Pasco teachers, principals asked for thoughts on quarterly tests
With parent and teacher complaints mounting, the Pasco school district administration is seeking more details about if, and how, its new quarterly testing system went awry.
On Thursday, the district assessment department sent surveys to all principals and teachers who administered the tests, asking pointed questions about the "checks" and their use in the schools.
Key queries of the teachers included:
- "For the content you tested, did the standards measured on the test match the District scope and sequence for the quarter?" (Superintendent Kurt Browning has received some emails saying that children told parents that the checks included questions about subjects they did not learn in class.)
- "For the content you tested, did your students experience difficulty with a test item format such as the graphic display, two answer choices are the same, no correct answer, or missing parts of the question? Be sure to include the name of the test and the question number." (The superintendent's office got some emails from teachers saying questions they had seen had no correct answers, or were poorly written.)
Key questions to principals included:
- "Did your school encounter scheduling issues?" (Some parent complaints suggested that the quarterly tests took away from student time in school media centers and computer labs.)
- "How did your school apply the grade for the first Quarterly Check? How was the decision made (e.g., within the PLC)?" (Some parents and teachers raised concerns that the tests were district required and in some cases hurt students' grades, while district officials said teachers and principals could decide how much the tests counted.)
The district also has pulled together a quarterly check review committee, which already has started meeting. Browning has said changes could come to the system by the second round in December.