A Superintendent Writes… A Rebuttal to State Standards and Grades – Consideration 3
In response to the 1/23/20 post, “State Standards and Grades – Consideration 3,” a Superintendent adds…
The problem with your analysis is that in Texas it assumes a test design that is not actually the case with the STAAR. The STAAR Test is not designed to determine learning. It is designed to rank test takers. Psychometricians use Item Response Theory (IRT) in order to pick which questions to put on the test. I won’t bore the readers with unwanted math, but let’s just say the test is designed so that overall 37% of students will get a given question wrong, on average. Yes, some questions will have a correct response rate of 80%, but other questions will have a correct response rate of 20%. Overall the target is about 37% of students will get questions wrong. This is easily verified from TEA’s own website and I have had many educators prove it to themselves.
Given the outcomes of using IRT, some conversion must be used to the STAAR to try to convert it to a rating system. I personally don’t think it is possible. Any such conversion will have so many “cut scores,” “regression,” and other adult biases built into it the outcomes will simply be what some adult wants them to be.
My honest opinion is that the STAAR is so bad that when asked what mastering a student expectation means, I can honestly tell you, “I don’t know.”
If anyone tells you they can tell you what it means it most likely means that they are ignorant of how the test is developed.
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