Superintendent's evaluation will include discussion of testing, student performance : Sutherland for Schools blog
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Fort Worth ISD Trustee District 6 

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Superintendent's evaluation will include discussion of testing, student performance

by Ann Sutherland on 03/07/14

The FWISD board will be evaluating the superintendent at our March 25 meeting (warning:  it will take awhile.).  For me, a central issue is the continuing overuse of testing and prescriptive requirements for teachers.  I am still collecting information from district teachers, but here is part of what I have found:

The operation of our curriculum department continues to result in unsatisfactory levels of student achievement.  Staff must identify and evaluate possible causes of this continued deficit in student performance and present findings to the board.  My candidates for investigation include at least these:

--The overprescriptive curriculum does not meet all students’ needs.

--There are too many tests, especially CBAs, which do not predict student success.

--There is insufficient support in classrooms, especially at the early elementary level.

--The curriculum should follow the texts and supporting material rather than skipping around.

We also need to reduce class size, at least to the level of 2011-12.

Comments (4)

1. Supporter said on 3/7/14 - 07:00PM
Amen to your comment about the overuse of CBAs. Not only are they administered too frequently (taking up a full 1/6 of the school year, which could be far better spent, you know, actually teaching) but they are often poorly written, poorly translated (for the Spanish exams), and rife with errors, to the point that Deputy Superintendent Sorum recently had to send out a memo apologizing for all the mistakes in them. While it was refreshing to see someone in the Administration actually admitting a mistake, it is embarrassing to have to tell students to "correct" over 10% of the questions on a test before they take it. Who actually writes them, and is it really too much to ask that they actually take the test before sending it out to schools? Given their poor quality, their results are of dubious value.
2. Another from FWISD said on 3/8/14 - 06:31AM
At the end of the semester, there was a teacher prep day on a Friday, so many 4th grade teachers began testing on Friday of week 17. For that grade level, there were two days of writing tests, one day of reading, one day of math, and one day of science for a total of five days in a row of testing. The writing tests take four hours each, the time usually allotted for the other exams. The children are nine years old in this grade level and we are testing them four hours a day for five days in a row. As a teacher, I can't see how this is a best practice. These days are lost to more instruction. As a parent, it is difficult to explain this to my child, who now dreads CBAs. Have we correlated our CBA results to STAAR or just aligned the questions to STAAR?
3. Teacher said on 3/26/14 - 06:59AM
Ann, we are all looking forward to hearing the results of the Superintendent's evaluation. I was surprised to learn from the FWST article this morning that he already has a contract through August 2016. Considering the fact that most teachers will not learn until May or June of this year whether they will have a contract for August 2014, why do we need to extend the Superintendent's contract any farther out at this time? Shouldn't we wait to get more results (i.e., give him a chance to improve, since he has so far failed to demonstrate why he is worth $340,000 plus benefits?)
4. Anonymous said on 4/3/14 - 09:50PM
It's all about money! http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/90-Million-Tab-for-STAAR-Testing-Includes-Pricey-Meetings-Travel-Consultants-201520411.html


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