Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

Sixty Percent of "Accomplished" Adults taking a High School Standardized Test Bombed

CJ Westerberg, March 19, 2013 9:45 PM

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"Those were the results released Tuesday of the scores earned
by the state legislators, council members, scientists, engineers, reporters, professors and others who took the test.

Are Smart Adults as Smart as Teenagers?

This just in from Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post.  Title is Sixty percent of adults who took standardized test bombed:   

The bottom line: Sixty percent bombed the test. Translation: Of the 50 accomplished adults who took an exam made up of questions from the New England Common Assessment Program, 60 percent received a score that would - if translated to Rhode Island's new diploma policy - put a student in jeopardy of graduating from high school.
Those were the results released Tuesday of the scores earned by the state legislators, council members, scientists, engineers, reporters, professors and others who took the test. The exercise was staged by the Providence Student Union, a high school student advocacy group, as a protest against a new state requirement that high school seniors must reach a certain level of proficiency on the exam to graduate.

This year, Rhode Island is implementing a new policy that uses the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, as a high-stakes testing graduation requirement. Students - beginning with this year's juniors - must earn a score of at least "partially proficient" on the NECAP to graduate from high school. The NECAP was not, however, designed for this purpose. It wasn't even designed to assess individual students.

Because it is illegal for anybody other than a student to take the NECAP, the students designed a math test from past NECAP questions, some of which are released publicly each year.  The results were: Four of the 50 adults got a score that would have been "proficient with distinction,"  seven would have scored "proficient," nine would have scored "partially proficient," and 30 - or 60 percent - would have scored "substantially below proficient." Students scoring in the last category are at risk of not graduating from high school.

Some critics of the exercise noted that adults could not be expected to know the material because it has been a long time since they studied the material, and what is important is that the student can recall information at the time they are in school. But students said part of the point of having others take a test with material they haven't studied is that standardized tests don't always align with what students learn in class either.

And what's the point if little is remembered after the test period "expires" or if that information cannot be applied in college or in life?

Read full story here . . .

Related The Daily Riff:

High Schoolers:  What you wish you'd known by Paul Graham - Y Combinator

High School:  It's disengagement, stupid.  by C.J. Westerberg

What do you remember from high school?  Viral Video

Passion-Based High School vs. High School Boredom: Choose

High School:  Are the kids alright?  by Kirsten Olson

Is this the best high school in America?  High Tech High w/Larry Rosenstock

Bill & Melinda Field Trips - Big Picture Learning w/Dennis Littky

High School Stinks w/ Chris Lehmann

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