I hate that so much hinges on this test. I have been sick since I found out how bad the scores were this year.- a middle school teacher from a small school district in West TN
A colleague of mine was a finalist for state-wide Teacher Of The Year a few years ago. While proctoring an EOC for a class which he didn't even teach, he happened to notice a test question while walking around. At lunch he made a comment about how terrible the question was. Later that week he was removed from consideration for TOTY, and he was ultimately suspended for the first three months of the following year. I genuinely believe all the secrecy is designed to keep people from seeing exactly how bad the tests are.- a teacher in a large high school near Nashville, TN
Question from a teacher in Lebanon, TN: Cut scores seemed really high this year. Can anyone enlighten me on the process? When does the state announce the scores? Our district had been using the wrong cut scores for benchmarks and everyone was just shocked at the cut scores.
A: That is the beauty of the whole scheme. IF the scores are better than anticipated they just raise them and still say that the schools are failing. Then after a few years, they will lower them and say that their reform is working great. That is why they don't release them until the tests are in and calculated.
Q: So, basically it would be like giving the kids a test in my classroom but announcing the grade scale after I took them up and graded them?
A: I am not sure about it personally but I do know that the passing score in Algebra (I think) was 83 for a proficient first semester but basic for second and that is only three months apart for those tests.
A: Cut scores are high... our admins mentioned that when I said I was surprised at results of a few kids. Moving targets are a challenge to hit. Continual engineering of the data to make us look bad... 'ineffective.'
A: That's because they changed them from the fall, so since we're on block schedule, the kids who took their EOCs in the fall have different cut scores than the kids who took them in the spring. I found the new Spring EOC cut scores posted by purely by accident.
A: A high school principal told me the cut score was raised for second semester. Her data team figured it out without help from TDOE.
A: My Reading/ELA scores were dramatically lower (as in 20% or more) than any other area. However, my end of the year reading benchmark testing (F&P running records) showed my class being 93% on or above grade level in reading. This is a HUGE discrepancy that showed up not only in my classroom but in those of my colleagues as well.
A: Yes, my benchmarks indicated far better scores than my TCAPs. I guess the benchmark assessments can no longer be deemed reliable as indicators of TCAP results, huh? This whole situation is such a mess, so ridiculously inept.
A: The testing cut scores are arbitrary. TN state dept of ed has no valid formula for determining appropriate cut scores. In NY state the cut scores have been manipulated for political reasons. Would you EVER suspect Huffman of manipulating scores? Seems like thousands of parents & teachers don't trust him: https://www.facebook.com/RemoveKevinHuffman
BIG Q: Why does Haslam unconditionally support an edu-commissioner with NO education background?
Big A: That's the million-dollar question.
Q: *Do you think the media will pick up a story about it? I am so tired of all this manipulation and deceit and abuse! I am beyond defeated over the whole insane system.
*Hint, hint... to the reporters and journalists that read our emails (Welcome to the journalists and reporters who have subscribed in the past few months!). We don't mind a bit if you use our stuff. Please help us to get the word out to a larger audience. You know this isn't right or fair for teachers and students. We wish we could publish the names of these teachers without fear of them losing their jobs. These teachers are sick over the top-down mandates, micromanaging, and turmoil in their profession. They just want to teach and help students. They may not have the freedom to speak up publicly, but we, as parents, sure do. Tennessee parents will continue to speak the truth and fight these injustices until things get better.