Monday, February 14, 2011

CCSSI likely putting Cart in Front of Horse
Another Fiasco

In response to this Article:

Education Week
Curriculum Matters
Can the Federal Government Fund Curriculum Materials?

Richard Innes of the Bluegrass Policy Institute writes:

This is a potentially huge deal.

How do you create tests if you don't have a good idea about the underlying curriculum?

Kentucky fell into precisely this same trap in 1990 when it started to create the state's first reform assessment, the Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS).

KIRIS was created before the state even had decent education standards (which, for that matter, it still doesn't have), let alone a well-designed curriculum. Then, the state developed curriculum frameworks (just like the test consortia are proposing) that were supposed to improve KIRIS as well as instruction.

That didn't happen, either, and KIRIS crashed in 1998.

It's replacement, CATS, didn't make enough changes from KIRIS. It crashed in 2009.

If you are going to develop good state tests, you first have to start with very complete statements about what kids are supposed to know and be able to do at the end of the instruction. Those statements have to be set up in such a way that the goals and outcomes are measurable.

THEN, you design a curriculum to teach to those goals.

ONLY THEN, do you start to develop an assessment program.

Now, we are told that the two Common Core State Assessment efforts may, by law, have to leave out the essential curriculum step.

That's going to be really problematic.

To learn more about what happened with KIRIS, so you can better discuss why the Common Core State Assessments may be heading into serious trouble, trouble Kentucky already faced before, check out the reports on the Kentucky Education Reform Act at 20 Years, available here:

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