NC Coalition Opposes Test Misuse

Status: 
Archived
Subject: 
K-12 Testing

A statewide coalition of parents, teachers, and community leaders from North Carolina, including the Common Sense Foundation Commission on Fair Testing, the North Carolina Justice and Community Development Center, statewide NAACP, Parents United for Fair Testing, People About Changing Education in NC, Testing's Harmful in North Carolina (THINC), and Advocates for Testing Alternatives, released a position statement opposing high-stakes testing during a press conference on May 9th at the North Carolina State House. The coalition called for a halt to the state policy of using End-of-Grade (EOG) tests as a sole criterion for determining grade promotion. In response, several lawmakers promised that legislation would be drafted to change the program. Beginning this year, all North Carolina fifth graders must pass the EOG test in order to move up to sixth grade. Third and eighth grade promotion testing starts next year. Parents don’t object to the tests, but the "way the state is going about using the tests," according to Geraldine Blackston, a parent from Wilson, NC. As many as 30,000 students are at risk of failing the exam based on prior years' test results, with Black, Hispanic and Native American students over-represented among low scoring students.

 

A study of the EOG's content, construction, scoring, reliability and validity by the North Carolina School Psychology Association detailed several problems with use of the exams for grade promotion and measuring student progress. The psychologists concluded that the "use of the EOG results to make major decisions about individual students is not adequately validated and will cause serious harm to North Carolina's most vulnerable students."

 

The coalition of groups will next sponsor a series of meetings in communities across the state for parents, teachers, community members and students to share their concerns about high-stakes testing.

 

• Daniella Cook, FairTesting Organizer, Common Sense Foundation, Commission on Fair Testing: 919-821-9270, http://www.common-sense.org/./fairtesting/about.html
• North Carolina School Psychology Association, www.ncschoolpsy.org