Update from the State Board of Education.
High School Credit Flexibility Task Force.
This Task Force, which will ultimately make a recommendation to the State Board, is considering whether there are circumstances under which students should be able to earn high school credit (known as a “Carnegie” unit) for activities other than semester and year-long courses that provide a required number of instructional hours (ie, seat time). This could allow sensible changes to allow students to earn credit for demonstrating proficiency in a given field of study. It could also open the door to lower standards and exacerbate inequities across the District. For more details on the Task Force, its objectives and its upcoming meetings, click here or read about the effort in the Post.
High School Diplomas for High School Equivalency Recipients.
The State Board will be considering whether recipients of the GED and another high school equivalency test, the NEDP, should be awarded DC high school diplomas. The Board will be looking at many aspects of the debate surrounding this issues, including the rigor of the new GED standards and the benefits to GED recipients. For more information, click here.
Update on the PARCC Test Results.
PARCC is in the final phase of determining the scoring standards for the 2015 tests. last year’s tests. Over the past several months, educators from across the country have come together to develop recommendations for the “cut scores” – that is how many score points students must receive in order to reach each level (5,4,3,2,1). Based on what I have heard about the tests and the scoring, the city should be prepared for scores to be lower than what students received when compared to the DC-CAS, the District’s previous test. However, we should bear in mind that the scores across the two tests are not meant to measure the same thing. Under DC-CAS, the key score point was “proficient,” with students also able to earn scores above and below that (a more direct comparison with DC-CAS was the NAEP which consistently ranked a much lower percentage of District students proficient than did DC-CAS). With PARCC, the key question is: Is this student on-track to “likely” enter college without having to take remedial, non-credit-bearing courses. Going forward, PARCC will be following its students and adjusting the scoring thresholds based on evidence of how students actually fared in college and the workplace. For more on PARCC and its scoring, go to PARCConline.org.