Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Test scores are about to go down

Tahlequah superintendent Lisa Presley sent out a district-wide email on Monday:
From: Lisa Presley
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2017 6:39 PM
To: District
Cc: Lisa Presley
Subject: state testing 
Today we had discussions regarding the Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) and the 2017 test scores. Below are some of the major take-aways from the 2017 testing reset:
  • The 2017 Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) results will post on Oct. 11. Districts will receive paper copies the week of Nov. 27.
  • This year's testing results serve as the baseline year for ESSA accountability.
  • Our state-level assessment scores now align with the ACT, SAT and NAEP.
  • Our school district testing data will be in the same format as in previous years.
  • Expect a significant decrease in the number of students who score proficient or higher due to the new standards, assessments, and definitions for performance levels.
  • This year is a total reset and the OSTP scores cannot be compared to previous years.
  • Expect steady, incremental growth in test scores moving forward.
Please remember that teachers had only one year to teach the new standards in science, ELA and math; and that the new test scores do not reflect on the effectiveness of our schools or that our students are less skilled than before. The new test scores do mean that our students are being held to a higher standard that will better prepare them for college and career.
TPS is a great school district with outstanding educators! We are ready and willing to meet the challenge of preparing our students for a bright future!
Whether or not TPS is "a great school district" is, of course, open to debate. According to researchers at the George W. Bush Institute, the average student in Tahlequah is performing better in math than 43 percent of students in the nation and 32 percent of students in other developed economies. In any case, let's hope Tahlequah and every other Oklahoma district is indeed ready and willing to succeed.


The TPS superintendent says parents should not be alarmed. But if the majority of Tahlequah students lack proficiency in every subject (which is what the results will likely show), why shouldn't parents be alarmed?

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