In order to understand things correctly, we have a question for Team Vallas.
As we have come to learn, you all, as the experienced “education reformers” among us, believe that more standardized testing leads to an environment in which students will learn more.
With that as one of your guiding principles, Team Vallas determined that Bridgeport students would be better off if they took three additional rounds of standardized tests, plus the State of Connecticut’s own standardized tests. I think the way it was explained was that starting this year, Bridgeport schools would conduct three sets of “CMT like tests,” in addition to the “CMTs.”
Round #1 was aptly named the Benchmark Assessment Test.
Teachers, students and parents in grades 3-8 were informed that Bridgeport’s new standardized testing would begin on October 1st, while students in grades 9-12 would begin their testing October 3rd.
An announcement also went out to parents telling them that, “they could contact their children’s schools to obtain results once testing is completed.”
In addition, to ensure that no cheating took place, Team Vallas instituted a sophisticated anti-cheating system that included making sure that the tests were locked up at all times and deploying proctors as warranted.
But now a question has arisen.
After speaking with a number of Bridgeport students and teachers today, it has become apparent that all 9th, 10th and 11th grade students were given the exact same “Editing & Revising” test.
Meaning, despite the fact that grade level curriculum and proficiency levels are very different in grades 9, 10 and 11, students in all three grades were required to read the same passages and answer the same exact questions.
This new development was certainly unexpected and raises the following inquiries;
(1) Did the Bridgeport school system get a better price from the multi-million dollar testing company by allowing it to provide the same test to multiple grade levels?
(2) They must charge less for correcting the test right?
(3) Is this testing methodology some type of post-modern, neo-analytical mechanism to track students across multiple grade levels?
(4) By utilizing the same test year after year, do you find that student’s test scores go up, thereby proving that “education reforms” are actually working, after all?
(5) Can you point out other school districts that have utilized this rather unique approach to standardized testing?
Or (6) was this some type of colossal mistake?