Life without ISAT

January 31, 2014 at 10:32 am 657 comments

map

I’m headed out of town for the weekend and don’t have time to write anything, but here is the long awaited news from OAE about the shift in testing as part of the 900 point rubric.

Will we see a big shift in in the % of private school kids who get in?

Will there be more MAP test prep in schools?

Will the test prep companies be ready to help kids get ready?

Inquiring minds want to know…

CPS to use NWEA MAP Exam for Standardized Testing

Historically, the qualifying standardized testing assessment used by Chicago Public Schools to qualify for Selective Enrollment and other specialty programs has been the ISAT.  Starting this year, the standardized testing assessment utilized by the Chicago Public Schools will be the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) MAP exam.
Students will be administered this test in spring 2014, and the scores from this test will be used by the Office of Access and Enrollment in the selection process for Selective Enrollment High Schools, IB High Schools, Magnet High Schools, and Military Academies for students applying this fall to enter ninth grade in August 2015.
The rubric for the Selective Enrollment process, which can be accessed here, will remain the same. The scores from the NWEA will simply replace the scores from the ISAT.  In line with the new promotion policy, students will need a minimum score of 24% in reading and math to qualify to apply to these programs.
For non-CPS/non-charter students who do not take the NWEA, scores will be accepted from one of the tests listed below:
Terra Nova 3 (2011)
Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test 3
Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT 3)
NWEA MAP
Look for the letter from the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Barbara Byrd-Bennett, to parents, school principals, and counselors to read more about the importance of making the NWEA MAP a priority for your family.
Please note:   This change does not affect current eighth grade students.  This year’s selections will be performed using the ISAT data from students’ seventh grade year. 
If you have questions, please call 773-553-2060.
About these ads

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

7 More Charters on the Way Elementary School Tours – Privilege, Courtesy, or Right?

657 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mayfair Dad  |  January 31, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Was I asleep when they held the public input meetings on this significant change to the SEHS enrollment policy? Maybe I’m dreaming now.

  • 2. juliefain  |  January 31, 2014 at 10:55 am

    A big thing this means is that there are zero consequences for students who do not take the ISAT. I will be opting my fifth-grader out of the it, and giving him back his life during those two weeks. He can read a book, he can draw, he can daydream or even be a reading buddy to a kindergartener. I’m in the organization More Than A Score that advocates for less standardized testing, and we’ll will be organizing various activities over the next several weeks to encourage parents to opt their kids out of ISAT since this year it’s a meaningless test and takes away valuable classroom time.

  • 3. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 10:59 am

    @2 careful on opting out for 5th grade in case you want to apply to an academic center.

  • 4. JulieF  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:13 am

    HS mom – the statement from OAE and CPS says the NWEA/MAP test will now be used for selective enrollment admission, no longer the ISAT. ISAT is not used for selective enrollment, for school report cards, for teacher evaluation or any other purpose except AYP, which our schools won’t get anyway. So it’s the perfect time to oppose overtesting.

  • 5. Not posting  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

    So the AC applications will still be using the ISATs?

  • 6. Sarah Lopez  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Couldn’t agree more JulieF! It seems to me that the ISAT testing is wasteful! Wasting time and money for everyone !

  • 7. JulieF  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Academic Center and HS applications will NOT use ISAT. They will use the spring scores from NWEA/MAP.

    There is a lot to say about what’s wrong with this, since MAP is not developed to be used for decisions like promotion or admissions. It’s a diagnostic tool so teachers can see which areas students need additional help with.

  • 8. Molly  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:33 am

    So it looks like CPS percentiles on MAP must have been lower in prior testing since the threshold for SEHS test eligibility dropped from 40th percentile (5th stanine) on ISAT to 24th percentile (4th stanine) on MAP. CPS was probably looking to keep the absolute number of kids eligible the same. Knocking probably 2000+ kids out of contention would not have looked good. With the rubric the same, the cutoff points will probably be dropping.

    We signed our 7th grader up for MAP test prep yesterday when word came out. We will probably go private/catholic for high school, but we will give the SEHS a shot as backup.

    It will be very exciting to see the score results this year! I’m already nervous.

  • 9. ...hmmm  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:38 am

    @7: AC applications are part of SEES, not SEHS. I’m looking for confirmation whether or not they will use the MAP or ISAT. CPS website doesn’t address the ACs. Have you read specifically that the AC apps will now be using the MAP too?

  • 10. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:43 am

    @8 Where did you find MAP test prep, specifically? All the prep companies I’m aware of offer general standardized test prep, but I don’t know of any that purport to do MAP specifically. I’m wondering if it’s even possible, since NWEA MAP is proprietary, unlike ISAT. How would the test prep companies get the content?

  • 11. Chris  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:58 am

    “So it looks like CPS percentiles on MAP must have been lower in prior testing since the threshold for SEHS test eligibility dropped from 40th percentile (5th stanine) on ISAT to 24th percentile (4th stanine) on MAP.”

    I don’t think this is a well supported conclusion. I had a similar initial reaction, but after looking at some stuff, I think it is incorrect [more fully developed in the "Change in Test Scores thread]. I believe that it is about getting some more Tier 1 kids who *could* get into SEHS eligible to at least take the 8th grade test. Dropping to 24%-ile is a an artifact of using Stanines–probably more sensible to use a ~30%-ile cutoff, but CPS isn’t set up like that, so they take the path of least resistance.

  • 12. 19th ward Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    @9 THE ACs will also be shifting from ISAT to MAP for the current 5th graders. There is no way anymore to use ISAT testing because it no longer includes the SAT10 which included the national norming. They need that national norming for the scoring rubrics to compare against private schools kids that have taken another national normed test.

    They say this in the first paragraph of their announcement: “Historically, the qualifying standardized testing assessment used by Chicago Public Schools to qualify for Selective Enrollment and other specialty programs has been the ISAT. Starting this year, the standardized testing assessment utilized by the Chicago Public Schools will be the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) MAP exam.”

    AC schools are “Selective Enrollment”

  • 13. juliefain  |  January 31, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    The exact language from OAE says: “Historically, the qualifying standardized testing assessment used by Chicago Public Schools to qualify for Selective Enrollment and other specialty programs has been the ISAT. Starting this year, the standardized testing assessment utilized by the Chicago Public Schools will be the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) MAP exam.”

    They include AC and HS in “selective enrollment and other speciality programs.” You can call 773-553-2060 to confirm.

  • 14. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    @9 – why take the chance? At the least, it will be good test practice especially for 5th or 7th graders.

  • 15. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    @CPSO “Will we see a big shift in in the % of private school kids who get in?”

    How can it not?

    ##PRIVATE:

    Private school kids typically take the TerraNova (TN3). TerraNova is from Mcgraw Hill. The section of the ISAT that counts for selective enrollment is the SAT10, from Pearson.

    Mcgraw has run linking studies comparing scores on TN3 to SAT10. (Stat geeks can google: Linking TerraNova 3 and Stanford Achievement Test 10)

    Quoting their results: “TN3 NPR of 97 can be considered equivalent to a SAT10 NPR of 95″ TN 98 is equivalent to SAT10 97. 99s are equal.

    So private school kids have been taking, and can continue to take (although now only once a year instead of twice) a test that generally scores a few points higher than the SAT10.

    ##PUBLIC

    CPS kids are being moved to a test that is completely different and is not intended to be used for admissions.

    SAT10 (from Pearson website) is designed to “measure student progress and assess abilities.”

    MAP (from NWEA website) is designed to “measure a student’s academic achievement, not his or her ability… primarily designed to inform the teacher where to begin instruction.”

    Instead of testing how well a student has learned the material they’ve been taught, and give insight to their ability to learn, MAP tests exposure to above and below grade level material so teacher knows where to start.

    Using this test for SEHS strongly penalizes CPS neighborhood student students. Neighborhood schools struggle to keep classes up to grade level, the very bright kid in the corner easily masters what she is exposed to, but its unlikely she is exposed to higher level material.

    What exposure do you need for a score needed to gain admissions to a top CPS high school? Last year you needed a 97 (96.5) on the ISAT.

    Looking at math 96-97 would require a 262-264 on MAP.

    Just on the geometry section the questions in that range cover (from NWEA material):

    **RIT scores between 261 and 270**
    – Identify the correct definition of a postulate
    – Solve problems using two chord power theorem
    – Use of distance formula to determine type of triangle using coordinates
    – Solve problems regarding relationships among chords, secants, tangents, inscribed angles, central angle, arc, and inscribed and circumscribed polygons of circles
    – Find and use measures of sides and interior and exterior angles to identify figures and solve problems involving polygons
    – Know the effect of rigid motions on figures in the coordinate plane and space, including rotations, translations, and reflections

    Thats high school honors level Trig. Without ever having seen it a 7th grader at a neighborhood school has no chance. Meanwhile the private school kid is taking a test on 7th grade arithmetic.

    Is CPS even aware of this?

  • 16. juliefain  |  January 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    What chance are you taking, though? Good instruction is as much test prep as our kids need. If they know how to think and have taken classroom assessments, they’ll be fine. Sitting stressed out and bored for over a week, with little other instruction going on is a total waste of time, and I’d rather take a stand and let CPS know we object to our kids being used as test subjects for something that doesn’t even mean anything.

    The obsession with data in our schools has gotten completely out of hand, and I think it’s time we start withholding the data until it can be used properly and usefully. As an example, the MAP scores in a school now count toward 50% of a principal’s evaluation. I do not believe that encourages a healthy relationship between principals, teachers, students and parents. It’s more likely to simply measure the relative socioeconomic status of a particular school’s student population. If there’s going to be data, it should be used to help teachers teach, which ISAT and end-of-year MAP don’t actually do.

  • 17. junior  |  January 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    @15 parent

    Thanks for that excellent post. We discussed some of those same issues in the last testing thread, but your examples really drive it home.

    7th graders are gonna need to know geometry and trig to get into SEHS? Sheesh…. unleash the tiger moms.

  • 18. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    @16 – I politely disagree but understand your point of view. Prepping for and taking good tests can be as valuable as good teaching and better than not so good teaching. I think one factor to this would be how the individual child learns.

    My child has done well by taking every test possible and then some, culminating in a top 1% ACT score. Testing can be a challenge, something to strive for and rewarding. Its making a huge difference in school options and it’s a great tool to enhance school performance when viewed as such. Testing can also be a source of self confidence and mastery.

    I can see, on the other hand, if testing is viewed as boring, useless, and a waste of time it will be exactly that. If it’s more productive to read a book then….by all means.

  • 19. 7th grade mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    @15 “Looking at math 96-97 would require a 262-264 on MAP.” How did you arrive at these numbers? Is it from NWEA website?

  • 20. SelectivePrep  |  January 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    MAP Testing for Selective Enrollment Admissions
    Hi folks. The “CPS Obsessed Lady” asked us for some comments on CPS’s decision to use the MAP test in their formula for Selective Enrollment High School (e.g., 7th grade scores) and Academic Center (5th grade scores) admissions. Here are some quick thoughts.

    All of the major assessments Chicago area students will encounter in 2014 will be Common Core compliant. That means that the content of these tests will be much tougher than in previous years. This uptick in rigor will be particularly pronounced in the math section – where students will be expected to master more multi-step problems in areas they have seen in prior years and more depth in these topics. Students will also see new math content – primarily in algebra and geometry. All students – both public and private — will be affected by this step up to Common Core compliance. However, since the ISAT has been near the bottom in math rigor (ranking 48 of 50 states), public school students will see a pronounced change. On the verbal side, the adoption of the Common Core standard will mean denser texts and more interpretative questions.

    The fact that all 2014 assessment would be 100% Common Core compliant has been known for some time – at least 8 months, perhaps more. We have upgraded all of our material to make sure that students are fully prepared. While there are some peculiarities in how the MAP test is taken (vs. a more “traditional” ISAT test), we feel that a student will be successful if he/she is a master of the content and have geared our program to achieve this goal.

    We have suspected for some time that the MAP test would be used in place of the ISAT test since it has been known that the ISAT would not have percentiles in 2014. Since the MAP test will not be administered until the end of April, we have added later starting sessions (Session 2 Classes starting on March 1) and recommend that public school students take a later starting class to cut the gap between preparation and the test.

    In early December we posted an article on this issue, 2014: THE TRANSITION TO COMMON CORE.

    http://selectiveprep.com/documents/Common_Core_Transition-2014.pdf

    Please feel free to contact us for additional information on this topic.
    Sincerely yours,
    Jonina Lerner, SelectivePrep
    http://www.selectiveprep.com

  • 21. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    @18 Students cannot learn how to take the MAP by taking the ISAT, neither in terms of the mechanics of the test nor in terms of substantive content because, for the former, the MAP is a computer-adaptive test and most ISATs are done paper-and-pencil and, for the latter, you don’t receive a copy of the questions and the answers so you can’t learn how you erred or why.

    Even being familiar with computers does not necessarily help because the usual interface methods often differ. In the MPG, you don’t click-and-drag to move objects; you click it, the you go to where you want it to go, and then click again to move it. Can’t be sure of the MAP because no practice models are available.

  • 22. OTdad  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    @16. juliefain:
    “we object to our kids being used as test subjects for something that doesn’t even mean anything.”

    I don’t quite understand your argument. What do you mean by “doesn’t even mean anything”? The tests are likely to show a students’ academic achievement at that point. The scores are quite meaningful for the teachers and parents.

    I grow up in another country. Since elementary school, we had mid-term & final exams in every semester. Right before exams is when we can go back to review the materials and form solid understandings of the whole thing. It’s like setting a deadline for a book report, without a deadline, most kids will never finish their reports. You think that’s unnecessary?

  • 23. WendyRYH  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Here is a link to the announcement from the Office of Access and Enrollment that confirms that NWEA will replace ISAT for all SE admissions this year:

    http://cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=298072&id=0

  • 24. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    @20 – just saying that I favor test taking in general and therefore would never opt out of an opportunity. When my child was younger, they took both the IOWA and ISAT in CPS (anecdatally, did about the same on both, so I can understand the concern about kids taking MAP vs. other tests)…..I thought it really kept them on their game.

  • 25. junior  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    @21 OTdad

    Here’s where Julie’s coming from:

    http://www.ctunet.com/blog/chicago-teachers-union-launches-campaign-against-high-stakes-standardized-testing-supports-seattle-teachers-boycott

    Quite some time ago I said that now that the tests are going to be used to evaluate teachers we will see a huge anti-test crusade (for the kids).

    Funny, we’ve had standardized testing for decades, but now that value-added metrics for teacher accountability has been proposed, we see a huge anti-test movement gaining power.

  • 26. Patricia  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    @HS Mom – I share the same POV on testing.

    With my kids, I really don’t care if they like or do not like testing. It is a part of life and will continue to be through college admissions. Or grad school or if they want to become a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, a certified software support tech, or even to get a drivers licence, or pass to the next level of swimming or ice skating, etc. etc. etc. Way back in the day, GMAT was painful for me , but I had to get through it to get into a good grad school….actually to get into any MBA school GMAT was required. The more my kids see it as something they have to deal with (a step in the overall process), the less they stress.

    My one child is horrified of public speaking (as am I by nature), but it is and will be a part of life. I try to provide help, guidance and support. For us, the best thing is to just keep doing it until either the anxiety goes away or we learn to manage the anxiety. Life is not about always doing what you like, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. “Life is like a box of chocolates…..” This is just my kids and I know other kids are different.

    I do think this year the ISAT will be interesting for me as a parent to see how my kids results change as it aligns to the common core. I am curious to see the results. I do not think it takes up too much time. My kids schools do not prep for ISAT during classroom time. So it is not an issue in my household. Plus, they love the break of no homework for isat week and I have to admit, I like that too :-)

    That said, I would never judge a parent if they wanted to opt out of testing and hope that no one judges me for not opting out.

