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1 Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA) Implementation of HB5 and Further Progress.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA) Implementation of HB5 and Further Progress."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA) Implementation of HB5 and Further Progress

2 2 TAMSA Overview Evolution of Texas Student Assessments Concerns About Current STAAR Testing TAMSA Advocacy Objectives How You Can Help

3 3 Who Is TAMSA? A statewide, grassroots organization comprised of concerned parents and other community members

4 4 Mission Improve public education in Texas through the use of meaningful and effective student assessments, allowing:  more productive classroom instruction  more efficient use of public funds

5 5 Statewide Membership *Pins represent where TAMSA has members (as of 7/1/14) Texas Education Service Centers: 1.Edinburg 2.Corpus Christi 3.Victoria 4.Houston 5.Beaumont 6.Huntsville 7.Kilgore 8.Mount Pleasant 9.Wichita Falls 10.Richardson (Dallas) 11.Fort Worth 12.Waco 13.Austin 14.Abilene 15.San Angelo 16.Amarillo 17.Lubbock 18.Midland 19.El Paso 20.San Antonio

6 6 Parental Involvement is Critical to Policy Making Legislators understand that parents have an everyday perspective on what is and is not working in public education. The current system is broken. Momentum for reform continues to build. TAMSA’s SlideShare presentation was in the top 1% most viewed in 2013. Within 48 hours of HB 5 being signed into law, TAMSA had over 100,000 views on Facebook.

7 7 TAMSA’s Motivation Provide parents’ voice on the consequences of excessive standardized testing Ask decision-makers to consider the purpose of standardized tests and ensure that every test is meaningful Demand that assessments be used to support our children, not to close down our schools Promote accountability as a means by which we measure achievement in multiple ways, not just based on standardized tests

8 8 Recent Polls Shows Bi-Partisan Support of Reducing State-Mandated Tests A majority of respondents from both political parties (58% Reps; 64% Dems) felt that reducing the number of standardized tests students are required to take would be effective in improving K-12 public education in Texas. 1 A second poll in Feb 2014 similarly showed “reducing the number of standardized tests students must take was identified as one of the most effective changes Texas could make in public education.” 61% Reps and 69% Dems agreed cutting tests would help public education in Texas. 2 1 University of Texas / Texas Tribune Statewide Survey conducted in June 2013 2 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Statewide Survey conducted in February 2014

9 9 POP QUIZ!! How many of you know your state senator and representative? How many of you have met with your state senator or representative? How many of you provide information to them on a regular basis? Have you ensured that your senator & representative know how many employees & students are in your district?

10 10 VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Texas has the lowest voter turn out rate in the nation. What are you doing to encourage all your employees to vote? Do you send out messages indicating when the voting window is and encouraging all employees to vote? Do you have a process in place to make voting easier for all employees (an hour off of work, etc.)

11 11 TAMSA Overview Evolution of Texas Student Assessments Concerns About Current STAAR Testing TAMSA Advocacy Objectives How You Can Help

12 12 Texas Student Assessment Programs *High-stakes tests are exams that must be passed to either advance to the next grade level or graduate. High-stakes also include using test scores to determine teacher evaluations and/or school accountability.

13 13 State High-Stakes Exam Comparison Texas requires more state-mandated, high-stakes tests for high school graduation than most other states 1 1 Data from Center of Education Policy: “State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition” 9/12 Of the top 10 states ranked by NAEP in 8 th grade math or reading in 2013, over half of the states require no exit exams for high school graduation. Of the states that require exit exams, 3 offer alternatives, such as portfolios, to earn a high school diploma. Texas ranked #19 in math and #39 in reading by NAEP, and requires students to pass 5 End of Course exams to graduate.

14 14 Limited Benchmark Tests “Benchmark tests” are district-required assessments designed to prepare students for state-mandated (STAAR) tests. HB5 permits ONLY TWO (2) per year per subject tested. POP QUIZ 2 - Are you taking steps to ensure your district is NOT giving more than two benchmark or short cycle assessments?

15 15 Parents, employers, & taxpayers ask: 1. 1.How much are we spending on state standardized tests? 2. 2.What is the purpose of these tests? 3. 3.Do these tests help prepare students for college or careers? Return on Investment of Testing

16 16 Texas Tax Dollars Paid to Pearson TOTAL 2000 – 2015 $1,142,431,196 * 2014-2015 data estimate based on actuals through July 2014.

17 17 Lost Opportunity

18 18 TAKS% Passing: Sum of All Grades 2003 – 2011 *2009 – 2011 include TAKS-Acc

19 19 STAAR Passing: Sum of All Grades 2012 - 2014 Scores represent initial Spring testing.

