Checking problem solving skills with only a multiple-choice test???

I first found out about the AMC 8 test in this Herald-Leader catch-all web article. The relevant Herald-Leader bullet item starts out saying: “Austin Li and Mingxi Mao of Winburn Middle School earned the mark of distinction on the AMC 8, a 25-question, 40-minute multiple-choice math exam that promotes the development of problem-solving skills….(emphasis added).”…

State reviews of Jefferson County Persistently Low-Performing Schools raise questions about the reviews

New “Diagnostic Reviews” of what is happening in four troubled Jefferson County Public Schools have been released, but the findings seem inconsistent. While the principal in only one school, Doss High, has been recommended for removal, test data for another school seems essentially the same, and just as dismal. Overall, one is left wondering if…

Then there were only 7 states without charter schools

Kentucky’s still part of a vanishing breed Alabama just became the 43rd state with a charter school law. Meanwhile, here in Kentucky some union-backing House legislators vainly continue to try to make the traditional public school system work for disadvantaged kids with essentially nothing more than traditional ideas. After nearly 25 years of the Kentucky…

Test publisher monitoring social media to catch kids in test compromises!

The Washington Post’s education blogger reports that Pearson publishing is actively looking through social media, looking for what it considers to be compromises of its tests. Information in the Post’s blog indicates students are being disciplined for commenting in the web about the PARCC tests that Pearson creates. There could be a Kentucky connection with…

College readiness improvements in Kentucky? New EXPLORE test data raise doubts

A Common Core concern New EXPLORE test results dated January 29, 2015 from the fall administration of the current 2014-2015 school term quietly appeared in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Supplemental Data web page recently. So far, there has been no news release from the department. And, there is a problem. The EXPLORE Readiness Benchmarks…

Even if Common Core were OK, resulting math curriculum materials aren’t

Education Week just published an article that says “Most Math Curricula Found to Be Out of Sync With Common Core” (Subscription?). EdWeek says the new paper from EdReports.org shows: “The first round of a Consumer Reports-style review for instructional materials paints a dismal picture of the textbook-publishing industry’s response to new standards: Seventeen of 20…

Common Core tests in Kentucky: Questioning the questions

I got a surprise yesterday when the Bluegrass Institute ran a press conference to release my new report, “Selling ‘Performance’ Assessments with Inaccurate Pictures from Kentucky.” However, the surprise wasn’t a tricky question about my report, which discusses increasing pressure in all the states to adopt state assessment models that would look very similar to…

Schools suspending students if: Parents don’t come to a Common Core meeting, For telling other students they can opt out of state testing

The Daily Caller reports that teachers in a Detroit public school have threatened students with suspension if parents don’t come to a meeting about Common Core testing. The meeting time is apparently set for the convenience of teachers without any consideration of parent ability to leave work. Imagine that – schools dictating to parents by…