  • 27. Chris  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    HS Mom: “just saying that I favor test taking in general and therefore would never opt out of an opportunity”

    I’m rather ambivalent about testing, but wouldn’t opt out bc I recognize that standardized testing–as an element of admissions decisions–isn’t going away soon, and I completely agree that the practice is valuable.

  • 28. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    @19 7th grade mom

    Yes, everything in my post is from the websites of the test companies.

    The RIT to percentile table is in a document you can download at NWEA titled NWEA 2011 RIT Scale Norms. The score tables start down around page 65.

    I didnt see the 2012 or 2013 scores anywhere, so used 2011.

  • 29. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    @15 please do post your source of that info. The math problem example chart I’ve found goes only to “250 and above”.

    http://www.nwea.org/node/4863

  • 30. juliefain  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    To borrow a line, “teachers invented testing.” They test all the time, with quizzes, assignments, and tests of all sorts. These are directly related to what’s happening in the classroom, kids can learn from the mistakes they made, and parents have access to the material. Kids get lots of practice in test-taking in class.

    District high stakes standardized tests aren’t any of these things. They do measure how one kid does in that moment against all other kids. So sure, that might be interesting to know, and we could get a district-wide picture if we sampled rather than testing every single kid. But the tests CPS gives are not useful diagnostic tools, but high stakes instruments of compliance. We don’t get ISAT results for 6 months, and we can’t see the questions. No one can see MAP questions, and the test they care about is the spring administration, which is too late to do anything about in class. REACH tests in CPS are for the sole purpose of teacher evaluation, and students in 1st, 4th and 7th grade may take up to 14 of these per year. Principal’s bonuses depend on test scores. School report cards depend on test scores. I think that distorts the school’s relationship to testing, so it’s not something they see as helpful, it’s something being used to punish. Those are just some of the reasons I will opt out of what I can until things become rational – and yes, I do think that many parents opting out can be effective.

    Tests are a part of life, sure, but not a dominant part. You probably take the SAT, maybe a graduate entrance test, maybe a test to get a job at the USPS. An entrance exam to something. They are not constant, they are an occasional snapshot of that moment for a singular purpose. You do them, and move on. Ask a CPS teacher what testing culture is like in CPS right now…there’s nothing occasional about it, and there’s no moving on.

    But I think it’s a personal decision, and I would respect a parent’s right to opt in or out. I missed the conversation in another thread still going on from a very old post (it’s very long!!) but it gets at some of these issues as well.

  • 31. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    @ Selective Prep “All of the major assessments Chicago area students will encounter in 2014 will be Common Core compliant.”

    You must be using a broad definition of “compliant”. Private school kids are able to take TerraNova3.

    TN3 written in 2007. Common Core Standards developed in 2010.

    Quoting:

    How does TerraNova 3 align with Common Core State Standards?

    TerraNova 3 provides 2007 norms- the most recent empirical norms available in any norm-referenced test. Since it was developed in 2007, TerraNova 3 was not designed to measure or align to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The CCSS were developed in 2010, so in some grades (mostly upper) and subjects, TerraNova 3 will not closely match the common core.

    Why cant kids applying to the same school all take the same tests?

  • 32. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    @29 parent, since you seem to be lurking here now, I’m repeating my request. Could you please post a link to the source of the math examples you give in @15?

  • 33. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    @IBObsessed “please do post your source of that info”

    I had to google it again :)

    It is from a project called The Learning Continuum:

    “The Learning Continuum began as a cooperative partnership with one of NWEA’s member districts, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

    NWEA researched each and every test item in our item banks (over 15,000 items) in mathematics, reading, and language usage. We used only the items that had successfully passed field testing and were available for use on tests. As we reviewed each item, we looked at the difficulty of the items, the skills and concepts being assessed, and any new vocabulary or symbols that were introduced. By doing this, a learning continuum of these skills and concepts began to unfold. Thus, this document was born.

    Only skills and concepts showing up in the NWEA item banks are listed in this document.”

    http://www.wwgschools.org/Northwest%20Evaluation%20Association.htm

  • 34. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    29. IBobsessed | January 31, 2014 at 2:46 pm
    @15 please do post your source of that info.

    32. IBobsessed | January 31, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    @29 parent, since you seem to be lurking here now, I’m repeating my request.

    Yikes, tough crowd.

  • 35. 7th grade mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    @ 15/29. Sorry, what I’m actually looking for is this info: “Looking at math 96-97 would require a 262-264 on MAP” — the correlation of ISAT percentiles to MAP scores.

    Thanks!

  • 36. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    “Tests are a part of life, sure, but not a dominant part. You probably take the SAT, maybe a graduate entrance test, maybe a test to get a job at the USPS”

  • 37. 7th grade mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Is this it? I’m not a statistic whiz but I don’t think the percentages listed equate to percentile rankings.

    http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/resources/IL_2013_LinkingStudy.pdf

  • 38. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    36 continued

    Not sure if that comment was meant to be condescending

    To give the benefit of the doubt

    CPA, law and other certifications are major tests that I can assure you do not get to take home and learn from your mistakes.

    All these certifications also have separate licensing requirements that can also entail testing.

    High level corporate jobs will administer tests both technical and intellectual in order to get a job or a promotion.

    The list goes on. Testing is a skill that is utilized well beyond school and certainly a serious component for evaluation of any kind.

  • 39. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    @35

    Oh I see, I misunderstood your question.

    The 96-97 I used would be the required percentile needed on the SEHS rubric. I used NWEA’s table to determine what RIT score would hit the SEHS cutoff numbers.

    Linking or correlation studies seem to be done by the testing companies for marketing reasons. So McGraw did one to compare their TN to Pearson’s SAT10.

    NWEA’s MAP is a different beast, again they view themselves as a teaching tool, not an ability/achievement test. I wasnt able to find an apples to apples comparison, they did run a correlation to the ISAT but it was again just for marketing – testing the correlation between broad RIT buckets and ISAT’s meets/exceeds (86% correlation.) Nothing of the sort that you’re looking for.

  • 40. juliefain  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    @38 No, not at all meant to be condescending. Just that tests we take as adults are usually one-off entrance or application exams or the like. CPAs, vets, fire department, all those have tests. But for me that’s not the same as 6-8 days of annual marathons for 8-year-olds. Tests for kids should be diagnostic, where they can learn from their mistakes. My fifth grader’s teacher let’s them gain points on their math tests by correcting the questions they got wrong the first time, so it helps them gain mastery of ideas and skills, it’s not just about getting the right answer the first time.

  • 41. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Parent @34, thanks for posting :)

    I don’t think 7th graders are given the geometry portion of the MAP test. My 7th grader was not given it. It could be that it is given to HS students only. I will have to look at the report, but I recall only computation and statistics and probability. Examples problems for 261 to 271 for computation include: change a percent to a fraction (including mixed numbers, understand properties of square roots, define irrational numbers. These seem much more reasonable. for 7th grade at 99%tile

  • 42. Feeling Testy  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Sounds like a lot of you have been drinking the CPS Kool-Aid for too long. With so many factors, standardized testing isn’t a very reliable measure of one’s intelligence and it’s a shame that such an emphasis is placed on it. I HATE the fact that my bright child already sees a tutor on a weekly basis to help enhance his test taking skills… and he’s only in kindergarten. There has got to be a better way.

  • 43. 7th grade mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Testing per se doesn’t bother me. It’s how the results are used that matters. I personally think MAPS testing is fabulous and has been used at our school to differentiate teaching — with great results. However, I question its value as a indicator of one’s standing vis a vis one’s peers.

    As for the ISAT, good riddance! The only reason I can imagine CPS require any student to take that test this March is because they (CPS) have already paid for it!

  • 44. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    @IBObsessed

    You’re welcome.

    “I don’t think 7th graders are given the geometry portion of the MAP test. My 7th grader was not given it.”

    Actually you misunderstand how the MAP works. It is an open ended test, if your 7th grader didnt receive geometry questions that just means they didnt get past the previous questions. There is an excellent summary of how MAP works in one of the previous threads on this. A 7th grader, or 1st grader for that matter, can go all the way up to calculus questions if they keep getting everything right.

    This is exactly my point, I must not being getting it across. To rephrase: to compete with kids taking TerraNova or SAT10 a student taking MAP must answer higher level trig questions correctly. Thats the nature of scoring high on an open ended test vs a 7th grade test.

    TN3 – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Yes, then 99th percentile

    MAP – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Then 90th percentile (estimate)

    Yet for our top public high school admissions we are now going to directly compare the 99 to the 90.

  • 45. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    @42 – your bright child gets extra (paid for?) help for test prep…..you must think there’s some value in test practice. So would it not be much of a stretch that some view tests as good practice either for school subjects and tests or for more important testing?

    40- Yes, those highly significant “one of” tests that we take as adults or college students has its roots in early education. Getting the answer right the first time and classroom testing where you can learn from your mistakes is all a part of it. Is this a good time to bring up all those classroom tests that kids never see the corrections on or are able learn from?? Probably not because I get the point…..it is what you make of it.

  • 46. Feeling Testy  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    @45: Not really. I’m just playing the CPS game and doing my best to ensure that my child has every chance to succeed in this backwards system. I’d much rather spend our money on advancing his math and reading skills than learning how to sit still for an hour and fill in bubbles.

  • 47. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    exactly….you want to do everything in your power to make sure they succeed. It’s not just CPS. Once they hit high schools, all subjects (even PE) have a midterm and final. Those tests are done on computer scantron. You will never know more than the final grade. That’s what they call college prep – because, that’s what happens in college.

  • 48. Feeling Testy  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    @47: Duh. You’re missing my point — he’s 6, not 16.

  • 49. junior  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    @Feeling Testy

    ^
    Posting at 4:20 pm. I understand now.

  • 50. pantherettie  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Subscribing. Should be an interesting discussion.

  • 51. Proctor Bob  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    IB: “I don’t think 7th graders are given the geometry portion of the MAP test. My 7th grader was not given it.”

    parent: “It is an open ended test, if your 7th grader didnt receive geometry questions that just means they didnt get past the previous questions.”

    me: LOL.

  • 52. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    @44 You were crystal clear about how an open ended test disadvantages students when compared to one with a ceiling. Got it.
    There are several math categories in the report you linked. Would one have to score in the 99th percentile in each? Couldn’t the MAP have filtered out only geometry for a student who answered the 1st few incorrectly, while allowing her to go as she could in say algebra?How do the various categories figure in the MAP questions? Measurement is a category not included in the report and it seems unlikely my child did not acheive high enough to get more than a fe wcorrect in that category.
    However, to score in the 99th percentile on the TN takes higher level achievement than simply being mastering grade level material. Having seen TN student reports, even 93rd percentile grade level equivalent was high school level. It seems what MAP

  • 53. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    48 – LOL yeah got all that – a 6 year old being tutored for test taking skills……perfect example.

  • 54. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    @52 continued…. will certainly change is giving greater gradation to the group that was in the 99th percentile with ISATs. With MAP some will now be at 97, 96,.. If you want the truly top scorers at SEHSs, that’s a good thing.

  • 55. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Proctor Bob-yeah, that’s just hilarious. Are you 13 years old?

  • 56. junior  |  January 31, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    @52 IBObsessed

    “However, to score in the 99th percentile on the TN takes higher level achievement than simply being mastering grade level material.”

    I don’t think so — nationally normed, non-dynamic tests like Terra Nova cannot test on material well beyond grade level and maintain validity. To be valid, they must be constructed so that most students get around 50% or so of the questions right. (if less than 50% get it right, then the question is typically thrown out). If they make it any easier, then you can’t differentiate the above-average students well; if you make it much harder, then you have most of your kids guessing at most questions, which makes the results for those kids mostly random.

    i agree with “parent” that the MAP test is a very nice tool because it avoids those pitfalls and can test a kid at their level. I also agree that MAP is highly disadvantaging to public school kids vs. the private school kids. It also disadvantages neighborhood/magnet school kids compared to RGC kids.

    The @20 Selective Prep link above makes these points very well.

  • 57. Patricia  |  January 31, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Just adding the question to this thread that I asked on the other thread…………

    Why not have ALL kids applying for SEES and SEHS take the MAPS test. Private has to take MAPS too. They should take the same type of test to be fair IMO.

  • 58. IBobsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    @56 Then why does the TN give grade level equivalents for the scores? Do they just make them up?

  • 59. parent  |  January 31, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    @IBO

    Regarding the grade equivalent score on TN3, it’s a weird number…

    Quoting: “A GE provides basic development information: below grade level, grade level, and above grade level. The year and month listed on a GE score, for example, 6.3 for a student in grade 3 is often interpreted as- the third grade student is achieving at a sixth grade, third month level. In reality, the score is suggesting that the average sixth grader, in the third month of the year, would receive the same score if he/she took the third grade subtest.”

    A truly random stat that I can’t imagine is verified … Making students take lower grade tests to generate a silly average… Actually that may be next for CPS :(

  • 60. junior  |  January 31, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    @57 Patricia

    Yeah, that’s maybe better. But it still doesn’t address the issue of RGC v. neighborhood/magnet.

    Why not eliminate the standardized test altogether and base the rubric solely on the admissions test that all kids take?

    @58 IBobsessed

    Pretty much. They can always estimate, but I can’t imagine it would be very accurate. When I was second grader, a kid scored at eighth grade level on Iowa test. There’s no way there were eighth grade questions on those tests.

  • 61. junior  |  January 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    @59 parent

    That’s funny. So, if my kid gets a perfect score, I could argue they are at the post-doctoral level, because the average post-doc would get the same score.

  • 62. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 31, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    The opt-out and testing-reduction movements are not opposed to children taking tests; they are opposed to repeated mass-produced standardize tests substituting for actual learning, distorting the curriculum because non-tested subjects are considered distractions by administrators, deadening their children’s interest in learning, and being the primary and often sole criteria by which students are judged.

    Does your school have an innovative math program that teaches kids algebra early? No. Because algebra is not included on the mass-produced tests for lower grades. There will only be algebra questions for the grades in which everyone learns algebra. So for the school and teachers, who are judged on the basis of the test scores, there is no purpose in teaching algebra before they are required to. Better to drill the kids repeated on what they have already mastered because that’s on the test. So your kids learning is stunted, but the test scores are stellar, so clearly, you will be told, your teachers and school is excellent.

  • 63. junior  |  January 31, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    @62

    One response is to eliminate the tests. Another is to make them better. Obviously, MAP as a standardized test *does* include algebra, and in fact will adjust to allow your kid to be tested on it.

    Obviously, narrowing the curriculum is problematic when the stakes are high and the tests are narrowly focused. For example, we have science curricula cut back because these don’t typically count in many of the incentives that schools are rated on. That’s criminally negligent. One person might say eliminate the incentives entirely, and another person might say make better incentives that motivate learning in a much broader curriculum.

  • 64. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 31, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Once they hit high schools, all subjects (even PE) have a midterm and final. Those tests are done on computer scantron. You will never know more than the final grade. That’s what they call college prep – because, that’s what happens in college.

    Community college or a intro class at a large state university, maybe, but no liberal arts college or decent private university uses bubble-sheets. I never took a single bubble-sheet exam my entire time at college (1987-1991). At best, we had fill-in the blank questions, and those were in non-major intro science classes (“physics for poets,” “rocks for jocks”). I never issued them beyond a 100+ intro course at large state school.

    Bubblesheets! That’s not college prep. Intense reading, intense writing. Serious lab-work. That college prep. And 50% mid-term, 50% final for the course grade — no attendance, no homework grades — that’s hard-core college.

    Sure, some maths and social-science game-theory classes issue weekly problem-sets. But those are show-your-work, written responses. Unless you’re savvy with LaTeX; then you can print it.

