Education policy folks and Minnesota’s high school juniors can stop holding their breath about this year’s math graduation test: with the stroke of his pen, Governor Tim Pawlenty has turned the once-high-stakes test into a dead letter. A compromise solution was reached earlier this year by the Governor, and both houses of the state legislature, that would permit students to retake the test three times, prior to graduation. Pass or fail, though, no-one is barred from graduation. Legislators were concerned that, since the test results come back a few weeks into summer vacation, high school Juniors wouldn’t have much time to take remedial courses and retake the test before they have to start studying for finals, or graduate.
According to the Strib’s Emily Johns, though, the real reason is that the test is too hard. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, Achievement Gap, Education, Education Policy, GRAD test, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minnesota, Testing, Tim Pawlenty
Not a good day to be the College Board, makers of the SAT and Advanced Placement tests:
USA Today has a study showing a statistically insignificant increase in a student’s SAT scores can “make or break” their chances of getting into many colleges. The reporter highlights what was considered common wisdom when I was applying to college several years ago, that the most important thing in preparing for the test was learning small tricks to gaming the test, looking for that tiny bump.
Slate’s The Big Money blog delves into the allegedly massive profits the College Board makes off of the fees we all fork over to take their tests, because they’re the only game in town when it comes to widely accepted college admissions standards. But as I pointed out earlier this year in the Twin Cities Daily Planet, at least the AP and IB test scores are decidedly secondary factors in admissions decisions, according to college admissions officers across Minnesota. (Note: the IB test is not administered by the College Board)
Filed under: National, Education, Testing
January 28, 2009 • 7:02 am
(Originally published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet, 1/28/09)
Unless the Commissioner of Education and the state legislature act, a large percentage of Minnesota’s 11th graders willnot be able to graduate next year, because they did not score high enough on a new math test. Introduced as part of the state’s high-stakes testing regimen, theGRAD test is given to all 11th graders. This is the first year students are required to pass the test in order to graduate.
“It’s not fair to let these high schoolers get caught in the cross-hairs” of the test, said Rep. Mindy Greiling (DFL-Roseville). She said the problem is that not all current 9th, 10th, and 11th graders have received the needed support and more rigorous preparation. The high-stakes testing regimen was put in place in lower grades after they had reached high school, and this year’s 11th graders will have limited time for remedial courses.
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minnesota, St Paul, Achievement Gap, Carlos Mariani, Charlie Kyte, Education, Mindy Greiling, Minnesota, Testing
January 20, 2009 • 10:07 am
(Originally published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet, 1/19/09)
State Rep. Carlos Mariani
Charter schools, the mathGRAD test, and No Child Left Behind were among the topics when Daily Planet reporter James Sanna sat down with State Representative Carlos Mariani (DFL – St Paul) Tuesday to talk about some of the issues in public education facing the legislature this year. Rep. Mariani chairs the House of Representatives’ E-12 Education Policy and Oversight Committee.
TCDP: In your committee hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Jim Abler mentioned a proposed law to regulate charter schools – among other things, it gets more specific about a sponsor’s responsibilities or about their religious affiliation – Could you tell us a little more about that? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minnesota, St Paul, Carlos Mariani, Charter Schools, Education, Education Policy, Education Reform, Minnesota, NCLB, Testing