Unlikely allies are rallying around Umatilla republican senator Alan Hays amendment to SB 616 as a compromise on the state’s high-stakes test drama. Writes Jefferey Solochek for Gradebook:
A conservative Florida senator with a flair for headline-grabbing proposals could generate lots of support in the anti-testing sector with his latest recommendation.
Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, has filed an amendment to the Senate’s major testing reform bill (SB 616) that goes to its final committee stop on Thursday. His objective: To end third-grade retentions, graduation decisions and school grades based on state standardized test scores until the tests are more thoroughly vetted as valid.
Hay’s amendment offers the Senate the “relief valve” they’ve been looking for.
c) The statewide, standardized assessments may not be used to determine grade 3 retention pursuant to s. 1008.25(3); high school graduation pursuant to s. 1003.4282; personnel evaluations pursuant to s. 1012.34; and school grades pursuant to s. 1008.34 until:
1. A report showing their psychometric validity, the coefficient alpha reliability, the content description validity, the differential item functional analysis, the criterion prediction validity, standard error of measurement, and the construct identification validity is produced and verified by the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation, the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, or the National Council on Measurement in Education. Once an independent organization certifies the assessment as psychometrically sound, the test item specifications must be published on the department’s website and be reported to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
2. Until the technology infrastructure, connectivity, and capacity of all public schools and school districts has been load tested and independently verified by either the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation or one of the member professional associations as appropriate, adequate, efficient, sustainable, and ready for successful deployment and implementation of online assessments
Long time public school advocacy group, Fund Education Now, is urging passage of the Hays amendment:
Something truly amazing is happening in the Senate tomorrow & Florida’s kids need your help. Against all odds, conservative Sen. Alan Hays has proposed a remarkable amendment to SB 616/Accountability which will end third grade retention, stop denying diplomas and end school grades until Florida’s testing system has been thoroughly vetted and determined to be valid.
Take action right now and tell Sen. John Legg to do the right thing and embrace the adoption of Sen. Hays’ amendment. Tell him that as parents, teachers and concerned citizens we do not want our children to be harmed by a broken Accountability system.
Please thank Sen. Alan Hays for putting party aside and bringing common sense into the discussion. Florida’s testing catastrophe is the result of vendor greed and the incompetence of adults at the highest levels. Our children must not be held to consequences that are based on adult failures.
So is the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition:
We are incredibly grateful to Senator Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) for offering an excellent amendment to SB 616, the bill on testing sponsored by Pre-K 12 Education Committee Chairman John Legg. This bill will be heard TOMORROW, March 25, starting sometime after 9:00 AM on a long agenda of many other bills. It is conceivable that the hearing will continue on Thursday, but we cannot verify that. The amendment, coded 637822, requires both independent verification of validity of the tests and independent verification of the load testing that is currently in law but was basically ignored by the FL DOE along with many warnings by superintendents leading to the disastrous roll-out of the FSA writing test
Both advocacy groups include offer contact mechanisms in the above links.