  • 65. Patricia  |  January 31, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    @ Junior
    Do RGCs grab a higher percentage of SEHS seats now? I think they do. It seems from postings on this site that the RGCs have most kids getting into some kind of selective program while neighborhood schools have some, but not the same % of the class going SEHS. RGC students may be more likely to do better on the admissions test, yet it may be harder to get all A’s in 7th grade. So if all 3 rubric criteria were kept, the admission test and the MAPS would favor RGC kids while the grades may be harder for them. However, grades is a pretty weak component of the rubric IMO. So adding MAPS does seem to skew further to RGCs.

    Interesting idea to eliminate all except the entrance exams. All kids do take the same test which seems to be the only consistent component of the rubric.

  • 66. tmbparent  |  January 31, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    The MAP test is taken on a computer. Do all CPS schools even have enough functioning computers with a decent internet connection to do this? I know last year when my child was taking it the connection kept timing out and there were problems completing the test.

  • 67. anonymouse teacher  |  January 31, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    @66, No!

  • 68. IB obsessed  |  January 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    @63 remember blue book essay exams? That’s the iconic college test format of my memories.

  • 69. Cassie Creswell  |  January 31, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Next Thursday Feb 6th, More Than A Score is hosting a public forum on the current state of standardized testing in CPS, 6:30pm at the Haas Park fieldhouse in Logan Square. (https://www.facebook.com/events/291374434343728)

    We’ll cover:
    –why the NWEA MAP is replacing the ISAT this year for the many high-stakes decisions based on standardized tests (e.g. selective enrollment admission);
    –what testing will look like in the post-ISAT era;
    –whether CPS actually reduced standardized testing this year like they claimed;
    –why even the youngest students in CPS are taking multiple standardized tests each (and every) year;
    –what parents and students can do to stop the overuse and misuse of standardized tests in CPS.

    We’ll also be talking about our campaign to get CPS to “Ice the ISAT” and return the first weeks of March to learning, rather than devote it to a test that is serving not even a symbolic educational purpose this year.

  • 70. LaTonya  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Will there be free food and drinks?

  • 71. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:13 am

    @64 that’s good to know. I would expect so from a good college, at least I hope. I guess AP tests are designed for the masses. Always a good skill to test well. Understanding the material first goes without saying.

  • 72. junior  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:17 am

    @65 Patricia

    Eliminate the points for grades. They are the most variable and unfair part of the SE rubric. Replace that with a simple requirement for a minimum GPA.

  • 73. Loganmom  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:32 am

    @47 – Yes, the kids at the college prep schools take multiple choice finals. That’s because teachers have between 1-3 days to get their grades in from the final. In my kid’s experience (sophmore, having now gone through 3 sets of finals) those finals only count a small amount toward the semester grade, and they have done a lot of college-prep type work over the previous 4 months. Endless essays and writing assignments in the English class, chemistry problem sets, labs, etc. Through out the semester he had challenging unit tests (or in the case of English or history, essays) that were definitely more “college prep” type assessments.

    I don’t think the final counted more than 10% of any semester grade.

  • 74. HSHSHS  |  February 1, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Does anyone know the best email to use to reach BBB? I don’t think OAE is the same office, right?
    SInce April and MAP is right around corner for our 7th graders I think it’s time to continue our discussion here but also let her office know the multitude of concerns and hope logic will emerge and all kids will be required to take MAP.

  • 75. CPSMom&Teacher  |  February 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

    What’s interesting about NWEA is that the test can be paused and taken later in the day or on a completely different day. Some reasons cited include if a student becomes ill, needs to go to the bathroom, or if the student needs more time.

    At several schools I’m aware of students being allowed to retake the test (a total of 3 times) if they did not do well the first two. These extra opportunities aren’t afforded to all students, but the options definitely exist.

    In regard to working computers, I’ve had students nearly at the end of the test only to experience a glitch. All their answers are erased and they must begin again; often in the same session.

    I teach 7th grade, so this is a concern of mine for my students who are hoping for SEHS and placement in the 8th grade algebra class.

  • 76. Angie  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

    @25. junior :”Quite some time ago I said that now that the tests are going to be used to evaluate teachers we will see a huge anti-test crusade (for the kids).”

    If CTU can convince enough parents to opt out of testing, will they be able to claim that there is not enough data to properly evaluate teachers’ performance based on it, and therefore it should not be used for that purpose?

    BBB is smart to require 95% testing compliance, and I hope there will be consequences for CTU for using the parents as pawns in their agenda.

  • 77. LP  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:17 am

    “Does anyone know the best email to use to reach BBB?”

    The best way to get through to bureaucrats is typically through the media. Greg Hinz at Crains and the education reporter at DNAI have a better chance of getting a real response than individual parents would – anyone have a relationship there? I imagine they would find some of the points raised here worth digging into.

  • 78. LP  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

    “I imagine they would find some of the points raised here worth digging into”

    Referring to the topic of this thread: significant test inequalities between public and private school kids for top public school admissions.

    (not the opt out push that hijacked the thread and has lots of attention already)

  • 79. klm  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

    @65 Patricia

    I too like the idea of everybody that applies to SE CPS schools (even ACs, RGCs and Classicals) being judge by results of the SAME test, only.

    It seems like home-schooled and private school families can cherry pick which one of the several acceptable ones is best for their particular kid’s abilities, then use that one. Some kids do better on the SAT (which is a little more ability-based) than the ACT (which is a little more knowledge-based and includes a science section) so they submit the higher SAT score rather than a lower relative ACT score to colleges, etc. CPS kids don’t have this freedom, which is on some level unfair.

    I’d love to arrange my kid to take each one of the CPS-approved exams for SE admission, then submit the one with the best results.

    But I don’t have that option because my kids attend CPS elementary schools, not St. Whoever School.

    I wonder: Are CPS parents ever allowed to submit results on one of the other approved tests, in lieu of the MAP, ISAT or whatever achievement test CPS requires of its charges? If non-CPS parents can do this, doesn’t it seem only fair that CPS ones should be able to do the same when applying to a CPS school?

    I realize that this would open up a whole new can of worms. However, shouldn’t CPS kids at least have the same opportunities to pick a test that works best for their them, score-wise, just like non-CPS kids?

  • 80. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2014 at 11:57 am

    @73 – Yes, I agree. My statement was not clear, or maybe too succinct. Of course there are essays, papers, projects and lots of other parameters in HS. There are also several important tests that require both knowledge and good test taking abilities. Finals (worth more than 10% at our school), AP testing, SAT, ACT, EXPLORE, PLAN, PSAT, placement tests both for HS and college, college subject test…….I’m sure there’s more. In my opinion it is a good thing to prep for and to practice testing whenever you have the opportunity. It’s interesting that many people who pay to have their kids tutored for test prep feel that in school testing is a waste of time. Keep in mind that many people value the opportunity for free practice and can’t afford the high priced test prep. Personally, I would rather spend tutoring money to get some one on one help with English and Math that you can’ get in the classroom. I simply express this opinion as something that has worked for us.

    We have a group questioning the value of tests, something that is a standardized/normed measure, yet we don’t question the value of grades that are highly volatile especially in 7th grade.

  • 81. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    @78 LP Yes, I agree with your synopsis. Along those lines, I have not seen one poster agree that the alternate tests have the same value as MAP. CPS either needs to issue a statement about why this in not an inequity or change the rule and do it now.

  • 82. OTdad  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I agree. Everybody should take the SAME test, even roughly equivalent ones are not fair enough. What’s so hard for CPS to just set a simple and fair rule? Where is the bureaucracy?

  • 83. juliefain  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    What’s interesting on the question of kids needing as much practice as they can get, that private schools have far less testing and don’t use it for high stakes decisions like teacher, principal and school evaluation. And their students seem to go on to do pretty well in a variety of careers, including those that require standardized testing. This is just info from elementary. They do SAT/ACT prep too, but again, low stakes.

    http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/about-lab/welcome/assessment/index.aspx

    At the Laboratory Schools, teachers assess students by observing and interacting with them in the classroom, evaluating their day-to-day classroom work and homework assignments, meeting with their parents, and administering standardized tests.

    Standardized testing at Lab is viewed as only part of the profile of students; it gives teachers a snapshot of each child’s strengths and difficulties. Standardized tests are designed to give a common measure of students’ performance. Since standardized tests are given to large groups of students throughout the country, a common standard of measure is derived. Lab teachers and administrators may use this information to tell how well school programs are succeeding or to learn more about the skills and abilities of individual students.

    Grades 3 and 4, 6 and 8 — ERB/eCTP TEST

    The Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) is an achievement test, designed to measure what students have already learned in school. At Lab, we administer the electronic eCTP version of the Electronic Records Bureau (ERB) test. Included are sub-tests in English language arts, mathematics, and verbal and quantitative reasoning. Lab administers the online eCTP to third, fourth, sixth, and eighth graders in the fall or spring of the year.

    And here is from Francis Parker:

    In 4th grade all children take the Stanford Achievement Tests. We
    share results with parents in a regular conference. Although we do
    not feel that standardized tests are a rich or descriptive way to
    view children’s achievements, we believe taking them is good
    practice for children. The information from the tests is useful to the
    school in a general way as we evaluate our program. Occasionally
    an individual child’s performance will confirm a concern already
    raised or make us take a closer look at some area of achievement.

    In 6th and 8th grades, students take standardized tests in early
    November. They receive results after January 1 in advisory. The
    school notifies parents of the arrival of test results by letter and
    invites them to come to Parker to receive the outcomes. These
    scores are only one part of a learning composite but may confirm a
    concern or encourage us to take a closer look at one area of
    achievement.

  • 84. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Do we want to give it a shot with reaching out to CPS to either provide a valid explanation or change the policy so all students are required to take the same test?

    It seems worth a shot. I personally prefer to provide a solution along with a complaint, otherwise it is just noise IMO. So my suggestion is to always convey that all students should simply take the same test. (It is really so simple and logical, I really can’t see why they came to the conclusion they did……but if they have a valid reason, let’s hear it.)

    I’ve summarized some of the points on this blog and got some contacts from websites that I will post. The thing is, it will only work if people participate and make the calls. Otherwise, it will fizzle out and it will take 5 years to see the “data” prove that cps tier 4 kids got screwed with this change.

  • 85. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Question for CPS:

    Why not have all students take the MAPS test in order to apply for Selective Enrollment and other specialty programs? The NEWA/MAPS does not seem comparable to the Terra Nova and other tests listed?

    Condensed comments from http://www.cpsobsessed.com blog include the following:

    To compete with kids taking TerraNova or SAT10 a student taking MAP must answer higher level trig questions correctly on a computer, not bubble sheet. That’s the nature of scoring high on an open ended test vs a 7th grade test.

    • TN3 – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Yes, then 99th percentile

    • MAP – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Then 90th percentile (estimate)
    Yet for our top public high school admissions we are now going to directly compare the 99 to the 90.

    CPS either needs to issue a statement about why this is not an inequity or change the rule and do it now.

    Everybody should take the SAME test, even roughly equivalent ones are not fair enough. What’s so hard for CPS to just set a simple and fair rule?

  • 86. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Simply copy and paste above or tailor your message about test inequity. The contacts below are the general ones on public website. If anyone has a more inside track, go for it.

    BBB CEO – 773-553-1500

    Board of Ed – 773-553-1600

    Communications – 773-553-1620

    OAE- 773-553-2060

    Mayor – 312-744-3300

    Your Alderman

    Anyone know how to get the emails for the cps crew? I can only find general stuff.

  • 87. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    WBEZ- Linda Lutton llutton@wbez.org
    Crains – Greg Hines couldn’t find an email online

  • 88. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Tribune – Noreen Ahmed-Ulla nahmed@tribune.com

  • 89. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Suntimes – Becky Schilkerman bschlikerman@suntimes.com

    Is this the education person at the suntimes? I got her name frorm a board meeting article, but there are other reporters on different articles. I assumed whoever has to cover the board meeting (which must be torture) is on the education beat, but I could be wrong.

  • 90. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    @63: “Obviously, MAP as a standardized test *does* include algebra, and in fact will adjust to allow your kid to be tested on it.”

    Unfortunately, it is not “obvious.” Your inference is reasonable — if “the MAP” is adaptive and is not grade-level isolated, it would have algebra. But the MAP math test is not one test. For elementary school, there are three tests: MPG, Math 3-5, and Math 6+. Algebra proper is not on the first two. If you did real algebra with a 4th grader, you would need to give him the Math 6+ test.

    @66: Many if not most schools do not have good computer resources. At some, students can take the MAP subjects in rounds in their classroom if the room has several computers. At most others, there is one computer lab. The lab goes into test mode for the entire test period (and before to set it up), so normal computer use and classes cease. Many parents have complained about the MAP largely on the grounds that their children cannot use the computer lab during the test windows and the prep time before.

    Many schools have had connection problems — they don’t have sufficient bandwidth to support all the students plus administrative and teacher activity. If a school has wifi and has students with class-room computers, this can actually make things worse because people not taking the test put more load on the network. Then there are client-side OS hiccups, school server ticks, CPS routing of the traffic, and NWEA server-side snafus.

    So you have students who indeed have are about to finish when the connection goes down or the computer crashes. In theory, they should be able to reconnect where they are, but in practice this often does not occur.

    NWEA and CPS are aware of these problems. The contract has provisions for NWEA to reimburse CPS in some circumstances, the exact circumstances are redacted from the public contracts so that other NWEA clients and NWEA competitors don’t know what they are. And neither do we the tax-payers. So you can be sure that this happens frequently enough that test companies and schools bargain and compete over failure rates and claw-backs.

    This will be worse in March. Some schools will pilot computer-based ISATs. And be ready for the shit-storm next year when the PARCC rolls out for Common Core. Privately, many administrators are predicting a disaster.

  • 91. klm  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    @83

    I get your point about tests. I agree on some level.

    However, the the Lab, Latin and Parker -type private schools do not have a history of failing large groups of kids in terms of learning and achievement.

    Too many public schools do. They have been failing their students for years, so people have been demanding accountability, including testing (you can’t change what you don’t measure) as a result.

    Is there any doubt that kids at Lab are getting a quality education? No.

    Is there any doubt that kids at Manierre and some other CPS schools are getting a quality education? Uh……YEAH. Big time.

    In CPS, for example, I’ve heard stories about how some schools spend hours giving kids practice ISAT tests. Then again, at Lincoln (the top scoring CPS elementary and per the ‘Sun Times’ the top scoring non-SE elementary in the state) the principal is proud of the fact that his school educates kids well so that they consequently do well on achievement tests without specifically spending time doing “drill and kill” practice ISAT sheets like at some other schools.

    Obviously, high stakes testing is not perfect. That said, given the sad history of academic failure, mediocrity, lack of accountability, etc. in CPS, I’m kinda’ glad that certain schools have to measure what their students are and are not learning, so as to promote change when necessary.

    I think sometimes when the Fair Test-type groups criticize the use of achievement tests in public schools, it’s sometimes throwing out the baby with the bathwater. They demonize high-stakes testing without acknowledging its need in some cases where school are not doing their job.

    If 60% of kids at a particular school are reading below grade in 3rd grade, then 67% in 4th grade, then 75% in 5th grade, etc., there’s a problem. If we don’t measure this, how can we address it?

  • 92. local  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    When it comes to the uneducated, I always wonder where blame (or explanation) should rest. The schools, the families, the subcultures, the US economy, the haves, the have-nots, the…?

  • 93. local  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    A great guide to media contacts is Getting On Air, Online & Into Print:

    http://communitymediaworkshop.org/mediaguide/

  • 94. local  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    CPS Employee Directory and other ed related contacts (is out of date, but may be a start?): http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/catalyst-guides/CPS-guide

  • 95. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    84. Patricia | February 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Patricia~you really do make the most sense.

  • 96. klm  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    @92

    I know.

    It’s not fair to solely blame schools for the achievement gap. However, the poverty, dysfunctional family lives, crime and violence, etc., that many CPS students and many CPS schools must consequently deal with should not give schools a license to give up and complain when they are held accountable on some level.

