FCAT TASK FORCE FINDINGS FORMED BY THECENTRAL FLORIDA SCHOOL BOARDS COALITION MISSION: TO STUDY THE RAMIFICATIONS OF STANDARDIZED TESTING ON OUR STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS
TIMELINE AND MEMBERSHIP January 2012 – Rick Roach and Marion Brady presented to the Coalition. It was moved and seconded to form the FCAT Taskforce. February 2012 – Kick-Off meeting held in Osceola County hosted by board member Jay Wheeler. Targets Defined. March 2012 – Second meeting held in Orange County hosted by Principal Polly Roper. Targets Researched and Presented. April 2012 – Third meeting held in Brevard County hosted by board member Karen Henderson. Presentation Preparation. May 2012 – White Paper and video presentation to the Coalition. Participating counties: Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Citrus and Lake
TASK FORCE TARGETS Purpose of Standardized Testing History of Standardized Testing Instructional Time and Cost of Testing School Resources Impacted Test Composition
PURPOSE CONTINUED A common violation of ethical practices is to use a test for a purpose for which it was not developed. (Florida Association of School Psychologists) The FCAT was designed to measure achievement of the Sunshine State Standards. (FLDOE) The primar y purpose of assessment is to provide information to improve public schools by enhancing learning gains and to inform parents of educational progress. (FL Statute 1008.22) The Customer under stands and agrees that the products are intended to be used as tools in the overall assessment process and are not designed to be used alone or to replace the Customer’s professional judgment. (Pear son Company) The purpose of tests is to deliver accurate and reliable information, not to drive educational reform. (McGraw -Hill) No single test can ascer tain whether all educational goals are being met. (McGraw -Hill)
INTERESTING COMPARISONS There are some states that do not have retention requirements written into law. Florida has mandatory remediation for students who fall below the cut score. Most states allow local school boards to assume responsibility for remediation. Florida has predetermined testing time limits. Other states allow extra time, some up to the end of the day. Use of the End-Of-Course (EOC) weight are strictest in Florida. Some states weigh the results as little as ten percent. Florida is the only state found that would remove funding if a child does not pass the EOC.
HISTORY CONTINUED 1995 - Florida Commission on Education Reform and Accountability recommends procedures for assessing student learning in Florida that would raise educational expectations for students and help them compete in the global marketplace. 1997 – Field tested FCAT in grades 4, 5, 8, 10 reading and math Florida Writes grade 4, 8, 10 1998 - January: 1st FCAT reading 4, 8 and 10 and math grades 5, 8, 10 Florida Writes Grade 4, 8, 10
HISTORY CONTINUED 1999 - February: results of FCAT used to assign school grades. 2000 – Feb-March: 1 ,440,000 students in grades 3-10 took FCAT NRT FCAT 2001 – Feb-March: Grades 3-10 assessments in reading and math, Writing 4, 8, 10 2001 - August: State Board of Ed establishes the FCAT passing score as requirement for receiving a regular high school diploma. 2002 Raised the bar for student performance-implemented learning gains component. NCLB becomes law expectation of 100% proficiency by 2014. Adequate Yearly Progress must be reported. 2003 Added FCAT Science 5, 8, 10
HISTORY CONTINUED 2005 FCAT Science moved grade 10 to 11 multiple choice items added to writing assessment Raised the bar for student perform - includes ESE and ELL, Writing to 3.5 2007 Raised the bar for student performance -added science to school grade, learning gains for lowest performing 25% in math 2008 removal of FCAT NRT 2010-2011: Next generation Sunshine State Standards adopted. FCAT Science 5, 8, 11 Writing 4, 8, 10 Math 3-8 Reading 3-10 *Raised the bar for student performance- included graduation rate and accelerated coursework to high school grades
HISTORY CONTINUED 2011: added EOC exam Algebra 1 , each HS must of fer IB, AICE, or at least 4 AP or Dual enrollment, PERT field tested 2012: FCAT 2.0 reading 3-10, Math 3-8 FCAT Science 5, 8 FCAT writing 4, 8, 10 Add EOC exam Algebra 1, Biology 1, Geometry Add PERT - 11th grade for selected students based on FCAT scores NCLB Waiver - allows school grades to meet AYP Student Success Act requires Alternative assessments for >4,000 courses for Teacher evaluations - including merit pay for teachers. 2014 Adds EOC exam Civics 7th grade
HISTORY CONTINUED 2014-2015 PARCC assessment (based on uniform core curriculum) will begin to take the place of FCAT reading and math for identified grades and EOC exams 2015 1/6 FTE penalty for failure to pass EOC exam. Additional tests NAEP - periodic in Math, Reading, Science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography and US history grades 4, 8, 12 CELLA - Comprehensive English Language Learning Assessment- Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing. FLKRS - Kindergarten Readiness PSAT - lOth grade ACT and SAT Multiple AP Multiple IB EOC exams must be developed for each of the 4,0O0 Florida courses
OSCEOLA COUNT Y GENERAL TESTING CALENDAR77 days are used to administer tests in elementary schools.43 days are used to administer tests in middle schools.71 days are used to administer tests in high schools.
