As mentioned in our previous post about the Kentucky Department of Education’s “CATS Task Force,” the following call for input has been issued. It contains contact and mail address information for you to submit your comments and concerns about CATS to the task force.
Parents in particular can supply some important information that isn’t specifically listed below. If your child got CATS scores that differ greatly from his or her school grades or performance on other tests like the EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT tests, the task force needs to hear about this. We at the Bluegrass Institute would also appreciate hearing from you about these examples of questionable CATS scoring. My personal example, which occurred years ago under the old KIRIS assessment, involves our daughter’s outstanding writing performance versus the scores she got from the state assessment program. She won the PTA’s statewide writing contest as a ninth grader and had outstanding grades in English but only got an “Apprentice” score from the state’s writing assessment. Clearly, something wasn’t right, and it wasn’t with her grades, as her extremely high ACT score in English and her success in college later proved.
KDE Release Follows:
INPUT SOUGHT FOR ASSESSMENT/ACCOUNTABILITY TASK FORCE
News Advisory 08-077 – September 22, 2008
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – The members of the Task Force on Assessment and Accountability have issued a call for input from teachers, administrators, parents, businesspeople, elected officials, education advocacy groups and others who are interested in the state’s public school testing and accountability system.
The task force is focusing on a number of areas, including:
• on-demand writing/writing portfolios
• arts & humanities and practical living/vocational studies
• minor changes to the assessment system, including national comparisons, alternate assessments and the Kentucky Core Content Tests
assessments of student learning
standards (narrowing of curriculum)
longitudinal testing models
individual student focus
analysis of Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) technical programs
balance of student/school accountability
timeliness of results
Written comments on those areas (or others) are requested. Those may be sent to Lisa Gross, director of the Division of Communications, 6th Floor, 500 Mero St., Frankfort KY 40601; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; fax (502) 564-3049.
The task force is charged with reviewing the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) and providing a blueprint for the system’s progress in the future to ensure that the system meets the best interests of public school students. Members of the group include policymakers and experts in the field.
Education Commissioner Jon E. Draud asked statewide organizations, partner groups and leaders of the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives to name members to the task force. The group will analyze individual components of CATS and determine the effectiveness of those in meeting the needs of students.