    If kids are really 3 grades behind on average (which is the gap, on average, between white and black students in this country by 8th grade, 4 years by 12th grade), it should be dealt with. If we don’t test kids, how will we know that this achievement gap exists?

    If people can just show up to work and not be held accountable, eventually many of them will not be trying very hard to do a good job –it’s human nature. This, of course, includes teachers and administrators, just like it would any job category.

  • 97. OTdad  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    83. juliefain:
    ” ….that private schools have far less testing and don’t use it for high stakes decisions like teacher, principal and school evaluation.”

    Does it occur to you that private schools (good or bad) are not subject to public pressure to improve?

  • 98. OTdad  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    @96 klm:
    “If people can just show up to work and not be held accountable, eventually many of them will not be trying very hard to do a good job –it’s human nature. This, of course, includes teachers and administrators, just like it would any job category.”

    Exactly! I’ve used my share of contractors, doctors, lawyers …through the years. Some were pretty bad and only wanted to take your money. Since I’ve been using Angie’s list a couple of years ago, I noticed the quality of service from well regarded professionals are substantially better, only because they were held accountable for the service they provide. Their online reputation is on the line if they can’t do a good job.

    If there is no way to evaluate teachers/schools, there is no way to improve the quality of our schools. Simple as that.

  • 99. juliefain  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    My noting the process of private schools was mostly to comment on the idea that kids need lots of “practice” at test taking in their early years to prepare for the real world. It’s simply that Lab etc don’t seem to share that view, and that’s interesting.

    On the question of schools as “failing” and needing accountability, the new Diane Ravitch book speaks to this in a lot of great detail, I highly recommend reading it. US scores on international tests have remained fairly flat over many years compared with other countries. So we can’t say there is a new epidemic of “failing” schools which require a new regime of accountability. Simply measuring more often and with ever-greater punishments doesn’t tell us what changes need to be made, however. That requires understanding *why* schools may have low scores, which testing doesn’t tell you.

  • 100. cpsobsessed  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I can’t approve comments that go into moderation right now, but here is the copied content:

    Patricia commented on Life without ISAT‬‪Simply copy and paste above or tailor your message about test inequity. The contacts below are the general ones on public website. If anyone has a more inside track, go for it.‬‪BBB CEO – 773-553-1500‬‪Board of Ed – 773-553-1600‬‪Communications – 773-553-1620‬‪OAE- 773-553-2060‬‪Mayor – 312-744-3300‬‪Your Alderman‬‪Tribune – Noreen Ahmed-Ulla nahmed@tribune.comSuntimes – Becky Schilkerman bschlikerman@suntimes.comWBEZ- Linda Lutton llutton@wbez.orgCrains – Greg Hines couldn’t find an email online‬‪anyone know how to get the emails for the cps crew? I can only find general stuff.‬
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 101. anonymouse teacher  |  February 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    @klm, There’s a quote by an Indian educator that goes something like this:
    In the U.S., you see an elephant that is starving and so you weigh it daily to see if its gaining weight. In India, when we see the starving elephant, we feed it.

  • 102. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    @85 Patricia (and many others): I cannot yet tell whether OAE is properly adjusting the percentile ranks across different tests — technically called “scale aligning” — but I can tell you that this description is an invalid basis for complaint:

    • TN3 – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Yes, then 99th percentile
    • MAP – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Then 90th percentile (estimate)
    Yet for our top public high school admissions we are now going to directly compare the 99 to the 90.

    A student may receive different national percentile ranks (n.p.r.) on different nationally norm-referenced test due to simple stochastic error and due to differences in the content of the test. When it comes to an achievement test for one domain (subject), a different n.p.r. across tests means that the student has achieved different things compared to the norming sample of the tests, which may resemble each other but will never be identical.

    The MAP, in whatever variation, is not comparing a CPS student to a H.S. student. The NWEA MAP 6+, which is what a CPS 6-8th grader would get, does not have trig questions on it. Now NWEA may be able to rightly claim that their test covers more than competitors (I don’t know; the test has never been subjected to independent peer review; when it comes to accountability, you just have to trust them). When it comes to n.p.r. your child is “competing,” for the lack of a better word, with the sample of children who resemble the demographic profile of the nation’s children in the same grade who took the test at the same time in the school year. When NWEA derives the n.p.r., it is comparing a child’s RIT score to the RIT score of the norming group students who took the comparable test in the same grade at the same time in the year. If the child’s RIT score is with the range of RIT scores of students who was ranked at the 89th percentile in the norming sample, then the child will receive an 89th n.p.r.

    If you believe there are so many super-smart kids in the norming sample that get such high RIT scores that they push out CPS’ smartest-of-the-smart’s scores from the 99th n.p.r, then you have a complaint. But that’s making an astounding assumption about the norming sample.

    None of the MAP tests are designed to discover the absolute level of student achievement — no test can do that outside the realm of science fiction or a twisted achievement test version of Borges’ “Library of Babel.” They are designed to estimate the achievement level of student on the test’s sample of the domain of knowledge being examined. The RIT score is not the raw, or, unadjusted score of a child, but the raw score subjected to statistical manipulation (a variant of maximum likelihood regression).

    Even if the content of the tests were identical, people cannot accurately compare their child’s n.p.r. on the SAT10 section of the ISAT with the n.p.r. of their child on the MAP because they take the tests at different times. Saying, in March 2013 my child got an n.p.r. of x on the SAT10 but in fall 2012 they got an n.p.r. of y where x ranks higher than y does not mean that the ISAT is easier or the MAP is harder. They took the tests at different times; we would expect them to be different anyway even if the content was identical because your child has either learned more and not learned more compared to the norm group during the interval.

    There may indeed be a bias between the TN, ITBS, and the others and the MAP, but the bias could go either way. We would need a scale alignment study to find out. It is possible that CPS has them from NWEA. They should if they want to compare n.p.r.’s but as of now we cannot say which way the bias goes.

  • 103. klm  |  February 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    @101

    I like that quote, but I’m not sure what exactly it means.

    Are we not spending enough?

    Are we not doing enough?

    Are we testing too much, but not making the right moves to improve things?

    I love India (been there a few times) and admire its diverse cultures, its against-all-odds democracy, the way many people there work hard and obsess about getting their kids a good education (the minority of people that have the money for ‘decent’ schools spend much of their income on their kids’ education), etc.

    That said, much/most of India’s K-12 public education is a total disaster: teachers don’t show up much of the time, rote lessons, low standards, corruption, an almost complete lack of accountability, crony hiring without regard for qualifications….etc. Even Indian slum dwellers often pay what little they can to give their kids private education in open alley classrooms.

    Given this context, I truly have no idea what I’m supposed to get from that quote. I’m honestly not trying to be glib or snarky, I swear.

    What does it mean?

    Also, education in India is all about getting the high score on achievement tests/entrance exams to get into the right high school that will prepare one for the entrance exam to get into the right university, that will lead to the right job to make the right kind of living to attract the right kind of spouse from the right kind of family….etc.

    It way more test-centered and pressure-cooker/do-well-in-school-or-starve in its educational outlook than the U.S. Ask anybody from India.

  • 104. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    @85 Re: advanced trig questions required to make a 99th percentile score:

    I don’t know if this is reassuring or not, but my daughter had a 98th percentile score for mathematics this year in the fall MAP tests, and she definitely has never learned trigonometry. She completed Algebra I in 6th grade, but it was something of a tough slog for her and I don’t have a good sense of how much algebra knowledge the test would have reflected.

  • 105. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Patricia – great list! everyone should follow through.

    @91 KLM – completely agree with you. Thanks for adding some sense to the topic. To further add, there are many reasons kids do well in top private schools. They can and do supplement their well funded learning experience with testing coaches and private tutoring. Plain and simple.

    It’s been commented on this site before that the CPS public education can be a rewarding experience if you’re involved, keep your children inspired and on target and supplement on your own. I don’t agree with all CPS policies and every mandate but I also don’t think that one should be able to pick and chose parts of a public school program that they want to participate in. To carry the concept further…why wouldn’t we let people opt out of PE or chose their own teachers or just opt to come to school half of the day that they feel is productive and stay home for the rest. I don’t think this kind of customization exists with any public or private institution.

    Like you, KLM, our CPS experience has been pretty top notch. While I may not agree with every policy at the schools we’ve attended, they have demonstrated that they are able to integrate CPS requirements while still maintaining a high standard of learning…..and that’s what I trust. At the point of graduation, I feel my child has similar opportunities as kids at Lab or Parker – without knowing for sure, of course. It may be blissful ignorance but that’s OK too because his options are better than we hoped going into this.

  • 106. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    back on topic

    @102 CB – If what you say is true – and it does sound logical – then CPS needs to make a statement that this is in fact the case. However, the variables that you bring up within your post would seem to support the “one test for all” need. As other posters have mentioned, we don’t really know how many kids are in the segment affected but the fact that there would be ANY should be grounds for a re-examination of the rules. The fact that the SE process has really been inequitable all along due to a variety of factors is mind boggling.

  • 107. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    @ 97. OTdad:

    Does it occur to you that private schools (good or bad) are not subject to public pressure to improve?

    Private schools are subject to even greater pressure to prove their value than public ones — no one’s going to cough up $25k/year tuition for hum-drum education. The reason to compare elite private standardized testing levels to regular public ones is that somehow parents are able to confidently gauge the quality of their children’s ed at private schools without the benefit of repeated standardized testing whereas the political line for public schools is that without such repeated testing parents cannot judge the quality of education. But I can do so.

    I have great accountability at my public school without the city-wide and state tests. I see my daughters assignments, homework, projects, etc. — what the questions were, what her answers were, and how the teacher assessed them. I can’t do that with secured standardized tests. At home we ask her math questions — how much change should you get back for the ice-cream? how would you find out how much paper you need to cover the surface of the box? What’s the square root of 9? — we observe what she reads and how she reads to us; we ask science questions — what happens to the snow when it warms up? If something appears lacking, I talk with the teacher. Some things are developmentally unreasonable to expect; others I’m surprised to learn she does well. If I disagree with the teacher or a school policy, we talk to the principal and the LSC, respectively. I question; they answer.

    The test scores give me no greater accountability. No one tells me for example, what RIT scores are for the class (not the average; that tells me piss-all). I don’t get a report showing the % of homework completed, days absent, or R/FL status for children with other RIT scores (not their identities, just student n1…ni). Do students with the lower RIT have the higher number of missed days and the fewer completed assignments; are there students with high RIT scores who also skip homework and school days? If so, that would tell me something about the value of the homework or time-in-class. But I don’t get that. You don’t get that. The public doesn’t get that.

    What the test-test mantra tells me is that somewhere between principal and CEO someone would rather spend millions of dollars on mass-produced tests to figure out what goes on at the schools rather than talk to me, principals, LSCs, or look for themselves what students are tested on by their teachers and how they do. Instead the pols and the admin. class expect my daughter to take multiple tests that her teachers and I don’t need or want to do their jobs for them.

    Why do I consider opting out? Because my daughter is living in America, and if someone wants her to do an administrator’s job, then fucking pay her.

  • 108. anonymouse teacher  |  February 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    @103, the quote wasn’t necessarily reflective of Indian education as a whole (though I could see why one might think that). It was a statement about how we test SO much in the U.S. but then we don’t take the appropriate measures to deal with the information we get from the plethora of tests. Instead of saying, gee, our kids in poverty are years behind their peers, perhaps their schools need reading and math specialists at the rate of 1:30 kids (on top of classroom teachers so those specialists can offer small group help each and every day), we say, oh, the classroom teachers are bad. Close the schools down. Instead of saying, we need to fund Saturday school or professionally run enrichment activities, we say the school just doesn’t care about its students.
    My intent was to say, we have more assessments than we can ever possibly look at at this point, but personally, for me to implement the RTI process well, I’d have to clone myself. I can’t give one to one help 30 minutes a day for each of my tier 3 kids (not tiers like for SEHS, tiers for RTI) as is demanded and still teach everyone else.
    Teachers everywhere are screaming “help” and no one is listening. No one. I am saying I can give you intensive,detailed information on every single one of my students and tell you exactly what each of them need, but as one human being, I cannot do it all. There’s too many needs and too few teachers to meet them. I have the data and the data is saying we need help. But the public sees the data and says, “bad school!!!” Perhaps that is out of years of frustration, perhaps years of mismanagement, but what we are currently doing is diagnosing the disease and then firing the doctors. Does that make sense?

  • 109. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    @104 Christopher Ball. Thanks for all the detail………..you take long elevator rides too ;-) I can see you and Chris on the Willy Wonka glass elevator debating education looking out at all the CPS schools below ;-) Joking aside, I really do appreciate the insight!

    The ONLY thing that seems clear is that Terra Nova (and the other tests listed) DO NOT compare to MAPS. That is square one for me.

    Question remains: Why not have ALL students take the same test?

    There is no real need to dig into the details until that question is answered. But of course the details are important.

  • 110. Patricia  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    @109 CB
    Unfortunately, the level of parental involvement you cite does not happen at most CPS schools. I would venture to guess schools with low test scores take a lot of standardized tests and correspondingly have low parental involvement……………..

    @ klm Great posts. I always value your insight.

  • 111. IB obsessed  |  February 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    @102 thanks. for those facts. It seems your source for them is direct experience with MAP and not random parent googling of MAP info as many of us here do?

    It seems advisable to get straight the facts about MAP and TN etc . before approaching the media or BBB to complain. There are legitimate questions to be raised, but if we go in uninformed about the actual features of the test, our concerns about fairness will be easily dismissed by OAE.

  • 112. Kellys  |  February 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    “• TN3 – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Yes, then 99th percentile

    • MAP – did you absolutely master everything you were taught in 7th grade math (but have not studied high school math)? Then 90th percentile (estimate)”

    I think someone may be confusing percent correct with percentiles.

    If MAP does have algebra on the 7th grade test, then some private schools may have an advantage if any algebra is taught in their school’s 7th grade (which it was on a limited basis for our kids) but not, or to a lesser extent, in public school. And depending on the norm group used for some of the private school tests, it may be more difficult to get a better percentile (if you believe, on average, that private schools kids are higher performing – for whatever reason).

    I am all for making all 7th graders, public or private, take the same test used for SEHS points – just like the SEHS exam is required for all 8th graders. I don’t think it will have any significant impact on the percent of private schoolers accepted to SEHS; and I think a greater percent is probably more likely than a lower percent if everyone takes the same test. In our case, our 7th grade test percentiles were slightly less than the SEHS 8th grade test results. I realize the tests are different and a year apart, but the SEHS exam was much easier for our kids than the 7th grade test. That’s a pretty good sample size…or maybe not. ;)

  • 113. junior  |  February 2, 2014 at 2:36 am

    Here’s cause for alarm:

    http://www.evanstonroundtable.com/ftp/SAT10WEB.pdf

    The big takeaway from this article: “SAT-10 produces national percentile ranks that are much higher than NAEP and MAP.”

    Expect your kid’s MAP percentile to be significantly lower than your ISAT percentile.

  • 114. klm  |  February 2, 2014 at 7:18 am

    @108

    That makes sense. Thanks for your insight. I always value reading your perspective as an actual teacher in the trenches.

  • 115. klm  |  February 2, 2014 at 8:02 am

    @107

    If all parents were like you, there’s be no need for as much testing.

    But they’re not.

    CPS is often getting kids that start K 2 years behind. While the middle-class and upper-middle-class kids have parents like you (and people that read this blog), many/most CPS kids don’t.

