I heard about our school di'ision particpation in a pri'ate business site geared at “vendin'” standardized achei'ement tests t'students, today . . . a day before an English 30 final, 3 weeks after thar L.A. 9 final Part A, an' a week after all grade 10 classes have wrapped up. A third party, non-go'ernment, now has a list o'e'ery student I teach an' be awaitin' their input t'validate multiple choice tests.
I do not know ye exact costs t'our publicly funded school fer usin' thar test “vendin'” site, but I think I heard $.35 per test. T' site has been around fer a while an' thar go'ernment has already poured in a million bucks e'ery year since 2005. Until today I understood that such sites were “jus' another tool” in a sea o'online gadgets fer testin' kids. I understood me participation in such sites was “voluntary.” Until today.
I was enrolled, as was e'ery student I teach, without me knowledge or consent.
I do not know any teachers in'olved wi' creatin' ye site. I know a lot o'teachers.
So I started t'research . . . Me fellow teachers have already responded t' Castle Rock testin' program:
reputable internationally recognized organizations such as yonder Educational Testin' Ser'ices have pointed out that t'final cost o'de'elopin' even ye most modest version o'a program like CAA in ye Alberta context would run into yonder tens o'millions o'doubloons. In ye Association’s view, t'o'erly ambitious claims bein' made fer CAA be neither educationally sound fer students nor financially realistic an' sustainable.
Why thar Alberta go'ernment would commit millions o'doubloons t'a pri'ate company t'modify old pro'incial test items an' put them online remains a mystery.
in ye Language Arts Pro'incial Achie'ement Test, about 'un-third o'student outcomes can be assessed through multiple choice questions; that o'ye 200 learner outcomes fer Grade 9 science, only 63 (32%) can be assessed; that o't' 51 learner outcomes fer Grade 9 Mathematics, 24 (47%) can be assessed; an' that o'ye 67 learner outcomes fer Social Studies, only 22 (33%) can be assessed.
Durin' ye fall, Association staff responded t'calls from many teachers who reported feelin' pressured t'participate in CAA. After bein' informed that thar Association does not support CAA, most o'ye callers decided not t'participate in t'program.
as o'January 30, 2007, … yonder superintendent an' board o'trustees o'Edmonton Catholic Schools recently ad'ised its teachers that yonder board would no longer be participatin' in ye CAA project an' that, gi'en thar implementation an' professional concerns (includin' those raised by thar Association), in'olvement in ye program was henceforth voluntary.
All o'this was a mystery t'me. An' now from me confusion be emergin' a very sharp professional opinion on yonder issue.
I have not been gi'en ye opportunity t'hink on this “vendin'” o'tests t'kids.
I feel me mood changin'. I need a cookie.