Saturday, May 29, 2010

MSP - Measuement of Student Progress

As I finally post this blog, I realize that this month has been my most pathetic blog month in Southworth Sailor history. Maybe it is a reflection of the worst May weather I can ever remember. I have had several blog worthy happenings this month: Bjorn had an appendectomy and subsequent infection, I reconditioned the keel on my boat and gave it a new coat of black bottom paint. Our class went on a field trip to the Mariners game, my iPod Touch was stolen by one of my students and we finished the first year of MSP testing - Measurement of Student Progress instead of the WASL - Washington Assessment of Student Learning. These tests seem to be ever more consuming of our educational attention. There is certainly some good in them, as they have raised the level of accountability in the classroom; but there are many frustrating and inequitable dimensions to the process as well. One particularly frustrating test is the science test. There are some very nebulous 'standards' that the state publishes on which the test is based. As teachers, we are not allowed to read the test; but if one were to look over the students shoulders, he/she would notice different test questions for different students and very little testing of scientific content and lots of extended written responses for inconsequential scenarios. Our school has typically performed poorly on this test, and despite great effort to prepare the students this year, I have little confidence that there will be a significant improvement.

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