The LA Times is running a story (as many California papers are) that addresses the results of the test scores for 2016-17 in California. These are the tests called the CASSPP which is just the SBAC test renamed. Scores didn’t increase quite as much as everyone hoped, so now many parties representing various educational interests are coming up with reasons of what is possibly going wrong.
This particular stance from a former “technical advisor” for the people who make SBAC is intriguing:
Cizek was a technical advisor for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which developed the California tests. In the past, he said, when states adopted new standardized exams, students’ scores increased as they and their teachers became accustomed to the format and questions. But he described the California tests as a “different animal.”
“They’re requiring changes in classrooms to get gains,” he said. “You’re not going to budge this needle much if fundamentally the way kids are being taught doesn’t change.”
Oh, so kids aren’t being taught the right way, or too much traditional teaching going on?This wouldn’t have to do with “the shifts” that Common Core supposedly requires, would it? Or that students must be taught math with understanding and not rote? And that students must learn to think and “problem solve”? It wouldn’t be that would it? (For more on the “shifts”, see this piece.)
Last year I taught in a traditional manner; in my algebra class I even used the Dolciani textbook “Modern Algebra” from 1962. The students had to take the 8th grade test; there was no separate 8th grade algebra exam. One of my students got a perfect score. All were in the highest category. Similarly in my 7th grade class. To all who say my arguments prove nothing and what’s more they lack nuance, you’re right.
Same goes for most of the spin about Common Core.
Deal with it.