SMARTER BALANCE EXAMS ARE BEST
Greetings, Legislature Education Committees & All--
The Iowa Legislature is on the verge of sending Iowa students at least 7 states lower (what do legislators expect?) in national rankings on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) if they approve a bill to rescind initiation of SmarterBalance exams.
The quality of decisions being made at all levels of education require quality feedback on the present status (something paper exams cannot do and Iowa Assessments admit they are years away from being able to provide).
SmarterBalance online exams are designed to test for student understanding of concepts and their applications using their learning style – paper exams lack the ability to do this.
Iowa Assessments not only use low standards, they lack the ability to test for knowledge of concepts and their applications because the Iowa education system has so far failed to make this transition (as evidenced by NAEP scores remaining stagnant but the state falling in ranking to other states making improvements).
Proficiencies shown on Iowa Assessments are comparable to basic entry level on NAEP, showing little if any improvement toward grade level.
SmarterBalance can provide feedback on whether schools are learning how to effectively teach to the student learning styles – something they have failed to do for the past sixty years (as they falsely blamed students and their parents for learning difficulties) – failing to even recognize the problem until required to do so by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Competency-based education does not require the memorization of factoids; it requires understanding concepts behind the factoids and their various applications – which Iowa Assessments lack the ability to do because they are Iowa-based, and therefore behind other states.
Iowa schools that have failed to include technology in their programs are already on the national Schools in Need of Assistance list, so they are failing and damaging their students’ right to a better education.
Can the state pay enough “bribe” money for businesses to locate here when it cannot produce the worker quality other states are producing?
Last week the Supreme Court ruled schools must pay to remediate students they have failed to educate (putting them into Special Ed and lowering standards)
Using Iowa Assessments rather than SmarterBalance will cost Iowa a lot of money in remediation damages!
Sue Atkinson, PhD
P. O. Box 301
Baxter IA 50028