Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two candid task farce moments

The Bluegrass Institute's education analyst Richard Innes was the only member of the media at Tuesday's CATS Task Force meeting in Frankfort. His report included two very interesting statements.

Jim Applegate, VP for Academic Affairs at Council on Postsecondary Education, said:
If out of all of this we don’t end up with an assessment system that allows us at every step of the way to understand where the individual child is on the road to the next step after high school, on to college, on to the skilled workplace, whether they’re behind, they’re ahead, they’re on track – and, it’ll help us understand how to intervene with that child to do the right thing and then allows us longitudinally to reassess at a point in the future to know whether our interventions work or not – then, I don’t know why we’re even bothering to assess. You know, uh, I don’t know what the point is."

While this is a great point, Education Commissioner Jon Draud is glad you didn't hear about it in the lame stream media because then he would have a harder time ducking and covering behind his fake little study group.

And then there is this from Mr. Innes, which backs up the whole point behind Senate President David Williams' SB 1 and Rep. Jim DeCesare's HB 15:

One surprisingly candid comment came from a somewhat unexpected source, Jon Draud’s hand-picked testing expert Doris Redfield, the only testing expert in this entire group. Dr. Redfield said:
“If you are going to do an assessment of learning – an accountability assessment, an achievement assessment – what you want are the students’ very best possible products – that’s probably measured on-demand because of the reliability and validity factors.”
In other words, measuring writing on an assessment is most properly done with on-demand writing prompts such as those already given during the CATS tests. In contrast, writing portfolios do not provide the same level of reliable and valid scores.

There isn’t anything new in Redfield’s statement, but it was refreshing to hear her echo this, anyway.

More great reporting from the Bluegrass Institute.