    We’ve all read the studies about how low-income kids don’t get the engaged communications with their parents, aren’t read to as often, so they aren’t exposed to as many words, cognitive activities, etc. Hence, inner-city kids are, on average, already 2 years behind their middle-class suburban peers when they start school in K –that’s huge. These are not “bad parents.” They simply have the idea that being a good parent means getting kids fed, in clean clothes, kept safe and taught how to be a “good kid” –one that’s seldom seen and heard and doesn’t make too many demands from an exhausted caregiver by asking why the sky is blue or why are black things hotter than white ones in summer, etc. All the learning stuff is for professional educators that know how to teach, right?. That’s how they were raised to parent and that’s what CPS has to deal with when their kids come to school: kids that haven’t been taught the alphabet, numbers, increased vocabulary, rudimentary problem solving skills, etc.

    Accordingly, CPS feels the need to measure where kids are academically, probably more so than schools in Glencoe and Lake Forest. It’s kinda’ understandable. It’s also understandable that CPS can’t have one set of rule re: testing for inner-city minority kids and another for middle/upper-middle class ones that go to one of the “good” CPS schools. I cringed when one of my kids came home discussing the CPS-mandated lesson on the dangers of illegal drugs. My family doesn’t need a school bringing up this kind of stuff to my 1st grader –we’re good parents that teach our kids right from wrong, thank-you. But I get that some CPS kids live in drug and crime plagued neighborhoods –some even see this stuff at home. So, there’s a reason for it, whether I like it for my own kids or not.

  • 116. Patricia  |  February 2, 2014 at 9:42 am

    @Junior. Great one page summary. All signs point to ISAT not being comparable to MAPS. So if ISAT and Terra Nova were equivalent to compare in the past years per CPS…………..how on earth can MAPS be an equivalent match to Terra Nova now? It just doesn’t make sense.

    CPS needs to clearly explain why it is comparable—in great detail. OR they need to have all the kids take the same freaking test.

    @ Kellys and CB and others. Thanks for pointing out the comparison in my post may be off. I simply cut and pasted a range of responses from other posters on this blog. I think it directionally makes a good point, but as you pointed out may not technically be accurate.

    @IB Obsessed. Good point about the details. CPS certainly is notorious for being dismissive—which forces parents to take way too much of their time digging into details to prove their point. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just have an open honest conversation with CPS instead?

    Anyone want to take a stab at CPSO request from a few days ago………….the elevator pitch for why TN differs from MAPS?

  • 117. local  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Does it have to be fair, re testing?

  • 118. local  |  February 2, 2014 at 10:24 am

    (I mean, so much in life – and education – is unfair. Maybe it’s OK. Or not.)

  • 119. LP  |  February 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

    “@102 thanks. for those facts. It seems your source for them is direct experience with MAP and not random parent googling of MAP info as many of us here do?”

    No, he’s doing the same googling and then burying his point beneath pendantic details of how the sausage is made.

    @skepticism – we get it, you don’t like any standardized tests. We also get that you really like stats.

    Pulling back to the big picture: CPS is purposely moving to a harder testing system, that’s the point. Everyone has been warned that scores will drop dramatically. Will the top students get to trig on NWEA? The link that contained a summary of the content of 15,000 questions or whatever it was seemed a better answer than the anecdotal evidence here. But that’s not the point, the point is that it will be harder.

    The problem is that OAE has said they will compare lower MAP scores to higher TN3 scores. TN is working on a common core test, but the TN3 is not it and TN3 is the score OAE accepts.

    That’s your boiled down question: CPS you’ve said that MAP scores will be lower across the board so why are you measuring them directly against private school test score that are similar to our old higher scores?

  • 120. LP  |  February 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Reposting the best MAP post I’ve seen, from the earlier private school test thread. Thanks Anxious.

    —-
    447. Anxious but hopeful | January 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    MAP tests aren’t about getting a perfect score. No one gets a perfect score. Here’s an example of how it works for math: it gives you a question on basic fractions. Get that right and it gives you a question on mixed fractions. You’re on a roll so it goes with one about ratios. You get that question right, then it jumps ahead to a more difficult question. That one doesn’t go so well so you go back to the easier ratio question. Ok, that one is fine, let’s try the harder one–nope, not working, looks like that’s an area the student needs more help with. So now it moves to evaluating a simple algebraic expression. That goes well, how about quadratic equations? Nope, that’s a little too far, how about a word problem? And so on. The MAP can pull questions (the database is enormous) going up to at least algebra II, from what I’ve heard from fellow parents with math-focused kids, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to calculus as well. The score explanations I’ve seen show it covering material through high school.

    The test isn’t timed, there is no limit. It just goes until it figures out what your level is based on when you reach the point that you consistently aren’t getting questions right anymore. It doesn’t even give you a firm percentile result on the student report, just a confidence range where they predict this student would fall percentile-wise (i.e., 89-90-91 or 97-98-99 or, if the student is a particularly high outlier, 99-99-99), which is why CPS hasn’t accepted it as a substitute for the ISAT for SEHS admission in the past and why it is a difficult challenge to make it work as a point of comparison with a test that is scored very differently. I can’t really picture how they will be able to make the data fit with TerraNova style data, to be honest.


    If CPS uses MAP for the SEHS admissions process, it seems quite possible that the SEHS point cutoffs will drop across the board for the class admitted in spring 2015. Also, MAP will provide a finer degree of differentiation at the highest end due to its higher ceiling. Then the primary question of fairness that will need to be raised is how to find equivalency with parochial and private schools not using MAP, but instead using a blunter assessment instrument.

    ==========

    The only part I would disagree with is that the admissions cutoff score will drop much; there is a large and growing number of private school applicants that were on the fringe before that will take those seats.

    Someone posted that Payton is 30% private, that will go up.

  • 121. IB obsessed  |  February 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

    A complaint that TN et al and the CPS test are different or “not comparable” is by no means anything new.Is MAP uniquely unfair as a test for SEHS points? Is it true that TN et al are criterion referenced test (has content confined mainly to a specific grade level and thus shows only achievement relative to a specific grade level) and that MAP is a normed reference test that can show exactly how high above her grade level peers a student is achieving?) This would be a basis for protest about unfairness. The NWEA website says it measures a student’s instructional level, not their mastery level. What does that mean? “Achievement on the MAP tests shows evidence of what a student has learned and can do with approximately 50 percent accuracy within a subject and goal area. ” So, is MAP a normed reference test or a criterion reference test? NWEA does state that MAP is appropriate for assisting with placement decisons in gifted/talent or high potential programs.

    Can we once and for all get from an independent, authoritative source a statement about this issue?

  • 122. HS Mom  |  February 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    @111- “There are legitimate questions to be raised, but if we go in uninformed about the actual features of the test, our concerns about fairness will be easily dismissed by OAE”

    IBO – I think the variable test situation alone is cause for concern. Measuring the impact, especially against the system that has already allowed private schools to take the best of multiple tests would take time and be difficult to sort through. Best to nip it in the bud now. Past experience has shown that CPS on their end has no problem experimenting with SE parameters. All well and good unless your kid is part of that group. Otherwise this just becomes another one of those loopholes that everyone knows about but complies with because “it’s the best we can do”.

  • 123. IB obsessed  |  February 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Regarding the big picture: has anyone considered the likely possibility that private school kids have higher scores as a whole than than CPS students will, even if private school kids took MAP too? Perhaps the percentage would not change drastically even if everyone took MAP. Of course, every student should be required to show how high they can score, and this is no consolation to the individual kid who scored 96th percentile MAP, but would have been 99th on TN.

  • 124. IB obsessed  |  February 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    LP How do you know this? “No, he’s doing the same googling”

    “and then burying his point beneath pendantic details of how the sausage is made.”

    Why is it people feel ok making insulting personal attacks on here that they would not have the audacity to say to a person’s face?

    Why not just express your opinion about the moot nature of his stats, with evidence, instead of just throwing out the insulting value judgment?

    Can’t we keep things civil and pleasant here?

  • 125. anonymouse teacher  |  February 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    May I make a suggestion? Parents of kids in 7th grade or nearing 7th grade might want to consider finding a way to meet and make a plan to deal with this. CPS doesn’t listen to much, but if you could pool your resources and hire a lawyer, a good one, you might have a shot. Otherwise, you very well may end up in the unpleasant position of having to shell out 15K a year for private school or selling your home. I’d give it ONE shot of asking them nicely and then don’t mess around. Good luck, whatever you do.

  • 126. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    @106: You are right that the better system would be for all applicants to take the same tests, but that mean CPS has to arrange for private school 7th graders and 7th graders who have yet to enroll in CPS to take the MAP this May or at the equivalent instructional week into the school year. So, if you move into CPS for 8th grade, but didn’t take the MAP in 7th grade in the district you came from, you would be ineligible to apply for SEHS for 9th grade (or they would have to double the weight of your entrance exam).

    CPS could simply change the rubric to use only the grades and the entrance exam.

    @199 There’s nothing inherently wrong with mass-produced norm-referenced standardized tests; what matters is the validity of the inferences people draw from the results, and if you don’t understand the statistical underpinnings of the instruments and the inferences then you end up making spurious inferences. Take using MAP spring-to-spring growth to evaluate teacher quality: if you don’t have a way to differentiate teacher input, parent input, and student input into growth outcomes and if you don’t randomly assign students to teachers, you cannot reach a valid inference about teacher quality from the growth scores.

  • 127. HS Mom  |  February 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    @123 IBO “has anyone considered the likely possibility that private school kids have higher scores as a whole than than CPS students will, even if private school kids took MAP too? Perhaps the percentage would not change drastically even if everyone took MAP”

    The whole private vs. public doing better as a whole is, IMO a strawman here. By default, namely tuition, private (or at least the better private schools) does not have the low income population that public has – so as a whole, yes they likely do better. When considering SE schools we are only looking at the higher performing segment of the school population which is arguably competitive. If a kid from a gifted program, private school, or neighborhood school takes the same test and one out performs the other then so be it. At least they took comparable tests, just like the entrance exam. The debate here is not about private kids getting into SE, its about one group (non-CPS) having an advantage over the other (CPS/charter) for entrance into a CPS school.

    Think too, while we agonize over 99 vs 90, there is a whole group (actually the majority) of kids who score less than 99 who compete against the same non-map test group as the gap in scores filters down.

    I think the better question, as posed by Junior, is using MAP going to be a barrier to neighborhood school kids who are above grade level but have not been exposed to advanced level math.

  • 128. HS Mom  |  February 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    @126 CB – yes, see your point. It would be a matter of how many private schools are not switching to MAP already and then out of those, who will apply for SEHS. I have no idea the size of that group. So, under current conditions, non-CPS kids were paying an independent test company to take the ISAT (same amount of time to take the test??). Somehow they were able to arrange that….I’m thinking it’s the same concept. Your example of a kid entering 8th grade from private or out of state or suburbs is a good one. I’m thinking there has to be a way for these kids to be tested. Unless they transfer with their 7th grade tests which makes another group of kids who would take a different test.

    Yep, easier to just drop the test altogether. But, boy…..as Junior mentions, the grades sure do come under the microscope.

  • 129. Chicago School GPS  |  February 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Interesting that as of today, I noticed the list of accepted standardized 7th grade tests was taken down by CPSOAE:

    “The rubric for the Selective Enrollment process will remain the same. The scores from the NWEA will simply replace the scores from the ISAT. In line with the new promotion policy, students will need a minimum score of 24% in reading and math to qualify to apply to these programs.
    Tests that will be accepted from non-CPS/non-charter students will be announced shortly.”

    The list was up per the beginning of this post (and it did not list Stanford Achievement Test 10) but now they are in the process of revisiting the acceptable non-CPS/charter tests.

    As an observation, families moving from an out of state public school to CPS have typically been shut out of SEHS if they didn’t know about their move in early Fall because of the short windows for outside testing opportunities. CPS does not honor other states’ public standardized tests, unfortunately.

  • 130. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    @128 Before this announcement they could substitute other tests from a CPS list. Private school kids could not take the ISATs unless their school had somehow arranged that with ISBE. Private clinicians and independent test centers did not received the ISAT, but would have the SAT10.

    The past list was:

    Terra Nova (normed 2007 or 2011)
    Stanford Achievement Test 10
    Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
    Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement 2
    Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test 3
    Wechsler Individual Achievement Test 3

    The ISAT had SAT10 questions embedded within it. Only those questions counted toward the n.p.r.; the rest of the ISAT was criterion-referenced, and it did not count at all toward your child’s admission to SEHS.

    Concordances of the ITBS with the SAT10 and the SAT10 with the TN 3 show different equivalent n.p.r.s at some points, so this problem is not new. See this for example: https://safe.acsi.org/iweb/upload/acsi_spring_2012_linking_study.pdf

    The question is whether OAE adjusted the n.p.r’s accordingly.

  • 131. HS Mom  |  February 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    CB – Privates or anyone who did not take a CPS ISAT could take the test through a CPS endorsed testing company. I don’t know the details ISAT or SAT10 or if it was arranged through their school – but these kids had the ability to use the higher of score of this “ISAT” test vs. another test that their school gave.

  • 132. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Just to be clear, scale aligning or calibration between different tests is never perfect. How the adjustment will translate depends on the method that is used to align them. A National Research Council panel that was commissioned to study this expressed serious doubts about how accurately this could be done (p.89-90:

    All of these factors—content emphases, difficulty, format, measurement error, and uses and consequences—point to the difficulty of establishing trustworthy links among different tests. But the extent to which any of these factors affects linkage can be determined only by a case-by-case evaluation of specific tests in a specific context. Developers of linkages should look carefully at the differences in content emphases, format, and intended uses of tests before deciding to link them. They should also set targets for the level of accuracy that will be required to support the intended uses of the linkage. Developers of linkages should also conduct empirical studies to determine the accuracy and stability of the linkage. In this report the committee suggests some criteria to be considered as part of this process. One noteworthy criterion is the similarity or dissimilarity of linkage functions developed using data from different subgroups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, race) of students.

    Finally, since linkage relationships can change relatively quickly, especially in high-stakes situations, developers need to continue to monitor linkages regularly to make necessary adjustments to the linking function over time. The research literature is rife with examples of linkages that looked good at first but failed to hold up over time.

    National Research Council. Uncommon Measures: Equivalence and Linkage Among Educational Tests. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999. Available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=6332

  • 133. pantherettie  |  February 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve got a simple question that may have already been answered so forgive me in advance if this is a repeat. My understanding is that MAPS testing occurs twice per year: once at the beginning of the year for a baseline score and once at the end of the year. Which of these scores will be used for admissions? My kid is in an AC and I’m so glad that I’m not feeling the same level of stress as parents who really have to manage this with their 7th graders.

  • 134. HS HS  |  February 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I think there might be something behind the fact that OAE removed the list of acceptable non cps tests. The list was there even after the nwea map announcement and it’s not just gone it says the decision is pending. I’m curious

  • 135. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Clearly BBB follows CPS Obsessed on the weekends.

  • 136. cpsobsessed  |  February 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Based on the IP addresses, I believe BBB and Rahm are the top commenters. :)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 137. HS HS  |  February 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Well something is going on. Maybe someone from CPS is realizing what a debacle this really is.

  • 138. cpsobsessed  |  February 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Based on previous history with cps this year I’m guessing there was an error in the posting that someone just realized?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 139. juliefain  |  February 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    @133: In CPS, the MAP test (it’s MAP, for Measures of Academic Progress) is optional in the winter (midyear) and is mandatory in the spring (end-of-year). It is only given in the fall to students who are new to the system over the summer or otherwise don’t have a score from the spring.

    The vast majority of schools are administering the midyear version, but it’s completely optional, and there are no consequences for selective enrollment or anything else for not taking it.

    The spring test is what will count for SE. It is confirmed on the OAE website. There are consequences for not taking it.

    If you have a current 8th grader, last year’s ISAT scores will be used. The MAP will be used for this year’s 7th graders, and possibly beyond.

  • 140. Tonya  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Good points everyone. I think I’m going to have my daughter take terra nova and sat 10 around the same time as the MAP. Then I can compare. You all should do the same so we can show how our kids can ace those other tests compared to the MAP.

