Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No second chances on 2013 exams

There will be no second chances for students taking North Carolina's new end-of-year exams this spring.

That's not because the state has abandoned its policy of requiring students who fail the first time to try again. Peter Gorman,  former superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,  fought that approach when it debuted in 2009,  but state officials stuck to their guns.

This year,  though,  retesting is suspended for practical reasons:  The state won't know who failed in time to administer a second test.  Because North Carolina is revamping its tests,  the results will be delayed "to allow for the necessary statistical analyses and standard-setting process,"  says Tammy Howard of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.  Scores won't be ready until October,  she said, well into the next school year.

That's bound to be an inconvenience for schools that use scores to assign classes in the fall.  And the lack of retesting adds to the likelihood that many schools are going to look worse on the 2013 report than they have in years.  Schools with a lot of students on the bubble have seen their pass rates surge with the addition of  students who pass on the second try.

Thanks to the anonymous commenter who tipped me off to this.  There's a huge amount of change afoot,  and I've long known that my readers who are on the front lines have the best insights.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Many teachers are already showing concern since we have adopted the new literacy program as to how it will translate to EOG scores. How are schools going to decide if students are promoted? The current system is based of points based on school work, tests and retake scores.

Anonymous said...

the decision on EOG retesting was done prior to last spring, per the state board of education - primarily a funding issue. plus, Gorman was correct, no legitimate reason to retest anyway

Anonymous said...

Scores not available until October (after the start of the next academic year.). Does this mean you can't fail your grade because of EOG's or will we remove people enrolled in the next grade and send them BACK to the prior grade? Will we ask for students to return diplomas?

Anonymous said...

When did they start giving do overs of tests? Not a retorical question. Seriously when I went to school a test was a test. And also is this a statewide policy or a national policy? I just do not see any advantage to this, but I see lots of negatives.

Anonymous said...

NC DPI and the political micromanagers are out of control in this state. It's the worst mess we've ever had. Some counties are giving these new tests in January! Teachers have no idea what will be on them, what they will look like, who will be administering them, or how they will be scored...BUT - their job evaluations will depend on the scores! Parents - rise up and demand this insanity be stopped. Your child is going to be run crazy with testing if you don't!And - we'll lose good teachers over this!

Anonymous said...

In response to 7:17, teachers will be required to give final exams other than the EOC's and those grades will be averaged in to get the final grade. The final grade will determine whether a student passes or fails a course, this year.

Wiley Coyote said...

Mulligans are for golf. Not testing.

Anonymous said...

To 7:45 - that is not true for every county. Some are giving the new MSLs and teachers have been told they WILL get a score that will be counted as a percentage of the student's final score.

Anonymous said...

It's an even bigger mess than it sounds like it is.

Bubba Boner said...

Hey Wiley, do you realize just how many kids would be held back, based on your philosophy? Do you really want to find out just how stupid the natives are in North Carolina, when it is reflected in their children not graduating High School until they are 21 years of age?
Re-testing is a good thing and especially in North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Will this affect our seniors who will be entering college this fall? They will need there final GPA in order to complete their applications. Also while I am on the subject of testing. Who are the people that comes up with all of these tests? Some students are not always good test takers due to test anxiety! We could have students with a 4.0 GPA but still cannot get into the college of their choice?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the policy on retesting is in the LIFT zone of CMS? Certainly Kojo , EES and Mary got a waiver on this item?

Ann Doss Helms said...

When the state folks first told me it would be October before scores were released, I thought they just meant getting the school reports ready for publication. If it really means students won't have scores until after the 2013-14 year begins, which is what they said when I inquired, that raises a whole raft of questions. For instance: What about the magnet schools that require grade-level scores for admission?

Ann Doss Helms said...

And 7:29, in answer to your non-rhetorical question, it's a state policy that started in 2009. There have been some recent threads here discussing the pros and cons. Pro: From a student perspective, if you've got promotion and placement riding on one test, the second try makes sense. Con: It can look like an attempt to pad school/district/state results. (Both oversimplified here, of course.)

Wiley Coyote said...

Bubba,

Passing or failing is not a philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Bubba,

Would you rather find out how dumb the kids are when they are out of school and on the job? (assuming they can find one)

Bubba Boner said...

