Benchmarks and Testlets and Pilots, oh my!
It was bound to happen. Once Measured Progress won the right to administer our 3-8 Reading* and Math tests, you knew they had to do something to pad their profit. In emails across the state today:
We at Measured Progress are honored to have been chosen by the Oklahoma State Department of Education to serve as assessment partner for the Oklahoma College and Career Readiness Assessment (OCCRA). The OCCRA will reflect the learning expectations articulated by Oklahoma’s new state academic standards.
Since the award was announced we have heard from many Oklahoma district administrators who are looking for assessments comparable in rigor and depth to that of the new academic standards. We are pleased to offer Measured Progress COMMON CORETM Assessments–a suite of testing tools specifically designed for use in the classroom and available now. While we are aware that Oklahoma has developed state-specific academic standards, we also know that the two sets of standards are parallel in rigor.
To be clear, the COMMON CORE Assessments are not predictors of student performance on the OCCRA or any other high-stakes test. Rather, they are formative assessment instruments that provide teachers with data to inform and adjust instruction. They also offer students the opportunity to take assessments similar in quality and depth to that of the new state assessment.
COMMON CORE Assessments include:
The Measured Progress COMMON CORE Assessments are delivered on a platform provided by our technology partner, eMetric, giving students the chance to take classroom tests on an interface virtually identical to what they’ll see on the state assessment. We are also preparing to pilot with districts a new generation of science assessments, as well as curriculum-embedded performance assessments–both built to reflect the state of the art in technology and content quality.
I will be calling you in the next couple of weeks to explore how we might help you make your local assessment program more effective and informative. In the meantime, please visit our website to learn more about the Measured Progress COMMON CORE Assessments. And if you are interested in participating in our science pilot, please visit our website or send an e-mail to our Product Management Group.
I want to see a show of hands. Which of you Oklahoma administrators have been pestering these poor people over the last three months? Let them breathe already! They’ve been busy preparing field tests item tryouts for our students to take after they’ve taken their real tests. If they don’t opt out that is. Because that would be wrong.
It sounds like Measured Progress is ready to provide something that schools are getting right now from Acuity for free. I just wonder at what cost. And they can’t say this strongly enough, but the benchmark test is no predictor for what will become OCCRA.
I am still giggling every time I say or read that. I have no plans to stop.
The kicker comes in the last sentence – the science pilot. Funny – I don’t think Measured Progress is our testing vendor for science. What’s that about, you ask?
What will my district pilot?
What will be expected of educators and students in my district?
But Oklahoma didn’t adopt the NGSS – we have OASS. It’s totally different! Besides, this is just an opportunity to sample their wares – not their instructional materials, but their test items. It’s not a field test. It’s not even an official item tryout. It’s a pilot. They’ve found another thing to call subjecting our students to tests that have no meaning. The creativity of these people will never end!
Keep in mind the benefit to us as educators is only that we get to see assessment items that may align to the new science standards, even though the state has not yet begun the process of selecting a vendor for those assessments. There’s no training over the standards themselves or how to improve instruction. This will absolutely be testing for its own sake. The testing company will benefit. Schools will not.
Welcome to the testing mélange, Measured Progress. You’re gonna fit in pretty well around here.
*It’s not all reading. It never is.