Fred Smith: why the NY State Education Department deserves an "F" on their own exams


Fred Smith is an expert on testing who used to work in the NYC Board of Education, and has been instrumental in uncovering and publicizing the rampant state test score inflation that has occurred over the last eight years in NY state.  He has an article in this month's City Limits, showing the lack of concerted action on the part of the Board of Regents and New York State Education Department, even after admitting that this inflation did indeed occur, to take the necessary steps to address it properly:
Several issues have never been addressed:

--Why have SED administrators been protected, given their misleading reporting and defense of inadequate testing from 2006 to 2009?
--Why did the state’s technical advisors insist that cut off scores on the tests were lowered because the items had gotten harder—when they had evidence to the contrary?
--Who’s responsible for the field testing procedures that yielded inaccurate data on which the exams were built, and what’s been the penalty?
--Who set the 2009 cut points so low that kids with serious academic problems could guess their way out of this category, depriving them of needed support services?

Those are questions about the past that have been ducked.  But the state of the latest tests also demands scrutiny. 2010’s exams were advertised as more rigorous. Analysis of these instruments reveals the items were easier than ever…
Please read this important analysis; instead of showing the proper humility, the Regents and SED recently decided that state test score results should account for up to 40% of a teacher's evaluation.  Given their sorry record in developing reliable assessments, their insistence in this regard is quite amazing. 
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