SOME COSTS OF STANDARDIZED TESTING In the state of Florida: FCAT costs are $59,890,000 RTT (Standardized Testing) – 2011-2014 costs $64,700,000 Sample District Costs: Osceola - $483,000 Lake - $844,756 Orange - $1,543,772 Pearson Florida contract over four year period - $250,000,000 Pearson Texas contract over five year period - $500,000,000
SCHOOL RESOURCES IMPACTEDThis section attempts to unveil and quantify the resources necessary to administer state assessments in the manner required by FDOE Costs Set aside funds to print practice tests Purchase of additional computers Purchase additional substitute teachers Pay for special couriers for pickup and delivers Cost of gas and vehicle maintenance Additional Instructional materials allocations Cost of mailing test results in the summer Additional costs involving test security
CONTINUED Training and Personnel In Brevard County there are ten different training sessions for test administrators and proctors. There are twelve training sessions out of the Office of Accountability, Testing and Evaluations annually. Nearly all personnel at a school and significant numbers of staff are displaced during the course of testing. School counselors are taken off duty to deal with testing. ESE teachers must cancel their time with students to administer assessments. Instructional assistants, childcare workers and office staff are used to proctor and monitor. Revision of custodial services Limited number of employees available to cover supervisory duties.
CONTINUED Facilities There are not enough rooms/chairs for small group testing. State assessment window conflicts with AP testing further taxing facility resources. Few schools have enough labs to accommodate the FAIR and FCAT testing window overlap. Clerical staf f must coordinate bells and supervisory coverage during testing windows. There are at least 50 more areas of impact (whew!!!)
TEST COMPOSITION Interesting FACTS: 1 80,000 High School students in Florida took the FCAT Reading test 1 26,000 failed the FCAT Reading test This created the need for 1 ,050 reading teachers The cost of these teachers is $52,500,000 The number of high school students taking reading remediation in: Lake – 3,372 Orange – 19,087 The number of seniors who had 24 credits and passing GPA , but did not receive a high school diploma State of Florida – 9,050 Lake – 142 Orange - 542 The number of third graders retained in Florida ???? students Cost of repeating a grade ????
COMPOSITION CONTINUED Students who score a level one or two on the FCAT Reading are labeled as having “little success with the content on the FCAT”, yet there is a growing number of students intensive reading are clearly academically successful. Current standardized reading assessments do not stress what we really value, which is comprehension. The best possible assessment would occur when teachers observe and interact with students as they read authentic texts for genuine purposes. QUESTION – “Children learn how to read best in a low -risk environment”, then why does there seem to be so much stress in the testing process, for example we now have vomit procedure s. (“celebrati on of knowledge”) QUESTION – Children should be permitted to choose reading materials, activities, and ways of demonstrating their under standing of text, yet many are assigned passages on the FCAT of which they would probably never choose to read on their own, for example: Glacial erosion theory Hiking in the Red Woods Fly fishing in Montana The enigma of the Echidna (an Australian, egg-laying mammal) Cell phone tower designs According to the FCAT 2.0, texts should be interesting and appealing to students????
COMPOSITION CONTINUED According to the FCAT 2.0 design summary, texts should ensure that passages are free from bias or cultural insensitivity. Students in Florida have limited experience with fly fishing or hiking the Red Woods. The material tested should present subject matter of high interest and pertinent to students’ lives. How many of us are familiar with the animal called Echidna? There are test item distractors on multiple choice answer assessments. There should be no question as to what a correct answer should be, however when test designers have more than one answer that could be correct, but only one answer is predetermined by the test-maker then what would be the correct answer?
CONTINUED Here’s an example: Which of the following is NOT a factor that makes tracking echidnas with radio transmitters challenging? (Use of NOT is a test-taking skill challenge) (stem) A. Echidnas spend time in caves. (in passage practically verbatim) B. Transmitters are difficult to attach. (distractor/enticer: extremely close to correct answer) (in passage practically verbatim) C. Transmitters are difficult to acquire. (not stated in passage; do we need to comprehend to answer this or just know test taking skills?) D. Echidnas are built low to the ground. (in passage practically verbatim) *bolded answer is the correct one (C) Ultimately, reading comprehension and mastery of standards are not assessed, for the ability of one to interpret the intentions of test-writers are assessed
CONTINUED Here’s another example: According to the ar ticle, what is one echidna characteristi c that is shared with other mammals? F. The production of milk (almost verbatim from passage) G. the size of the neocortex (higher-order logically correct distractor/enticer) H. the use of spines for climbing (low-level distractor) I. the use of the beak for rooting (low-level distractor) *The correct answer is F Based on the answer provided by the FLDOE, the correct answer is F. However, students who utilize higher-level thinking and have a higher-level understanding of mammals may pick G. G is actually a correct answer and arguably "more correct," in a higher-level sense than the true answer, F, according to the passage. It is rather difficult to gauge mastery of standards and student growth if the test is only trying to trick one into selecting the incorrect answer. If this is the case, then measurement of student mastery and academic growth is not being conducted but rather the ability to recognize when one is being deceived is being measured. Is this the goal of standardized assessments in Florida?
NEXT STEPS ? 1 . Do nothing, accept status quo. 2. Develop a more in-depth report with full participation from all eleven counties. 3. Join and accept the Palm Beach County Board Unification request. 4. Launch a new task force to study alternatives to the current testing; its format and requirements. 5. Develop a plan to educate all stakeholders of public school as to the negative consequences of the current standardized testing on our public schools. 6. Present this information at the upcoming FSBA convention in Tampa 7.What are the Coalition’s thoughts?