Picking up and even expanding upon the issue of inflated scoring in Kentucky’s new Program Reviews for school accountability that I wrote about earlier today, the Courier-Journal in Louisville also points to the serious problems that were admitted to today in the Kentucky Board of Education’s meeting.
The Courier points to telling comments from Kentucky Department of Education staffers:
“Department staff said that no scores were changed as the result of this audit. However, Ellis said that if schools’ scores are ‘extremely inflated again after they received an audit’ that it be a red flag to ‘send them on for a possible testing violation.’”
That might seem like a good course of action, but because the review process is so vague to begin with, making a violation stick might be really tough.
Unless someone comes up with a huge amount of money to both do better training of teachers scoring the reviews and to do a whole lot more auditing than is currently being discussed, I don’t think this problem is going to be solved. After all, impacts from teacher self-scoring plagued Kentucky’s old writing-portfolios-for-assessment-and-accountability program throughout its history from the beginning of KIRIS testing in 1992 to the demise of CATS testing in 2008.
It’s really a very simple equation:
(School Self-Scoring + School Held Accountable for The Scores) * (Human Nature) = Guaranteed Score Inflation