    Who’s with me?!

  • 141. IBobsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

    @140 Where would our kids take the TN and Sat 10? Cost?

  • 142. Life After ISAT (Sorta) | District 299: The Inside Scoop on CPS  |  February 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

    […] Life without ISAT cpsobsessed: I’m headed out of town for the weekend and don’t have time to write anything, but here is the long awaited news from OAE about the shift in testing as part of the 900 point rubric. Will we see a big shift in in the % of private school kids who get in? Will there be more MAP test prep in schools? Will the test prep companies be ready to help kids get ready? [139 comments] […]

  • 143. Patricia  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Let’s give it a try! Reposting the contact numbers from above and three options for your “elevator pitch” grabbed from the great stuff posted on this site. Go CPSOers! (Still in Super Bowl mode—actually it was such a boring game this is more exciting ;-)

    Option 1:
    All signs point to ISAT not being comparable to MAPS. So if ISAT and Terra Nova were equivalent to compare in the past years per CPS…………..how on earth can MAPS be an equivalent match to Terra Nova now? It just doesn’t make sense.

    CPS needs to clearly explain why it is comparable—in great detail. OR they need to have all the kids take the same freaking test.

    Option 2:
    The problem is that OAE has said they will compare lower MAP scores to higher TN3 scores. TN is working on a common core test, but the TN3 is not it and TN3 is the score OAE accepts.
    That’s your boiled down question: CPS you’ve said that MAP scores will be lower across the board so why are you measuring them directly against private school test score that are similar to our old higher scores?

    Option 3:
    If CPS uses MAP for the SEHS admissions process, it seems quite possible that the SEHS point cutoffs will drop across the board for the class admitted in spring 2015. Also, MAP will provide a finer degree of differentiation at the highest end due to its higher ceiling. Then the primary question of fairness that will need to be raised is how to find equivalency with parochial and private schools not using MAP, but instead using a blunter assessment instrument.

    Option 4:
    CPS needs to either have all students applying for selective programs take MAPS or change the rubric to only include the placement exam (and grades?).

    The contacts below are the general ones on public website. If anyone has a more inside track, go for it. S Still not finding a nice list of emails—arghh!

    BBB CEO – 773-553-1500

    Board of Ed – 773-553-1600

    Communications – 773-553-1620

    OAE- 773-553-2060

    Mayor – 312-744-3300

    Your Alderman

  • 144. Jonathan Goldstein (cofounder of Test Prep Chicago)  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Sorry to interrupt the conversation, but I just wanted to make a plug here for Test Prep Chicago, another company that offers group classes (after school and weekend) and individual tutoring for 7th and 8th grade standardized tests and entrance exams.

    Our material is common core aligned, and we continue to adapt our materials and teaching methods to fit the “relevant” tests. We prep students for MAP, Terra Nova, IOWA, and Stanford 10 exams. We focus on content but also stress problem-solving, test-taking skills, building confidence, etc.

    If you are interested in learning more about our teaching philosophies and our affordable prep courses (designed for MAP testing and schedules), visit http://www.testprepchicago.com. These classes start in February and March and take place at schools and parks all around the city.

    Thank you!

    Jonathan Goldstein, cofounder
    Test Prep Chicago

    http://www.testprepchicago.com

  • 145. cpsobsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Thanks, TestPrep and Selective Prep for the info.

  • 146. IBobsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I question how a prep company can possibly prep for MAP, SAT10, Terra Nova and Terra Nova3, IOWA all in a single course. If these tests are significantly different, especially MAP, how could a generic course be effective? In addition, MAP is computer based and the others are paper/pencil. Different test taking strategies are needed for each. Is what you get just a review of the average content of these tests?

  • 147. 19th ward Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Anyone want to comment on if these Test Preps program proved to be helpful to their student? Any hard evidence like increase in ISAT scores from the previous year the student took the test? And Yes, I know ISATs no longer count, but it was what mattered then.

  • 148. Jonathan Goldstein (cofounder of Test Prep Chicago)  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:59 am

    IBobsessed – I am happy to address any questions, although it was not my intention to hijack this post.

    We do tailor our courses. The core content of what we teach is the same — students need to know a certain level of algebra, geometry, etc. for any 7th grade test. Reading Comprehension may be presented in different ways on different tests, but the skills and strategies apply to all.

    But, that doesn’t mean we run every class exactly the same. For example, our Terra Nova students receive additional supplemental writing practice because their test requires more extended response writing (for math and reading). Courses at different schools are tailored to different tests.

    Test-taking strategies, problem-solving skills, and confidence-building also apply to all tests. The SAT and ACT are not identical, but for the most part, students who do well on one do well on the other (this is anecdotal). Those tests even require very different “guessing” strategies, but good test-taking skills are still important for both.

    Thank you again. If you would like to learn more, please send me an email or visit our website.

    ~Jonathan Goldstein

  • 149. How will this effect score?  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    My son was not allowed to finish his MAP testing this year. He always scores quite high, lexiles in the 1400s, therefore, the test takes longer. He said there were a few kids who didn’t get to finish.

  • 150. Marketing Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Bottom line, CPS needs to use the same test or base the SEHS admission on the SEHS Test and grades. I am surprised that more CPS parents aren’t outraged about this issue. I resent the fact that CPS is tweaking the requirements at this time.

  • 151. Patricia  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    FYI Call update:

    Got voicmeail for BBB office. Left message with question/elevator pitch.

    BOE. Auto transfer to main menu for CPS. Classic!

    OAE. Phone answered when I selected option 3. The person was friendly. She indicated that OAE is actually still making the decision on the private school tests. So, I then offered her my opinion indicating that all students should take the same test since MAPS and TN really do not seem comparable. She kind of made a noise, but I continuted to say that the clearest solution is for all kids to take the same test…….then I offered to discuss furher with “whoever”.

    On both on BBB VM and with the OAE person I asked to have a discussion with them in person and offered to get a group of parents together who are very aware of and interested in this decision. (obviously CPSOers :-) Not really expecting much to happen with it, but I beleive it is always important to not only id a problem and offer a solution, but also be willing to discuss/listen further. I know this is a bit idealistic.

  • 152. Chris  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    HS Mom: “@123 IBO “has anyone considered the likely possibility that private school kids have higher scores as a whole than than CPS students will, even if private school kids took MAP too? Perhaps the percentage would not change drastically even if everyone took MAP”

    The whole private vs. public doing better as a whole is, IMO a strawman here. ”

    Based on the results of past years, it appears that non-CPS kids are somewhat over-represented (ie, as a %age of *all* 9th-graders living in Chicago, there are x% who were non-CPS for 8th grade and there are x+y% (where y is stat-sig) percent who are at SEHS after being non-CPS in 8th grade) at PaNJY, so they “test better”. Perhaps they have “tested better” because they are smarter, or better taught, or use more test prep, or bc the tests they take scale “easier”–doesn’t matter, there is an established pattern that a over-representative portion of non-CPS 8th graders get SEHS admissions scores over the relevant PaNJY cutoffs.

    But the test switch issue isn’t about that, or about *decreasing* the percentage of non-CPS kids getting in–it’s about making certain that the change in the test used is/appears-to-be equitable, and if the %age of Non-CPS Kids getting in to PaNJY goes UP by 20% or more, then the change will *appear* to have been inequitable to CPS Kids, *regardless* of the cause of the increase.

    Basically, if (a) CPS fails to ‘prove’ that the change to MAP will provide ‘equivalent’ results in the 900 point admissions scale AND (b) the test results do not, in fact, provide roughly equivalent results, then, (c) there will be a political problem *in an election year*.

  • 153. 7th grade parent  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    @Patricia
    I think you are on the right track. Per my principal, it was suggested that getting swamped by calls from PARENTS would be more effective then anything coming from the school administration.

    Also told the correct person to contact is BBB (her office)…OAE just implements the policy set by BBB but don’t create the policy.

    I would prefer that ALL SEHSs applicants take the same test PERIOD.

  • 154. Patricia  |  February 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    @CB

    OR (d), NOT an issue of all kids take the same freaking test :-)

    Regardless of how it would shake out, if all kids take the same test, it really becomes a non issue.

  • 155. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Let me add that, as magnet schools, the SEHS have a particular mission to promote diversity. It would be ironic — and quite possibly illegal — to give admission preference to a class of students who may skew white compared to the competing CPS population.

    It seems clear that the use of TN versus MAPS would be an admissions preference.

  • 156. Anonymous  |  February 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Antecdata-My ex-private school kid scored very close on MAP as on non-CPS nationally normed test last year. The exact same percentile in Math. 98 percentile Reading last year, 99 percentile on MAP this year. I make no claim about the fairness of MAP based upon this one student’s scores, just throwing it out here.

  • 157. Patricia  |  February 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    @Chris (I listed the wrong person in my post above—sorry Chris)

    OR (d), NOT an issue if all kids take the same freaking test

    Regardless of how it would shake out, if all kids take the same test, it really becomes a non issue.

  • 158. MOM  |  February 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I thought I read something on one of these threads suggesting that what mattered in what percentile rank you get is the norm group? And wasn’t there something about the norm group for private school tests like TN being generally more skewed toward better scores? Doesn’t this mean that it would have been harder to get a good percentile rank on the TN than it was to get a good percentile rank on the old ISAT, where the norm group includes a much broader range, and which we all know is an easier test? So, maybe (whatever their numbers) private school kids were actually underrepresented in SEHS based on what *should* have been their numbers based on their performance under the old ISAT vs. TN (or other private test) standard. Maybe MAP just eliminates an advantage public school kids had but shouldn’t have had. I’m no expert on this, though, and am just really wondering based on whatever I was reading about norm groups. Probably is the most fair for everyone to take the same test. But, in that case, if private school kids really do tend to skew toward being better test takers, maybe there would be an increase in their admission to SEHSs if MAP were used. A case of “careful what you wish for,” perhaps?

  • 159. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    @158 MOM

    You really should read ALL the information above before making a post like that.

  • 160. 7th grade parent  |  February 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    @155 Isn’t that why we already have the tier system?

    @156 Glad that your child seems to be on track with test scores on both the MAP & other nationally normed tests! However, this is more of an exception than the norm for most students when comparing their prior performance on the ISAT to MAP (focusing on the corresponding %.) Hence, why MANY parents are arguing that the simple way to resolve the problem is for ALL interested applicants to take the same test i.e. They need to “standardize” the standardized test.

  • 161. Chris  |  February 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Patricia: “Regardless of how it would shake out, if all kids take the same test, it really becomes a non issue.”

    Absolutely, imo.

    However, in the highly unlikely but not impossible event that the result is that PaNJY admits are 80% non-CPS 8th graders, it’s still an issue. Mostly a different underlying issue, but still a political issue on the topline.

  • 162. ChiMom  |  February 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    With respect to MAP, our small private elementary school uses MAP so we have seen 6 years worth of scores for both kids. I had to pay to have both kids take CPS acceptable tests when applying for SEES and AC. (No, I did not get to choose the higher score between two, CPS did not accept the test our school offered; we paid for one test and used that score). Both kids’ scores on the CPS acceptable test (I think it was SAT 10) were very similar to how they scored on MAP over the years and eldest got into first choice AC. I agree it is crazy to have applicants from different schools taking different tests and am not defending CPS’ decision whatsoever, but thought some first-hand experience with MAP vs. other standardized tests may be useful.

  • 163. Patricia  |  February 3, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    @Chris. I see you point. Certainly a different underlying issue, but still a potential political issue if it happens.

  • 164. 7th grade parent  |  February 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    @162 When you say ‘very close’…can you provide actual numbers for comparison. A difference of even 2% is often the difference between getting in or not getting in for a Tier 4 student.

    Some may say that 99/99 ISAT and 95/92 MAP scores are close, but they would result in totally different school options for my or any other Tier 4 applicant.

  • 165. SLParent  |  February 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    In addition to pushing for the same test for all students (though it does not seem possible to make that effective this spring given the numerous steps a school must undertake to be MAP ready), there need to be guidelines to level the playing field on how the tests are administered. My private school kids were shocked to learn that CPS kids taking the ISAT were permitted to have anchors (posters) in the room that included math formulas and other test aids. Our kids were taking a nationally normed test with no visual aids.

  • 166. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    158. MOM: “And wasn’t there something about the norm group for private school tests like TN being generally more skewed toward better scores? Doesn’t this mean that it would have been harder to get a good percentile rank on the TN than it was to get a good percentile rank on the old ISAT, where the norm group includes a much broader range, and which we all know is an easier test?”

    I don’t know how TN norms its test, but if it was aiming at the private school market, it would probably norm the test with that group, not a public school group. There some evidence for your hypothesis here:https://safe.acsi.org/iweb/upload/acsi_spring_2012_linking_study.pdf

  • 167. Betty  |  February 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    my formerly private school, currently in an AC kid, did not score the same from the IOWAs to the MAP. Her Map scores were lower in math by 3 or so percent (can’t find the darn report now. Didn’t think they would matter when we got them last Fall silly me). And additionally, the difference between taking a test via computer verses on paper has to be significantly measurable in that you can’t go back on a computerized test, but can on paper. That too needs to be standardized.

    To level the playing field, if a standardized test is to be 1/3 of the entrance score into an AC or SE or IB or IG, that it should be ONE specific test given in ONE specific method.

  • 168. 7th grade parent  |  February 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    @167 Agreed

    For all those asking about test prep…spoke with instructor at Select Prep today…if your child’s MAP score is 95 or above, he stated that there was nothing he would be able to do to improve the child’s score. He equated it to getting a 31 or 32 on the ACT and trying to get a 36 (perfect ACT score) instead.

    As most test prep companies are trying to sell their services, I believe that there must be something to what he is saying as he essentially told me ‘don’t bother’ with any test prep (group or individual instruction.)

  • 169. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Terra Nova is normed to national population. A couple of studies show it inflates achievement akin to ISAT/SAT10. The logical conclusion is that taking TN is an advantage over MAP.

  • 170. H  |  February 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    “spoke with instructor at Select Prep today…if your child’s MAP score is 95 or above, he stated that there was nothing he would be able to do to improve the child’s score. He equated it to getting a 31 or 32 on the ACT and trying to get a 36 (perfect ACT score) instead.”

    That seems odd. Especially if the understanding of MAP that is given above that it is testing how far along you are is correct. Can’t you just learn the material you don’t know? Also hard to believe you can’t prep to improve on ACT above 32.

  • 171. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    @166 CB

    No, the way you market a test in the current environment is to design it in such a way that it inflates kids’ performance. Whether you’re a public school district or a private school, your desire is to be able to point to your test scores and say “look how good we’re doing!” Critiques of ISAT and TN show that they inflate performance compared to NAEP and MAP.

    I would say that MAP and NAEP are the different animals in this game. MAP is created by a nonprofit and is aimed at gauging instructional level, not proficiency. NAEP is a national benchmark overseen by the federal government. Neither of those would seem to be driven as much be profit motive and are not catering to states looking for shortcuts to complying with NCLB.

  • 172. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    @168/170 7th grade parent / H

    “spoke with instructor at Select Prep today…if your child’s MAP score is 95 or above, he stated that there was nothing he would be able to do to improve the child’s score. He equated it to getting a 31 or 32 on the ACT and trying to get a 36 (perfect ACT score) instead.”

    Actually, that seems to make sense based on what many people are saying here. It’s one thing to make a child proficient at their current instuctional level (getting them a 99 on ISAT), but to get a kid from 95 to 99 in MAP, you’d need to teach them a whole new curriculum, probably a couple of years of material beyond their grade level — that’s not possible in “test prep”.

  • 173. H  |  February 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    “to get a kid from 95 to 99 in MAP, you’d need to teach them a whole new curriculum, probably a couple of years of material beyond their grade level — that’s not possible in “test prep”.”

    It’s a fair point about what test prep places are set up for. I wasn’t really thinking about that as opposed to studying generally.

