lot of factors, it seems to me,
> that make "standardized" testing flawed but  because
> of funding issues, they are necessary. I think it 
> becomes equally necessary then for instructors to go
> beyond the "initial" assessment done at an intake
> session to truly identify the needs and abilities of
> their students. I think this can be done with one to
> one interviews, surveys and teacher made materials. 
> I think that as a student enters and learns, that
> portfolios !
> of work highlighting their growth are the best
> assessment of their ability. 
> 
> I don't think there is an easy answer or solution.
> 
> Regards
> Katrina Hinson
> 
> 
> >>> hdooley@riral.org 07/27/05 10:21 PM >>>
> 
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> 
> "Help", he says, not quite desperately.  (I have
> procrastinated, so I am
> just a "nonce" from desperation.)
> 
> As my program (staff and learners) and fellow
> practitioners move into
> the 21st century of "no adult left behind", trying
> to meet the
> accountability requirements of federal, state, and
> program parties,
> trying to be evidence-based, standards-based, and so
> on in the jargon of
> the moment, we are as you are trying to prepare our
> learners for
> post-secondary training/education and for
> living-wage jobs, and, well,
> frankly (as St Paul said) trying to be "all things
> to all people so that
> some few can be saved".
> 
> In that context, I am interested in hearing and/or
> discussing with folks
> the implementation of standardized assessments.  Are
> they always a
> necessary evil?  The devil's due?  Have you found
> ways to make them
> relevant, engaging?
> 
> Perhaps (whisper, wink) you are you a true-believer?
>  Is the TABE, the
> BEST, the CASAS, the best thing since sliced bread?
> 
> Don't be shy.  Blast me.  Guide me.  Lurkers, come
> out and play.
> Theorists, practicivists welcome to proselytize. 
> 
> Do you reject standardization?  Are you are a
> naturalist?  Please, let
> me know how to move down the "path not taken."
> 
> If your comments are "not ready for prime-time", you
> can reply privately
> to hdooley@riral.org.  Thank you.
> 
> Howard L. Dooley, Jr.
> Director of Accountability, Project RIRAL
> Assessment Team, Governor's Taskforce on Adult
> Literacy
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp,
> some are
> pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and
> all are
> different colors...but they all have to learn to
> live in
> the same box.
> 



		
____________________________________________________
Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page 
http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs 
 



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Oct 31 2005 - 09:48:51 EST

LINCS Learner Center

Connects adult learners to online resources to learn how to read, get job skills and more.

See Resources

LINCS for States

Engage with the Professional Development Center's training and learning opportunities to build state capacity and provide professional development.

Learn More

Federal Initiatives

Access materials from Federal Initiatives to improve teacher quality.

Read More