Will Hillsborough offer up its own resolution on testing?
As the Hillsborough board continues to discuss the issue of testing, chairwoman Candy Olson passed around this proposed resolution for discussion: The School Board recognizes the necessity and importance of testing: * For transparency and accountability to taxpayers; * For evaluation and diagnostics at many levels -- national, state, district and schools; and * Most important, for each individual teacher, to inform and improve instruction for each student. We believe each test should be measured in light of its value. Does it provide a level of utility commensurate with its cost in dollars, time and other resources? We, the School Board of Hillsborough County, take responsibility to ensure that the district, and each of its schools, use best practices in regard to testing, and that every test required by the district or the school provides a high level of usefulness. We ask our state legislators and the Department of Education to: 1. Stop making any changes to tests, requirements or scores, cut scores, and add no new high stakes tests for at least three years. We ask for recognition that reduced financial resources have reduced staff, that it takes time to "get it right," and that new standards, with new tests, will be in place in ___ (year). 2. Ensure that any test required provide valid, useful diagnostic information. 3. Be less prescriptive about tests, and consider allowing concordant scores for certain requsuirements. 4. Provide financial support for the infrastructure needed to meet testing mandates. 5. Recognize that the timing, length and difficulty of some tests may discourage students with the ability to perform well, reducing their validity. 6. Carefully consider levels of scoring required to pass high stakes tests. They should be challenging but not discouraging to students with potential.