    And perhaps fair point about how much extra you will need to learn. I was trying to understand that but now that I look at how the average scores change over grades, I question a bit whether it is really right that the test measures how far along the student is, or maybe the student performances are abysmal. E.g., for math, end of year RIT means are 159 for K, 179 for 1st,…, 221 for 5th, 231 for 7th, 236 for 9th, 238 for 11th (rounded to nearest integer). Kids are getting a lot of credit for what they learn in K/1/2, but very little credit for what they learn from 9th to 11th? Are students on average retaining very little of what they learn from 9-11 and/or does the material they do learn count for very little?

  • 174. ChiMom  |  February 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    @164: With respect to your question of “very close,” both my kids typically scored 99 percentile in math and reading on MAP throughout elementary, maybe dropping to 98 or 97 percentile on occasion; both scored 99/98 in CPS accepted test. Their elementary school was solid (but just teaching grade level material) and they were able to score 99 percentile on MAP tests most of the time. Hope this helps.

  • 175. HS Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    @H from my own informal observations and experience, these test prep classes offer a summary version of the test topics for review and practice. If the student is learning the information for the first time, it’s not enough of a lesson to teach the topic. Tutoring (which is also offered by some of these test companies, and not cheaply) will teach material individually or in small groups to potentially raise test scores through a better understanding of the material. For the most part, high scoring students can benefit somewhat from test prep if they did not take prep the first time and decide “gee, maybe if I practice and study this time I may do even better”. Kids scoring at these really high levels don’t particularly need to be tutored. We know of a student whose family spent thousands on tutoring to go from a 34 to a 35…….and did not get into their 1st choice school. We also know of another kid who went from a 32 to a 30. For ACT, you want to reach a bench mark of say 30 for scholarships so if you have 28, may be we worth it.

    But, yeah, if a kid is already 99% on an achievement test and has consistently been there then test prep is not going to change anything because they won’t be learning anything new. I’d still study though.

  • 176. 7th grade parent  |  February 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    @172 junior/@173H

    Yes, the reasoning provided to me is pretty much what you have concluded. ‘Test Prep’ is not designed to teach at that level. Rather, it reviews the basic grade level appropriate material. It was suggested that in order to get from 95 to 99 on the MAP test a child would need to have a solid base in higher level (HS) geometry and statistics. That is not the type of material covered in a Test Prep class for 7th grade students.

  • 177. Chicago School GPS  |  February 3, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Don’t know if this has been discussed here prior, but given this jarring change in standardized testing required of CPS kids for selective enrollment admissions (computer based, individualized questions based on ability, different test lengths, internet issues, etc) and given that the impact is truly not known, perhaps CPS can be persuaded (ha!) to add extra points to the rubric for CPS kids affected by the first year of this change? Similar to how neighborhood kids get a “boost” in points at IB schools, perhaps CPS could add a small boost to the kids affected by the first year of the MAP testing provision? Pros? Cons? Discuss.

  • 178. Chris  |  February 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    “It’s a fair point about what test prep places are set up for. I wasn’t really thinking about that as opposed to studying generally.”

    Yeah, it’s a fair point wrt MAP, as the test has been described here.

    The analogy to ACT is inapt, however, as there is *no doubt* that test prep can help from 31/32–maybe not if the only acceptable result is 36, but definitely prep can help.

  • 179. Chris  |  February 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    “both my kids typically scored 99 percentile in math and reading on MAP throughout elementary, maybe dropping to 98 or 97 percentile on occasion; both scored 99/98 in CPS accepted test.”

    A 99/98 v a 97/97–while doubtless ‘substantially the same’–allows (for T4) a 97 on the 8th grade test, v needing a 98 or 99 for P or N. Which is also ‘substantially the same’, but (possibly) a meaningful difference in result.

  • 180. Even One More CPS Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    This is all unbelievably crazy! Seems the only logical and reasonable solution is to require all applicants to take the same test. CPS should offer it for free (obviously not ‘free’ as paid for by tax dollars, but you get the drift) to any student who qualifies to apply. Private/parochial students could send in an application and be assigned a spring test date, around the same time public school students are tested, to take the test. Public school students take the test any way so their spring MAP scores would be submitted.

  • 181. HS Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    @180 picky point, and I say this because we have to pay for tests that are not required by CPS (like the PSAT or ACT/SAT taken outside of state requirements). If the school does not provide the test, they should have to pay for administration of the test.

  • 182. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    @173 The test can only offer a sample of the math and reading domains to students. And the items’ range of difficulty has practical limits. The jump from trigonometric functions to differential calculus is not easily measured. There are only so many English verb tenses.
    At a certain point, mean differences grade-to-grade become small as does gains for students already scoring well above the mean because there is less that one can reasonably test students about.

    On average, the students are not learning less; the test cannot pick-up what they are learning at upper grades. Asking “What is Iago’s motivation in Othello?” would be highly curriculum specific. What if student’s read King Lear instead? What if one school has geography and another does not?

  • 183. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    @182 CB
    “What if one school has geography and another does not?”

    Well put … and right there you have put your finger on the crux of one of the problems. Let’s rephrase your question: “What if School A teaches algebra/geometry in 7th grade and School B does not?”

    Are we selecting students based on their individual achievements, or based on what their school has chosen to teach? The student does not control the curriculum.

  • 184. Gobemouche  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Just want to point out that the acceptable tests for non-CPS students have been removed from the OAE website:

    “Tests that will be accepted from non-CPS/non-charter students will be announced shortly”

    Now is the time to raise these issues with CPS. Blast their twitter, Facebook, phone lines, email, etc. Because, regardless of whatever is decided, they have to be accountable. They need to show us why any other test and MAP are comparable.

  • 185. Even One More CPS Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    @181 I think we are on the same page? I think no student should have to pay to take the test, neither public/private nor parochial student. I mentioned that we all “do” pay for the test being this is public school, funded by taxes and we pay taxes. That is all I was trying to say.

  • 186. HS Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Yes, the money really does come from the source….us. It has become even more apparent at the HS level. Our school has opted to charge a fee for students to take the PSAT and has made the test optional on a weekend instead of using money from our stressed budget. This test is for national merit scholarships and not a CPS requirement. I support this completely, and am more than willing to pay a fee for tests taken at our option. If I had wanted to go to a private HS I would have needed to pay to take their test.

    My point is that any student who does not have the required test for SEHS admission should pay a fee to get a service that is outside of what CPS provides. All children have a right to a public education paid for by taxpayers and that’s why we have neighborhood schools. There is no obligation to make sure that everyone who qualifies for a selective school is provided with all the necessary requirements on CPS/taxpayers, it’s up to the individual.

    Sorry – The reason to go up the elevator on this, insisting that CPS pay for additional testing can likely become another obstacle in getting to the important goal – one single test for all kids.

  • 187. IB obsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    What if CPS’ response is, “We already have one single test for all kids; the SEHS test taken in 8th grade”?

    How IS that test different from TN, MAP et al? Is it? If it is just another nationally normed achievement test, then why haven’t they just used 8th grade standardized test scores instead of requiring everyone to take that test?

  • 188. cpsobsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    https://www.change.org/petitions/il-state-board-of-ed-scrap-the-isat-in-illinois

    Here is a petition that was started to scrap the ISATs this year. Is there any reason the ISAT is still needed that I’m overlooking?

  • 189. Gobemouche  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    187- IBObsessed- hi!

    I’ve always assumed that using two tests plus grades is a way to achieve more differentiation among scores. Maybe if it were just grades and the SEHS test there would be too many 600s, making it difficult to rank them. who knows?

    But that’s a good question. What *is* the difference between the SEHS exam and other tests?

  • 190. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    @188 Nope. As far as anyone’s child is concerned, the ISAT serves no purpose this year.

  • 191. HS Mom  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    @188 unless you want to compare the score to MAP

  • 192. cpsobsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I think the SEHS admission test is more like a gifted test rather than a fact-based test of learning.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 193. 7th grade parent  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Just wanted to let everyone know I misinterpreted the information I received from SP see @167. It appears that a test prep class could definitely improve even a high test score.

  • 194. H  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    “The jump from trigonometric functions to differential calculus is not easily measured.”
    “On average, the students are not learning less; the test cannot pick-up what they are learning at upper grades”

    I picked math as an example because it seems to me between e.g. 9th and 11th grades kids are being taught awfully specific topics in math. I don’t know exactly how the typical HS math curriculum proceeds, but it’s hard for me to believe that you can’t test for knowledge of geometry, advanced (HS) algebra, trig, stats, calculus (differential, integral, and otherwise) or whatever they are learning. Hard to believe an 11th grader who has learned and understood his HS math classes can’t demonstrate that knowledge.

  • 195. averagemom  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    My kids talked about learning the vocabulary words recently that they saw on the SEHS tests they took. It seemed to be fact based from what they told me. Some of the questions seemed to be above grade level, like Algebra. Definitely not fair to kids in schools that don’t teach it.

  • 196. cpsobsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I wonder what type of test NYC uses for their 1 score admission for the selective high schools – if it measures intelligence (like a gifted test) or material (like MAP.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 197. Dd  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I see several comments about how it is unfair to compare MAP scores of kids in neighborhood vs in gifted/classical schools, because students in neighborhood schools were not exposed to above grade level subjects. Why is it unfair? A 6th grader in SEES has to work so much harder to master 7th grade math curriculum than his on level 6th grade cur, it is not fair to him to discount his effort.

    If we are comparing academic achievement, let us do just that.

  • 198. IB obsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I’m still bewildered by what it means to “measure a student’s instructional achievement level, not a student’s mastery level” which NWEA says MAP does. So MAP scores don’t show proficiency on a topic/skill? Isn’t rather strange to use such a test to identify the top achievers for admission to SEHSs? http://www.nwea.org/node/4353

  • 199. Test  |  February 3, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    #195. Interesting. My child told me that the SE Prep class was a total waste of money (for Math) because the Math section focused on material she had learned from 4-6th grade Math that she had not really reviewed in the SE Prep class. She was surprised because she had studied higher level math for 8 weeks in anticipation of the SEHS test. For the Language part of the test, the SE prep class taught her 2 rules that were on the test. One had to do with the use of who and whom. The other, I don’t recall, but it was on the test so the course helped her get at least 2 answers right that she likely would have gotten wrong! :)

  • 200. Chicago School GPS  |  February 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    The Chicago SEHS is approximately 3 hours long and is an achievement test, covering 4 subject areas: reading comprehension, vocabulary, language arts (grammar) and math word problems. Calculators are not allowed.

    The New York Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is about 2.5 hours and is a two topic (math & verbal) multiple choice test taken in 8th or 9th grade. In the verbal first section, students demonstrate verbal reasoning and reading comprehension by ordering sentences to form a coherent paragraph, answering questions of logical reasoning, and analyzing and interpreting texts. In the math second section, students demonstrate math skills by answering computational and word questions that require arithmetic, algebra, probability, statistics, geometry, and trigonometry (on the Grade 9 test only).

    The Chicago AC (Academic Center) test given to 6th and some 7th graders is an aptitude test of critical reasoning & logic skills.

  • 201. cpsobsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks Chicago GPS!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 202. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    @197 Dd

    Why is it unfair?

    For one, because you don’t change the rules of a competition after it is 90% complete. Secondly, because we don’t want to lock in who belongs in SEHS from the day a toddler gets accepted into RGC — that would lead to many erroneous decisions, a stifling of opportunity, as well as a brain drain of kids from neighborhoods and magnets. Thirdly, because we want to encourage students to participate in broader intellectual activity than simply trying to attain the highest math and reading instructional levels they can.

    Lastly, I would say your argument about the hardest workers is unconvincing. You can’t differentiate who is a harder worker by a test.

  • 203. thom  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    “You can’t differentiate who is a harder worker by a test.”

    Just who is smarter.

  • 204. junior  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    @203 thom

    Not necessarily. Depends on what the test measures.

  • 205. IB obsessed  |  February 3, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    ” to lock in who belongs in SEHS from the day a toddler gets accepted into RGC — that would lead to many erroneous decisions, a stifling of opportunity, as well as a brain drain of kids from neighborhoods and magnets”

    Junior, this has been going on as long as there has been elementary selective enrollment schools. It’s not new with the replacement of ISAT with MAP. SEs are very upfront about working 1-2 grade levels ahead. So when these kids reached 7th grade they surely were more likely to score in a higher percentile of the SAT10 portion of the ISAT than most neighborhood school kids, because they were exposed to a higher level of instruction. This is an argument against SEs, not against MAP for SEHS admission points. I think most of us are arguing for a uniform assessment instrument for all applicants, not for uniform instructional levels in elementary school. If you think having “gifted” education is inequitable that’s a whole other topic.

  • 206. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:22 am

    @205 IBO

    I’m going to strongly disagree there. With the ISAT testing at grade level, kids were on equal footing and whoever could best master the grade level material could achieve a 99 percentile. Now, we have suddenly said that to achieve a 99 percentile, you must work two or more grade levels ahead, effectively shutting out kids whose parents chose a non-RGC school — many of whom would outperfom kids from RGCs if measured on either a grade-level achievement (like ISAT) or a straight IQ test (like AC test).

    Believe me, there are many people with highly talented children who made a conscious choice to avoid RGCs and go to neighborhood schools and magnets. And they did this with the understanding that SEHS would always be an option — until the rules suddenly changed.

  • 207. Suzanne  |  February 4, 2014 at 7:52 am

    “shutting out kids whose parents chose a non-RGC school — many of whom would outperfom kids from RGCs if measured on either a grade-level achievement (like ISAT) or a straight IQ test”

    So the RGC kids are smarter on the more difficult material but dumber on the easier material? Makes sense…if you’re non-RGC.

  • 208. HS Mom  |  February 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

    @207 – that may actually be true, but you’ll have to excuse my non-RGC background. A strong basis in elementary math is critical to success in upper level math. Typically, the most you’ll find in a magnet or neib school is differentiation at the 8th grade level in teaching algebra. Yes, there is a smaller percentage of kids ready for advanced math but they also don’t want to rush by the critical concepts. I read here about kids starting algebra in 6th grade and being a bit shaky in math. Better to master something before you move on.

    There are certainly kids that are just at that level and ready to take it all on. They do not necessarily go to RGC schools (I know, difficult to believe, right) and are not offered classes in higher level math by 7th grade. A kid should not be excluded from their choice in school because their elementary school did not offer the class.

    So with a new measurement of intelligence by depth of program the SE prospects become even slimmer unless you get into the right school from the start. So why bother to turn around the local school or mess around with lotteries….we’re back to fleeing to the suburbs.

  • 209. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:25 am

    @207 Suzanne

    “So the RGC kids are smarter on the more difficult material but dumber on the easier material? Makes sense…if you’re non-RGC.”

    What a ridiculous and prejudiced statement. I would never peg a kid as smarter or not smarter solely based on whether they are RGC or not. We see thousands of kids at non-RGC exceeding standards, and — gasp — we see that not all RGC kids exceed standards (even with the inflated performance under ISAT!)..

    Here’s another example. You have two classrooms. Class A is taught geometry. Class B is taught algebra. You give both classes a test on geometry. Class A scores better. Which class is smarter?

  • 210. Anonymous  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

    @206 &7 the notion that a kid need only to achieve at grade level in order to make the 99th percentile on the SAT10 and the TN is just wrong. It makes no sense. If that were true everyone who scored below the 99th on these test would be achieving below grade level. Really? Does that seem plausible? And what would be the point of the ISAT including the SAT 10 if it measured nothing but grade level achievement, which ISAT already did? These tests do allow some measurement of above grade level knowledge, just they do not permit measurement at levels as high as MAP does. They are blunter instruments than MAP, but not completely blunt. So, RGC/Classical kids have always had an advantage on ISAT scores for SEHS points. That is not the current problem. The current problem is that the highest achievers may not receive a score that is a true reflection of their percentile ranking as compared to others. I have to say I’m really surprised about this outcry against differentiated instruction levels within a grade. Carry that line of thinking to its logical conclusion and you may argue yourself out of supporting SEHSs too. But whatever, let’s concentrate our energy on demanding uniform assessment tests for SEHS admission. We need to be clear about what we are asking for though. And I am completely sympathetic to the championing of neighborhood schools (and obnoxiously haughty RGC parents fuel this sympathy.)

