Tuesday, November 6

BSRA a back door to more tests, more data?

More soon from last night's Gifted & Talented public meeting, but I just wanted to draw attention to one thing I've been meaning to note that finally got addressed — a little — in the very last question, at 9:30 p.m. The Bracken School Readiness Assessment, which students will take (along with the OLSAT) to get into gifted programs, is billed by its publisher as a tool that "helps determine if a child may have an underlying language disorder that requires further evaluation." I'm not a psychometrician, but a test that looks for delays doesn't sound like the ideal tool to identify giftedness. Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning Marcia Lyles said last night that the BSRA will be used to look for disorders as well as giftedness in 2008-09, when it will be administered to all kindergartners.

So I'm wondering if the expansion of access in the new gifted proposal (especially since the 95th percentile cut off is sure to shrink the actual number of seats in many places) isn't really a way to target students for extra help (a good thing) and/or to establish a baseline from which to generate data about younger kids' performance and improvement to pour into the school report cards.

1 comment:

Ann M said...

This is an outrage,leave Special Education to the Special Education Experts.
More damage is done when scholarly professional experts are not overseeing the diagnosis process, "that looks for delays". DOE Special Ed has enough problems of its own. To "target students for extra help", has legislation of its own. Ann M