Both PARCC and CDE have technical advisory committees with assessment development, psychometric, and special populations experts. These types of committees provide guidance and input throughout the development of state assessments. Assessments are developed in accordance with professional standards such as those published by the American Education Research Association. Historically, the federal department of education has required that all states submit evidence of the technical quality of their assessments to panels of assessment experts. Guidance on the types of information that historically had to be provided may be found here:
Colorado’s approval letter for its prior assessment system may be found here:
Documents provided here are dated 2007 and have no relationship to PARCC. They also only relate to the “development” of the test. The truth is that PARCC, like the CSAP, TCAP, and CMAS before it, have NO published independent studies supporting the validity or reliability of the test. This means they are testing kids with tools that have NEVER been tested. This violates all statistical scientific principles for compiling evidenced based research and constitutes experimentation, not accountability. If the measurement tool is invalid and unreliable, then all of the data collected from that tool is invalid and unreliable.
The letter provided by Ms. Zurkowski is dated 2006, written over eight years ago. Still it provides a piece of key information:
“Please be aware that approval of Colorado’s standards and assessment system under NCLB is not a determination that the system complies with Federal civil rights requirements, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Today’s testing reforms do not have to comply with Federal civil rights requirements. Previous laws passed to ensure equity and justice for children in public education is not included in current testing practices. If you are wondering why testing has led to greater achievement gaps and fewer gains for children of color and those with special needs, here lies your explanation. Testing reforms require equality in outcomes without any regard for the inequalities in opportunity. These testing reforms have shifted scarce resources previously directed at early prevention and intervention towards the singular goal of measurement.
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