Monday, July 17, 2006

Feds to Oregon: Your tests aren't valid!

For years I've been screaming it from the mountain tops: Oregon's tests are not valid and reliable. All the powers that be said I was wrong.

Now, the Oregonian reports, the feds have threatened to withdraw NCLB funds from the state department of education because our tests aren't up to par.

I've blogged on this issue, written BrainstormNW columns and feature articles on it, written Oregonian "In My Opinion" pieces on it, spoken about it on more than a dozen talk radio shows, given speeches on it, ran a statewide campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction on it, and lobbied legislation to correct it.

Every step of the way, I was told I was wrong, that Oregon's testing experts had it all covered, and our tests were just fine. Every education establishment organization from the Oregon School Boards Association to the Oregon Education Association testified that I was wrong. Susan Castillo, who defeated me for State Superintendent, defended Oregon's testing system and opposed my bills to restructure it.

The print version of the article, which ran on page B5, headlined: "Questions about tests jeapordize funding," explains that the problem is Oregon's tests aren't "properly calibrated," and that they might not "fully assess what students are expected to learn."

In other words - after well more than a decade of Oregon bureaucrats deciding they knew better how to develop and administer achievement tests than companies with decades of experience testing tens of millions of students, our tests are garbage. They don't test what kids are taught, and they don't give accurate scores.

Great.

Ok, whose head will roll? It's not as if this is the first time they have heard this.

1 comment:

gus miller said...

Rob, here's that Oregonian article.

I can not understand why Oregon's test development and analysis bureaucracies at the state, ESD and district levels have not coordinated their redundant bureaucracies as a means of complying with NCLB as well as an opportunity to free up scarce dollars to be spent in classrooms.