Wiley...

Your notion of NOT re-testing students would be considered YOUR philosophy. Please boy, don't demonstrate your lack of education here and how North Carolina Public Schools pushed you through the system. The entire United States of America knows just how bad the public educational system is in North Carolina. The natives need as much help as is possible, and flunking everyone after failing the first time is NOT the answer.

We can obviously tell YOU don't have a college education.

Wiley Coyote said...

Bubba,

Thanks for making my morning.... best belly laugh I've had so far this week.

Anonymous said...

This high-stakes testing insanity is sustainable. It just isn't. 10 years from now, we'll be back to something along the lines of an Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) administered once a year - period. In high school, we'll have the ACT and the SAT - period. AP exam options will continue. Students will advance to the next grade or be retained based on a number of factors determined at the school house level. The powers that be will determine that pay-for-performance doesn't work while hiring a greater percentage of domestic peace corps boot-camp recruits due to a severe shortage of traditionally licensed teachers.

Anonymous said...

isn't sustainable.

Jane Webster said...

Wow! Sometimes (more often lately) I wonder how this country got where it did. Are these logistics issues so difficult? Why were new tests not created and tested BEFORE they are implemented? Any good scientist would do this. Don't we drill in the 'scientific method' in our schools? Like I said, wow!

Anonymous said...

My son performed horribly on his first quarterly EOG in third grade. He has dyslexia. The school had him re-take the test, but, instead of filling in bubbles on a bubble sheet, he was allowed to circle the answers in the book. He was allowed to skip the bubble sheet and answer questions on the test booklet for the final EOG exam at the end of the year. By the end of the year, my son scored high enough to be considered for CMS' gifted program. No kidding.

Anonymous said...

Jane,
For the past 4 or 5 decades, Charlotte has been a nationally renowned rat laboratory for every new fangled fad and boneheaded idea that's come along. Where have you been?

Anonymous said...

well there IS one upside to this..I won't have to spend the summer listening to parents pleading for honors classes because "my child is brilliant, but doesn't test well, he/she got a 43 and I realize he/she needs a 44 to get into honors, but come on, it's only 2 pts"
Children don't get retained for a low EOG people. Many other factors are taken into consideration and most people know by the 3rd quarter if retention is a possibility. High schools have EOC's, not E.O.G.'s, so this will not affect high schoolers.

Chip Pleasant said...

My son has a 504 and is permitted, through Doctor's evaluation and permission, to circle the answers on the test. This is due to his vision and the bubble test being so small. Yet, after taking the test, the teacher made a mistake in grading, getting off line when checking the answers...and he scored a 1%? He was allowed to re-take the test and scored a 99%, appropriately enough.

The system is flawed, so re-takes are necessary. Why make this a debatable issue? You are either going to know the information, even by taking it a second time, or you don't. The re-test clears up any questions or errors, especially human errors made by teachers and faculty.

Anonymous said...

Hey Boner - we can tell from the "name" how educated you are.

Anonymous said...

As long as there is no question about whether or not the test was scored properly, or some problem with the test environment (like a knife fight during the test) there should be no re-tests.

Anonymous said...

Just graduate everyone. Who cares whether the diploma has any real value. Let colleges & employers figure it out later. Same as giving every kid a trophy for participating.

Anonymous said...

I know kids in the gifted program who have failed the EOG. No kidding. I don't know any who have had to retake the test. I guess the assumption is if your gifted you must have been looking out the window at bluebirds and kites during the test.

Anonymous said...

The standardized testing should not be included in whether a student gets promoted or not. Instead have it on the students transcript as to which tests they passed or on grade level with and which ones they failed or are below average. There are to many variables that can cause a concern for the schools, teachers, parents and students to hold a child back based on that one test. If a child fails his classes in school then he should be held back and have to retake them. But leave the once a year standardized test out of this.

Anonymous said...

My son took the ACT twice (he performed better on this test than the SAT). The college he attends took the highest scores from both ACT tests and "super-scored" them into one composite score. The college also calculated an SAT score based on his ACT score even though he never submitted an SAT. I thought this was interesting. I also discovered that some colleges recalculate GPA's based on a number of things.