20 20 Texas Mean SAT Scores 2003 – 2010 – NEED TO ADD 2011 - 2013 (Maximum Score 1600)

21 21 Success in Higher Education Overall *Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) report “A New Measure of Educational Success in Texas: Tracking the Success of 8 th Graders Into and Through College” Feb. 2012 College Persistence

22 22 Success in Higher Education by Ethnicity *Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) report “A New Measure of Educational Success in Texas: Tracking the Success of 8 th Graders Into and Through College” Feb. 2012 College Persistence

23 23 TAMSA Overview Evolution of Texas Student Assessments Concerns About Current STAAR Testing TAMSA Advocacy Objectives How You Can Help

24 24 STAAR tests are not diagnostic – they provide no substantive data or analysis to help children improve. Norm Referenced Tests (NRTs), such as ITBS, ACT, SAT, are nationally accepted exams that provide pages of detailed diagnostic data and suggestions for improvement. As a state, our tax dollars would be better spent on assessments that help, not punish, children What is the Purpose of the Tests?

25 25 The same grades and subjects are tested with TAKS and STAAR, but STAAR exams are timed and more rigorous. GradeMathReadingWritingScienceS. Studies 3XX 4XXX 5XXX 6XX 7XXX 8XXXX Federal requirements dictate 14 tests; Texas administers 17. Grades 3-8 State-Mandated Tests

26 26 High School State-Mandated Tests TEXAS 5 STAAR EOCs Must Pass to Graduate English I English II Algebra I Biology US History FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS NOT High-Stakes Reading Math Science Five STAAR EOCs must be passed for graduation Starting with the 2015-16 school year, school districts, at their option, may add English III and Algebra II EOCs

27 27 No independent third-party has evaluated the exams to ensure they test the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Janice VanCleave, a former physics and chemistry teacher for 27 years in Texas public schools, evaluated the 2013 fifth-grade STAAR science test, and found “Twenty-five percent of its 44 questions are inaccurate in facts or phrasing,” 1 Are the STAAR Tests Valid? 1 Times Record News, Educators Challenge STAAR Questions, May 12, 2014

28 28 Eight year old third graders must sit quietly at desks for 4 hours for 2 consecutive days to take STAAR tests. High school freshman and sophomores must sit at desks for 5 hours to take English EOC exams. The SAT and ACT exams test math and English (and science) in less than 4 hours. – 22% of the questions are field questions; including 1 of the 2 required essays. NRTs typically have 10% field questions and no essay is a field question Educator Jeanine McGregor evaluated the reading levels of the 2013 STAAR fifth-grade tests. “The range is astounding,” she said. “Passages range from third-grade to eighth-grade reading levels. Either there is a calculated design in using material that is not fifth-grade level or there is total incompetency.” 1 Are the STAAR Tests Appropriate? 1 Times Record News, Educators Challenge STAAR Questions, May 12, 2014

29 29 Drop-Out Projections As of June 2014, there are 287,865 students in the Class of 2015 Of these students, at least 53,971 (19%) have not passed all the required EOCs, and are off track to graduate. What is the state doing for these thousands of students? Removal of high stakes (requirement for graduation) would help put these on track to graduate (as is done in half of the states).

30 30 Lack of State Information on Students Perhaps as troubling as the 19% off track to graduate is the lack of explanation of what has happened to approximately 100,000 students. In Fall 2011 as the Class of 2015 began its 9 th grade year, TEA records show 393,553 students enrolled (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/acctres/Enroll_2011-12.pdf, p. 16)http://www.tea.state.tx.us/acctres/Enroll_2011-12.pdf In June 2013, TEA records show 287,865 in the class (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=25769811943)http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=2576981194 What happened to 105,688 students?

31 31 Is It Worth It? 1.Taxpayer Expense: $1.2 Billion (minimum) 2.College and Career Ready: No measurable improvement 3.Success in Higher Education: Below national levels 4.Dropout Forecast: Troubling 5.Validity: Unknown 6.Appropriate: No

32 32 TAMSA Overview Evolution of Texas Student Assessments Concerns About Current STAAR Testing TAMSA Advocacy Objectives How You Can Help

33 33 TAMSA believes national norm-referenced tests (NRTs) provide better student assessment than expensive state-designed STAAR exams: Nationally recognized Passing rates are not manipulated Already required for entrance into most colleges and universities in the country EXAMPLE National Norm-Referenced Tests: National Norm-Referenced Tests Gr. 3 – 7Gr. 8Gr. 10Gr. 11 Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), ReadiStep, Stanford EXPLOREPLAN PSAT ACT SAT

