Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Former Kentucky testing expert raising concerns about new state standards

Andrew Porter, dean of the graduate school of education at the University of Pennsylvania and a former member of Kentucky’s National Technical Advisory Panel on Assessment and Accountability (NTAPAA), is raises some very strong concerns about the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that Kentucky adopted a year ago.

In a letter published in Education Week (subscription?) Porter writes,

“I wish I could say that our progress toward common-core standards has fulfilled my hopes. Instead, it seems to me that the common-core movement is turning into a lost opportunity.”

He goes on to say the CCSS do not represent a “meaningful” improvement over existing state standards.

Porter has more to say. Regarding the two separate efforts to create new tests based on the CCSS, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium Porter says:

“What I know so far about the work of the two multistate consortia developing the assessments isn’t promising. It sounds as if the new assessments may ignore state-of-the-art research and technological advances, settling for tests that are much like the ones we already have.”

Kentucky’s teachers are gearing up right now to teach to the new standards so our students will be prepared for new tests. Let’s hope Porter, who was often rather insightful in his NTAPAA days, is off target this time.

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