Follow-Up: Looking for Data in All the Wrong Places
The structure is great; the opportunity to talk with a horizontal cohort of educators about students and what's going on in class is invaluable.
The problem is the data. It didn't jive with the achievement I'm seeing in class.
Many of my students who have surged in recent weeks absolutely tanked the test. Their multiple-choice scores are far below the caliber of achievement I've seen from them in class discussions, projects, and homework assignments. On the essay section, many were confused by the prompt and their writing veered way off-topic. A lot of these students have built their self-advocacy skills and know how to reach out to find clarificationbut that's not allowed on tests the way it is in real life.
Timed tests are only a tiny part of success in college and beyond. The ability to work within deadlines is certainly a vital skill, but the highly pressurized write-on-demand Testing Conditions environment created in schools does not build or assess that. Taking high-stakes exams is a game with its own rules that barelyif at alltransfers any useful skills to adult life.
On data days, the test scores can be used only as a jumping off point for discussion; they are limited, even misleading measurements of student achievement.
Looking carefully at visible learning is important. Looking at multiple-choice scores produced under high-stress conditions is not.