34 34 Administer assessments for diagnostic purposes to support student learning Require no high-stakes for individual students: no performance requirement for grade promotion or high school graduation Decrease time spent on state-mandated testing, including shortening state-designed exams. Eliminate all field test essay questions, and reduce the number of multiple choice field test questions Ensure that state-mandated exams are valid and appropriate General Assessment Objectives

35 35 1.Administer 2 NRTs: one during grades 3-5 and one during grades 6-8 in lieu of STAAR (district’s choice from approved tests and grades administered) 2.Administer state-mandated tests only so long as and no more than required by and federal law (reading and math annually in grades 3-8, plus one science assessment during grades 3-5 and another science during grades 6-8) 3.Design state-mandated tests to be completed in significantly less time to be more age and developmentally appropriate; allow additional time if needed Advocacy Objectives for Grades 3-8

36 36 1.Administer 2 NRTs: one in 10 th grade and one in 11 th grade, such as PSAT/SAT or PLAN/ACT in lieu of STAAR (district’s choice from approved tests) 2.Administer state-designed assessments only so long as and no more than required by federal law (math, LA and science) 3.If state requires exit exams, provide alternative paths for graduation (portfolios, review board appeal process, NRT cut scores, dual credit, etc) Advocacy Objectives for High School

37 37 TAMSA Overview Evolution of Texas Student Assessments Texas State-Mandated Standardized Tests TAMSA Advocacy Objectives How You Can Help

38 38 What TAMSA Is Doing Meeting with legislators, parents, teachers, community groups and businesses Working with education and testing experts at UT Austin and other universities Participating in media interviews and writing Op-Eds and Counter Op-Eds Testifying in hearings before the House, Senate and State Board of Education Communicating formally with TEA regarding STAAR implementation and testing issues Updating members via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter

39 39 What TAMSA Members Are Doing Joining TAMSA, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter Acting when TAMSA sends “Call to Action” instructions Contacting elected officials to request support for education testing reform Participating via social media in the debate about testing in Texas schools Meeting with legislators in local districts Testifying in Austin

40 40 Continue Progress, Continue Action Because of committed and passionate parents & voters, our voices were heard in Austin in 2013. HB5 passed in both House and Senate chambers unanimously and limited the number of state- designed tests in high school. Progress will not go unchallenged; some are highly motivated to increase the number of STAAR tests. Vigilance and continued involvement is essential.

41 41 Recent Legislative Hearings & Interest in Change During the August 26, 2014 Senate Education Hearing, many senators expressed frustration with STAAR and a desire to make improvements. Senator Dan Patrick, “I don’t trust these tests.” Senator Van de Putte, “Writing 26 lines destroys creativity; How can we trust this accountability system?” “STAAR is not working for employers, parents and educators.”

42 42 Senate Concern over STAAR Senator Kel Seliger, “We have an alignment problem with the test…..I am highly skeptical of a 5 hour ELA test – it’s like the Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe.” Senator Kel Seliger, “ACT is clearly about college prep; why are we even giving another test?” Senator Larry Taylor, “There is a disconnect between the tests and what is being taught.”

43 43 Senator Concerns (cont.) Senator Kel Seliger asked what we are doing to address the 48,000 students off track to graduate in the Class of 2015. Senator Patrick suggested emergency legislation to address the urgent issue with this class. Senator Patrick further suggested if we have SAT/ACT we may not need STAAR. Senator Taylor asked for changes to the ELA EOCs.

44 44 Possibilities for Alternate Graduation Options Most of the 25 states who have high stakes testing allow for graduation committees, waivers, or alternate tests for students to earn a diploma We need to work collectively with the legislature NOW to provide options to earning a diploma for all eligible students.

45 45 Help Brainstorm Ideas for Diploma Satisfaction Remove high stakes to graduate. If not, then: Students meet with a Graduation Committee (similar to grade placement committees) and demonstrate the following to qualify for a HS diploma: – Completion of all required coursework & attendance – Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 – Two attempts at all required EOCs – 20 documented hours of remediation efforts

46 46 Other Ideas Test only readiness standards and not supporting standards Students with a passing dual credit final exam in reading/writing or math could substitute this for english or math EOCs. TSI as substitute for EOCs. Your ideas???

47 47 Please Join Us Sign up for updates on our website: www.tamsatx.org www.tamsatx.org Follow us on Facebook and Twitter www.facebook.com/tamsatx www.facebook.com/tamsatx www.twitter.com/tamsatx Email: BoardMember@tamsatx.orgBoardMember@tamsatx.org

48 48 “I believe in standardizing automobiles, not human beings.” Albert Einstein


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