Students headed to college can take the ACT and SAT as many times as they want. Right?

Also, teachers can take the Praxis series exams as many times as needed in order to pass. Some people in the teaching profession have to take the Praxis exam numerous times in order to be deemed "qualified" to teach by the state. So, a teacher can fail a state standardized exam and take it again but student can't?

Did I miss something?

Alicia Durand

Anonymous said...

NC state requires teachers to have a minimum Praxis COMPOSITE score. Some states require a minimum score in each content area. So, theoretically, it's possible for a licensed NC teacher to miserably fail the math section of the test but do well enough on the reading section to make up for it.

Alicia Durand

Bill_Stevens said...

It was already apparent the NC students now with cuuriculum and tests based on the Common Core would score worse this year than previous years no matter the pass level. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek because the pass level for NC tests was somewhere around 46%. (Someone please correct me here but it is in this ballpark area.)

The way I read past reports on this timing issue was that the schools would have it to determine passing for the student that school year but the cumlative performance scores for classes/teachers, grades, schools, and district would not be reported till October the next year.

Anonymous said...

When my kids were in elementary school, NC state awarded schools Blue Ribbon status for performing well on reading and math exams exclusively - because I guess science, social studies and writing didn't matter.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers and doctors have the opportunity to retake licensing exams if they fail. A 3rd grader who's had a bad day can't be given the same opportunity?

Anonymous said...

Chip,
I think you bring up a great point. HOW a test is formatted can influence scores. It seems perfectly logical that taking a bubble sheet test vs. taking an on-line test vs. taking a booklet test where you can circle the answers could impact test scores that could make a difference between passing and failing. Timing matters too. To this day, I've never understood why standardized tests are timed? Big deal if it takes someone an extra hour to finish. Students with disabilities are legally allowed extra time on tests without a college admission officer's knowledge. A teacher can't penalize a student with a disability for taking more time to complete a test. Yes, most people have timed deadlines to complete certain work (think Ann Doss Helms). However, Ann has editors to fix things she might overlook when under the gun. I can't remember the last time I had a doctor's appointment that was on time. I can't remember the last time a contractor finished something on time. I can't remember the last time my lawyer finished something they promised on time. Can you?

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I've sat through more than one sermon on a Sunday morning that I thought might have greatly benefited from a stopwatch, but, no....

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Rome wasn't built on a stopwatch.

Anonymous said...

Ready, Fire, Aim...

Anonymous said...

Some of you have kids who have smelly farts. I know none of you admit it, but roughly half the kids will be below average. Get over yourselves, if your kid flunks a simple test like this it doesn't mean they are automatically complete failures, but just maybe they are not as smart in the topic of the test as you think they are.
"My kid doesn't test well". Do any of you realize how stupid that makes you sound?

Craig Smith said...

This may be helpful:

http://www.blogofcraigsmith.blogspot.com/2012/11/key-info-regarding-delay-in-reporting.html

Anonymous said...

Alicia, the Praxis is a required exam, but not a state exam. Also reading and math exam only is used for college students entering into a teaching program (unless of course they are going to teach either Math or LA then there are Praxis tests for those).

The Praxis has tests for individual content areas. Some areas and level require two tests. For example I had to take the Social Studies content area and pedagogy for my secondary license, but not my middle school license.

Anonymous said...

So, my sister will not fail, be put in 8th grade, be found that she failed, and moved BACK to 7th grade? That will be totally embarrassing to her and any other kids failing because the kids in 7th grade will know that they failed, instead of "hey, it's ju7st another 7th grader..." This is the stupidest idea I have ever heard of.

Anonymous said...

The EOG's are not for the student, it's metrics for the schools grade. If they were actually using it for the student, then the scores would need to be back before school is out for summer. They use this to see how well teachers are teaching and how well students are learning. Also, it helps the schools with funding based on these scores...I don't know why they put so much stress on these students, if the score is not going to impact them directly.

Anonymous said...

Parents need to really take a look at the new common core for all grades. Study it carefully, I was told that it was changing history as many know it. Better watch out about adoptions that are not studied by the public before it is offered. The public needs to know the content of this new Common Core Studies. Parents wake up.