Our district, along with the rest of the country, is inching towards merit pay. One of the steps they have put in place this year is a Common Core State Standard assessment. In kindergarten, since there is no baseline data, we have to administer the assessment four times a year. Once at the very beginning of the year, the first week, before we even have routines and procedures down. Then we do it three more times at the end of each grading period. Testing.
We have just finished up the final, end of year CCSS exam. Our principal wanted us to pull a report from the program where we record our results. The data became available over the weekend and I looked at it. Basically, the “Big Picture” report takes all of the math standard results, and all of the ELA results and condenses them into one math “grade” and one ELA “grade”. The grades are, Emergent, Approaches, Meets, and Exceeds.
Fine, except for this, and it’s only one example. I have one little girl, who “meets” the standard on EVERY Common Core State Standard in math except one. She can’t count to 100 yet, she only counted to 49. She is rated as Emergent on this one standard. Eight standards tested, 7 out of 8 meeting the standards but that’s not enough. Because she was rated Emergent on this ONE standard, she is rated Emergent on ALL of math. That’s not right.
In reading, they have to know 50 out of 100 sight words to meet the standard, 49 is approaching the standard, 50 meets the standard, and 51 exceeds. There is no wiggle room. Knowing 35 words is still Emergent and knowing 35 words gets the same rating as knowing 6 words.