Filed under Testing Impropriety

Still no Answers in D.C. CAS Testing Probe


By Marcus Coates

Spring is in the air and the end of another school year is just around the corner, yet sadly, there is still no resolution in the unusually high wrong to right erasures on the D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) tests.

Last week, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced DCPS will participate in an OSSE-led independent investigation into 2011 DC CAS results that will be conducted by Alvarez and Marsal Public Sector Services, LLC (A&M).

According to DCPS, in addition to welcoming the investigation, A&M will also investigate of an additional set of classrooms that were “flagged for further review had high wrong-to-right erasure rates and statistically aberrant student gains from 2010-2011.”

While the selection of a vendor to investigate testing results is definitely a step in the right direction, the glacial pace of the response to the allegations is a major concern for parents, teachers, and the community.

Testing impropriety is a very serious matter and threatens the integrity of the teaching profession. However, one must consider that such action is a direct by-product and an unfortunate reality of so called data-driven education reform.  With similar incidents in Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, sadly, this activity will continue to plague school districts throughout the country as this testing-obsessed culture spreads.

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