K-PREP middle school science
The new Kentucky Performance Report for Educational Progress (K-PREP) test results and the Unbridled Learning school accountability scores have now been released. People are asking, “What do these new test scores show? Is the new program really more rigorous? Is it rigorous enough?
Our first two blogs looked at K-PREP eighth grade math and reading. We found that while the new K-PREP tests in math and reading are more rigorous than the old CATS assessments, the new tests still may not be rigorous enough, with the picture looking somewhat better for reading than math.
Now, let’s look at K-PREP science. Unlike the math and reading K-PREP tests, the K-PREP science tests have not been written to new national standards for the very simple reason that such standards are still in development and have not been approved and released. In fact, as we start to show here, the new K-PREP science tests really only look like warmed over CATS Kentucky Core Content Tests (KCCT) right down to the obviously inflated scoring.
This graph compares the science proficiency rate reported by the new K-PREP seventh grade test to other science test results available for our middle school students.
Notice that the K-PREP science proficiency rate for seventh grade students is hardly lower than the proficiency rate score from last year’s KCCT. This is VERY different from the K-PREP math and reading situation.
Also notice that the best comparison data we have available, which is from eighth grade science testing from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the ACT, Inc.’s EXPLORE, strongly indicate that if our K-PREP science results were to be aligned to what students really need to know in this area, the proficiency rates reported would be much lower than the 61.70 percent rate reported by K-PREP for middle schoolers.
Therefore, it appears that K-PREP science, at least at the middle school level, still suffers from the excessive inflation in scoring that plagued – and ultimately doomed – the CATS assessments. This implies the overall scores from the Unbridled Learning accountability program for middle schools are inflated, as well.