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Toward Alternative Accountability Models for Schools

From the Lowell Sun: A consortium of public-school districts across the state, including Lowell, are teaming up to create an alternative accountability system that grades public schools beyond the basis of test scores. The Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment includes nine districts that will help develop a different kind of assessment — one that […]

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A Charter Conference and More Testing Trouble in TN

The National Charter Schools Conference visited Nashville last week and discussed advancing the movement. In a post at Tennessee Education Report I write about what wasn’t discussed: The point is this: The Tennessee ASD is hardly a success story. It’s a great story of PR spin and fun cocktail parties, but the actual results are […]

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Beyond Test-Based Accountability

Helen Ladd offers a proposal for moving beyond test-based accountability for schools and it is one that holds promise for providing a more comprehensive evaluation of schools. Ladd notes of the recently replaced NCLB: Finally, test-based accountability has had limited success even in raising student test scores. One careful study of NCLB finds small to […]

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5th Graders Offer TNReady Suggestions

A group of 5th grade students in Chattanooga offered suggestions on how to improve Tennessee’s failed TNReady test: The report was 14 pages and was mailed to Governor Bill Haslam in an attempt to influence the state’s decisions on testing going forward. This project, by the way, is exactly the type of project-based learning that […]

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Pearson Saves the Day and TN Comes to Expect Failure

Last week, Tennessee reunited with an old friend, testing vendor Pearson. The company was awarded an emergency contract in the amount of $18.5 million to grade TNReady tests from this year. Already, some are questioning the wisdom of this arrangement. As graduation ceremonies take place across Tennessee, the state is also starting a new tradition: […]

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Money and Testing in Tennessee

Last week, I wrote about one district in Tennessee where the Director of Schools was fighting the state over the annual End of Course Tests after the shift to a new testing regimen ended in a disaster. Ultimately, the decision was made to resume the tests due to the threat of a $3 million fine […]

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More Testing Troubles for Tennessee

Last week was a very bad one for the new TNReady test in Tennessee. Here’s what I wrote about it: First, the state’s testing vendor, Measurement Inc. said the delays and challenges were not their fault. Then, correspondence between a Director of Schools and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen revealed some serious concerns about the test […]

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Testing Trouble in Tennessee

Last week was a very bad week for the new TNReady test in Tennessee. First, the state’s Achievement School District announced it won’t take over any additional schools next year due to the transition to TNReady this year. Then, on Thursday, the state revealed that tests had not arrived at many districts across the state — […]

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What If They Just Didn’t Give the Test?

A school district in Tennessee weighs the possibility of not administering state-mandated standardized tests. From Tennessee Education Report: More than one Board Member raised the prospect of the district refusing to administer Phase II. The most forceful comments came from Jared Barrett: Board Member Jared Barrett agreed, but put it more vehemently. “I say we […]

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A Gap in Analysis

From Tennessee Education Report: Here’s the bottom line: Income gaps explain achievement gaps. That is, states with relatively large income gaps tend to have relatively large achievement gaps. Likewise, states with more income homogeneity tend to have smaller achievement gaps. I wrote about this on a Tennessee-specific level when talking about the achievement gap and […]

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