My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Testing Reform On The Way . . . in 2011??? 

In case you missed this yesterday:

A bipartisan coalition of legislators is ready to dump the once-a-year CSAP in favor of end-of-course tests more closely tied to curriculum and college-entrance requirements.

"We're in a new century, and it's time for our thinking to evolve," said Rep. Rob Witwer, R-Genesee. "This could be the end of CSAP and the beginning of something much better. It really is an evolution."

If Witwer really wants to move to something different, he should have no lack of allies on the other side of the aisle--Big Education and their Democratic puppets have long been virulently opposed to the CSAP.

For that matter, I have written frequently about my issues with the CSAP, here, here, and here., just to mention a few.

IF Witwer can get the Democrats to agree to meaninful reform that provides for accountability on all levels, then this could be a very good thing. And it sounds as if that is what he's aiming for:

Some lawmakers are eyeing the ACT, typically taken in 11th and 12th grades and used by college admissions offices. The company also makes tests for eighth, ninth and 10th grades, showing students if they're on track to get into college.

Why do I like this? Because the ACT has some accountability--student performance on the ACT is a part of college admissions, so its completion would be meaningful.

Now, as long as nobody listens to Mike Merrifield . . . .

The former music teacher is pushing for flexibility in the initiative — what he calls "a smorgasbord of options" from which districts could choose.

He prefers evaluations, like a panel of teachers rating a musical performance, writing samples or even the way a student solved math problems.

It's thinking like that that got us saddled with the CSAP to begin with.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like anything is likely to happen any time soon

The state's $16 million annual contract for CSAP expires in 2011.

A lot can happen in three years. Whatever reform comes through this year will probably change by 2011, anyway.

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