CPS will administer upwards of 15 types of standardized tests hundreds of times this year. Navigating the complexity of standardized testing is difficult for students, parents, teachers, and, frankly, the district itself.
Here’s a few links to help make things easier to navigate. Please send us questions. If we can’t answer them, we can likely find the right person for you to ask.
- NWEA MAP: What you need to know: the current high-stakes test in CPS for student promotion, selective enrollment eligibility, teacher and principal evaluation and school rating. More about the risks/opportunities of opting out of the MAP here.
- PARCC: What you need to know: PARCC is not a high-stakes test for 2014-2015.
- PreK-8 testing 2015-2016: Quick summary on a single chart. (Note that high school testing is not included on this chart because of space constraints.)
- Stop the testing madness: How and why to opt out (en español)
My child was selected for NAEP. How was he selected? It says it is a sampling of children. Do his straight A’s have anything to do with it? He was in private school until 2nd grade ( that was exempt from standardized testing BTW) – he is now in 4th. That put him in a big academic advantage. I plan to opt out. My son has been made to feel honored by being selected. I am not certain if he will want to opt out…
How are children selected? Any experience with this test?
Here’s more information from NAEP on the importance/role of sampling in administering the test.
In the big scheme of standardized test NAEP is not that terrible (admittedly, that’s not much of an endorsement!) because it uses sampling instead of testing every student and it is not high-stakes for any purposes. This is the sort of limited role and function that standardized testing should have in our educational system.
On the other hand the NAEP tests are still just standardized tests; they are still biased in many ways that all norm-referenced standardized tests are; they still mostly only test reading and math; and, most troubling, the information from NAEP is starting to be misused as a basis for high-stakes test scoring, including PARCC.
Even though it is intended to be only for research purposes, there is more and more hype surrounding NAEP results, and the results are frequently misinterpreted. (Ravitch is a good person to read on this, here and here.)
Parents and the general public should be aware and possibly wary of NAEP and how it is being used (and misused).
PARCC is planning to end up with scores similar to NAEP as well: “PARCC does not plan to include NAEP items in its 2014 field test but is considering other ways to use NAEP data to inform the setting of its own cutoff scores, said Jeffrey Nellhaus, the consortium’s assessment director. Since PARCC modeled its descriptions of achievement at each test level after NAEP’s, and will use the national assessment’s data to help it set threshold scores, “it should follow that PARCC’s cut scores would be in the same ballpark as NAEP’s in terms of rigor,” he said.”
(There was a student boycott of NAEP at Gage Park HS a couple years ago.)