When you ask the wrong questions, you can’t possibly get the right answers.
The Mastery Examination Task Force, whose report about student assessment in our public schools is due to come out soon, has asked all the wrong questions. We, therefore, can’t have any confidence in the findings of the Task Force.
Questions that the Task Force never asked are:
1. Are the tests that we now use, the SBAC and the SAT, reliable, valid, and fair?
2. What kind of learning do we want to measure and why?
3. How can we assess students so that the assessment itself is a learning experience for them?
The first question is a meat-and-potatoes no brainer. If the SBAC and the SAT lack reliability, validity, or fairness, we shouldn’t keep spending time and money on junk.
The second and third questions tell us about the quality of the education we are giving to our students here in Connecticut.
A fourth question is :Why didn’t the Mastery Examination Task Force ask Questions 1, 2, and 3?
For an answer to that question, see this article, written by veteran Connecticut educator, Jack Bestor, and published in CT Mirror.