Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Education researcher not breathing easy yet

Conscientious teachers and education officials across Kentucky were relieved to see the long-awaited demise of discredited and wasteful CATS testing last week. Bluegrass Institute education analyst Richard Innes, however, urged caution Tuesday as we seek a new testing program.

"We need to insure the new assessments are more resistant to the sort of inflation-to-make-educators-look-good problems that ultimately undermined CATS' credibility," Innes said.

Innes remains skeptical of the Department of Education's desires to cover its own tracks and bend the rules.

"We found out in the past that the department is capable of going off on its own despite the provisions in law. The department dramatically proved that when it illegally dropped norm reference testing in elementary schools and when it consistently ignored a provision to create a longitudinal assessment to track student performance over time. That provision was in the 1998 legislation that created CATS, by the way. It’s a decade later, and it never happened," Innes said.

The rest of his comments are available here.