  • 211. ...hmmm  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Let’s assume for a moment that private school kids will need to take the MAP for select enrollment admission. Understand that there are children in private schools that have never taken the MAP, not even once, compared to others (private and non) that have been exposed to MAP for years. Is that fair? Also, would these kids without MAP exposure be taking the test outside of their school environments when other kids are remain in theirs. Is that fair?

    How far is CPS willing to make things equal?

    All applicants should take the same test, in the same location at the same time of year. CPS needs to set up off-site test centers for EVERYBODY with fully functioning computers in comfortable environments.

  • 212. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

    “I don’t know exactly how the typical HS math curriculum proceeds, … calculus (differential, integral, and otherwise) or whatever they are learning. Hard to believe an 11th grader who has learned and understood his HS math classes can’t demonstrate that knowledge.”

    The ‘typical’ math curriculum does not reach calculus until 12th grade.

    Here’s New Trier’s (easy to access and ‘typical’, I think) math program:

    http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/uploadedfiles/files/content/New_Trier_Web_Site/Administration/Communications/Publications/POS_Math.pdf

    note that only the advanced level gets calculus junior year.

    Now, if the test tops out at a level lower than what ~10-20% of the kids are being taught, then it’s fair to question the whole concept of the test as ‘measuring progress’, unless it is progress toward being a reasonably educated ‘average’ HS grad, which, I suppose, is really what the system should be caring about–the top 10-20% will do just fine, either way.

  • 213. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

    “these kids without MAP exposure be taking the test outside of their school environments when other kids are remain in theirs. Is that fair?”

    Fair to whom? For a large number (perhaps a majority) of CPS kids, their ‘school environment’ sucks.

    Also, no one makes themselves look good in turning this into a “neighborhood v SEES v private: which kids are smarter and work harder” throwdown. IMO, you all look petty when you do it.

  • 214. RL Julia  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:22 am

    One of the issues here is that CPS neighborhood schools generally don’t offer an advanced track in Math – aside from trying to get into a RGC or gifted track which are only offered a few places – there is no where for the kid capable of doing algebra in 6th grade or 7th or 8th to go… I personally would like to see a program implemented that allows kids in neighborhood settings to be offered the chance to accelerate without having to test into a program or switch schools. A lot of time is being wasted and talent going unrecognized.

  • 215. cpsobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Chris, if the public vs private isn’t relevant, what is your key takeaway on the change in scores being used?

    (I’m going to talk to the trib in a bit, just trying to see the range of opinions.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 216. HS Mom  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:30 am

    @210 Anon “So, RGC/Classical kids have always had an advantage on ISAT scores for SEHS points”

    No, at least not by virtue of attending an academically advanced program alone. There’s a difference in being smart enough to exceed standards and in taking a test that continues to ramp up until it reaches the individuals academic level. Even a program like Everyday Math that many schools have will incorporate pre algebra and basic geometry. A little different than taking an actual Algebra or Geometry class.

  • 217. Anonymous  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

    @216 you are confusing “smarts”-ability with achievement. The 2 are not the same and MAP and SAT 10 , TN do not purport to measure ability. They measure learned skills. You cannot score high on achievement tests simply by being “smart” and without access to instruction, unless you are an extreme prodigy that teaches yourself calculus. RGC kids have always had an advantage on SEHS tests due to the higher level of instruction they have received at school. That is not the issue here. And CPO why is Chris the chosen one for th identifying the takeaways in this debate?

  • 218. cpsobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Um, because I was unclear on what he was getting at and it was divergent from the rest of the debate.

    Or maybe he’s the chosen one.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 219. ...hmmm  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

    @213: My point exactly. One test. One test environment, off-site, that CPS provides to all applicants. That’s fair.

    What’s going on now is not equitable or controlled. Charts on walls during the test? Taking the test multiple times or not? Computers working or not? IT’S CRAZY!! An equitable, controlled test environment is owed to ALL the children of Chicago.

  • 220. PSMom  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:52 am

    @219 They already do this – SEHS tests. After reading everything here I believe CPS should drop the ISAT/MAP/TERRA Nova from the final score calculation. Instead use the scores to determine who qualifies to take the tests. Make the test harder, longer or score it differently to give a wider range of scores.

  • 221. Anonymous  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Tell the Trib: In a nutshell: MAP scores are not comparable to other standardized test scores. It has a higher ceiling, making students who take it falsely look like lower achievers than those who take other standardized tests accepted by CPS (TN, Stanford etc). MAP takers could potentially match the highest percentiles of takers of these tests, while not achieving at the highest levels on MAP. If FI were you, I would not muddy the issue by talking about how everyone taking the tests is not expsed to the same instructional level.

  • 222. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:54 am

    @219 …hmmm

    It seems that most people could live with eliminating the 7th grade standardized test altogether and using only the 8th grade admissions test. Like you said — one test, one environment.

  • 223. cpsobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for the input!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 224. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

    @211 – agree. Is it fair that private school kids might have to take a test in a month or so that they’ve never laid eyes on but public school kids have been taking that very test multiple times a year for several years? Hmmm, indeed.

    What is the most fair and equitable selective high school admissions system for every child, whether public or private, RGC vs neighborhood, Tier 1 vs Tier 4, wealthy vs poor, A=92+ or A=90, outside test prep vs no test prep, 504/IEP or none, etc.?

    There is no solution that offers complete equality. But folks will like any system in which their child is most likely to come out on top. Any change to that, and fear takes over.

  • 225. Anonymous  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I agree that grades plus a single selective enrollment admissions test would be the most fair way to determine admission. I wonder if CPS would go for it — they seem to want the in-school CPS tests to be as high-stakes as possible and to discourage parents who want to opt out.

  • 226. IBobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    @222 I agree. It seems the most practical solution and the one CPS could most easily be persuaded to adopt. This late in the game they aren’t going to make it so everyone takes the same test. They just aren’t. The logisitics are unworkable.

  • 227. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    @225 Anonuymous

    They could still discourage people from opting out by keeping the test as a “qualifier” to take the SE test. They do currently define a cutoff needed on your standardized test score that allows you to take the SE test.

  • 228. IBobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Disadvantages to using only the SEHS admissions test-
    1) Criteria for IB program applications will have to change. They do not currently use SEHS admissions test, only 7th grade achievement test and grades
    2) This will not give as much of a longitudinal picture of a student’s achievement. Will focus only on 1 year’s achievement in stead of 2 years.
    3) It’s making a single test very high stakes. One chance and one chance only to demonstrate waht you know. Do we want that?

  • 229. luveurope  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    225 I could live with that “grades plus a single selective enrollment admissions test” with no tier input. That would be interesting.

  • 230. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    CPSO: ” if the public vs private isn’t relevant, what is your key takeaway on the change in scores being used?”

    It’s relevant in the aggregate, bc of the political implications of a significant shift.

    I think that it has *nothing* to do with which kids are ‘smarter’ or ‘work harder’ or whatever. If the change were to be made to using *exactly* the same tests for qualifications (and, preferably, in exactly the same testing environments), and there were a shift in the ratio, there might still be unhappiness, but if a ratio shift happened, there’d be a simple response for BBB, the mayor and the aldermen.

  • 231. OTdad  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Or doing something similar to pro sports:
    Qualification round: by regular season standing (grades), cut 50%
    Play-off round: use standardized test, cut 50%
    Final round: SEHS exam

  • 232. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    junior: “They could still discourage people from opting out by keeping the test as a “qualifier” to take the SE test. ”

    Brilliant!

  • 233. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    @228

    1) Not familiar with IB criteria. They could switch to SE test?
    2) Don’t think that’s a huge difference. If you were talking difference between first and second grade, maybe. In any case, a one-year longitudinal difference would not systematically disadvantage anyone.
    3) Right now we have two high stakes tests and that is arguably worse. If you’re looking to get into the top schools from Tier 4, then you have to perform near erfectly twice. Arguably there is less room for error — if you make a mistake on just one test your are screwed. Likewise, you have twice the chance of having an off day. It’s not like you can recover from having a single off-day by using a second test score, because often your admission will require you to have two strong scores.

  • 234. but wait.....  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    One problem not mentioned here yet is the requirements for IB programs and Magnet HS like Ag and Von Steuben and Military programs. They use the 7th grade standardized test results and grades only, no 8th grade test so the Map cannot be eliminated entirely. Would CPS really have those students use the 7th grade scores and potential SEHS students be exempt from them? I think that would be saying that the MAP has too much variability for some students but is A-OK for others.

  • 235. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    @233

    Obviously, I’m not an “erfect” typist.

  • 236. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    luveurope: “with no tier input”

    Ain’t gonna happen. Just NO way.

    We live in Tier 4, so it’s not to my advantage, but CPS will NOT eliminate the Tier system–they may tweak it, they may replace it with something else, but there will continue, for the foreseeable future, to be a system that is intended to provide preferences to economically and educational (read as ‘parentally’ if you like) disadvantaged kids, but that is designed in a fashion to be compliant with current federal law and court decisions.

  • 237. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    @236 Chris

    Agree. What is a possible scenario using MAP is that diversity will decrease, and the Blue Ribbon Commission will once again step in and ratchet down the number of kids selected by raw score.

  • 238. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    “What is a possible scenario using MAP is that diversity will decrease”

    A shift in the CPS:non-CPS admit ratio would be fairly likely to do that, but it’s not at all certain given the Tier System. Another upheaval in how things are done is not beneficial for anyone–more certainty of the rules is better.

  • 239. Anxious but hopeful  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    @cpso It seems to me that the question of whether MAP percentiles are going to skew lower than the old ISAT percentiles (that is to say, the SAT10 portion) is one for which CPS has data. If I were a reporter, I would be asking CPS for that data. (I wouldn’t necessarily expect to get it, but I’d ask for it!)

    CPS equated ISAT/SAT10 with TerraNova, etc. in the past. If CPS can say that MAP gives substantially similar results to the nationally normed portion of ISAT, then they can say that TerraNova is a fair substitute for MAP based on their belief that TerraNova is also comparable to the old ISAT/SAT10.

    As I’ve said in previous posts, I suspect that MAP numbers are going to skew lower than ISAT or TerraNova, mostly because it is such a different kind of test. However, I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to how much lower, and I have no actual data to support my suspicion. I’d be interested to know what CPS data shows, though. Maybe my concerns are unfounded and there is a reasonable equivalence.

    I have a current 7th grader, so the decisions CPS makes about next year’s SEHS process are of great concern to me. But I also like MAP, and I know it’s hard to make this process fully equitable when different schools use different measures.

    This is a difficult problem to unscramble, and it won’t be possible to satisfy everyone. It would be so much better if all of the applicants were being measured by the same yardstick, but that’s easier said than done.

  • 240. H  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    “Now, if the test tops out at a level lower than what ~10-20% of the kids are being taught, then it’s fair to question the whole concept of the test as ‘measuring progress’, unless it is progress toward being a reasonably educated ‘average’ HS grad, which, I suppose, is really what the system should be caring about”

    Maybe it’s not topping out, but what the test is picking up is flattening considerably by 9/10/11. Surely the “average” HS student is still learning some math at that point and I would have thought that could be tested.

  • 241. H  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    “A shift in the CPS:non-CPS admit ratio would be fairly likely to do that, but it’s not at all certain given the Tier System.”

    With access to the data CPS has, you could get some not too unreasonable estimates. Model some kind of boost to the non-CPS students and see what happens. Could be reasons why it would be off, of course, but would give a sense. Just knowing how the admits from the non-CPS and “diversity” students are distributed would give a sense of things.

  • 242. west rogers park mom  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Forgive me if I am repeating previous comments but how can you determine how your child scored on MAP tests in the past? I never paid much attention to them before. I vaguely remember my kid’s score rising dramatically in Math last year (from mid 80’s to high 90’s) and actually declining a few points in Reading but now that it matters I think I should analyze her performance pattern more critically.

    Also, are there resources to determine what material is expected of say a 7th grader in Math?

    And I’m assuming that they will remain untimed- which is a good thing for my kid that sometimes has text anxiety.

  • 243. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    “Surely the “average” HS student is still learning some math at that point and I would have thought that could be tested.”

    It seems to me that innumeracy is growing, not shrinking, and that the ‘average’ HS student really may (1) only take 3 years of math , (2) never take a calculus course, and (3) not really care. Most districts only require 3 years of math to graduate–New Trier fairly recently only required *2* ( http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/uploadedfiles/files/content/New_Trier_Web_Site/Administration/Records/grad%20requirements.pdf ), tho it is now 3.

  • 244. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    “With access to the data CPS has, you could get some not too unreasonable estimates.”

    Yeah, with full access to the data (including the 7th grade MAP scores for all the SEHS applicants in prior years), it would be easy to estimate–knowing, of course, that it would be only an estimate, not a fact about this year’s cohort. That’s why I said from the get go that CPS *could* demonstrate that the test change would not have a meaningful affect on the aggregate admits.

  • 245. HS Mom  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    @240 “However, I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to how much lower, and I have no actual data to support my suspicion. I’d be interested to know what CPS data shows, though.”

    I think it depends on whether it’s common core aligned or not. Here’s some data that we do have.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130716/pullman/cps-releases-isat-scores-rahm-credits-longer-day-for-gains

    “Because of the new state standards, CPS students who meet or exceed grade standards actually dropped to 52.5 percent from 74.2 percent last year. Yet, according to Emanuel and CPS data, if students had been measured by the same standards last year, then 50.7 percent would have qualified, meaning this year CPS could still claim an objective increase”

  • 246. Letter to Barbara Byrd Bennett  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    February 4, 2014

    Ms. Barbara Byrd-Bennett
    CEO of Chicago Public Schools
    125 S. Clark Street, 5th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60603

    Dear Ms. Bennett,

    I am writing to express my concern regarding your recent policy decision to change the standardized test used for the Selective Enrollment High School application process from the ISAT to the NWEA (MAP test). There was no indication on the OAE website that the rubric used to allocate points would be altered; rather, it was stated that the MAP test percentile scores would replace the ISAT percentile scores that had been used in past years. In addition, your correspondence to parents has made it clear that any CPS student MUST take the MAP test in order to be eligible for SEHS’s but no similar requirement was placed on non-CPS applicants. Instead, non-CPS applicants are allowed to choose from a list of accepted standardized tests.

    As the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, I’m sure that you must be aware of the discrepancy between how students perform on the MAP test compared to the ISAT. If not, let me inform you that students, almost across the board, SCORE LOWER on the MAP test compared to the ISAT. While this would not necessarily be a problem if ALL SEHS applicants were taking the same standardized test, that is not the case. This policy change has essentially set up a scenario where CPS students have been placed at a disadvantage compared to non-CPS students in the SEHS application process. Why would you do that? The students and parents that have chosen to send their children to CPS (instead of a non-CPS school) are the backbone of most CPS success stories. It is these parent’s dedication of countless volunteer hours and resources that make the biggest difference in the success of an individual school. Are these really the students and parents that should be placed at a disadvantage?

    My son is currently a 7th grader in the RGC at (removed for privacy reasons.) He, and every other 7th grader, will be directly affected by this policy change. Attached please find his 5th and 6th grade ISAT scores where his NPR was 99/99. Compare this to his achievement on the MAP test: Spring 6th grade, 92/87 and Winter 7th grade, 95/92. Although I can only share my child’s personal test scores, parents in his class have found their children have similar lower scores on the MAP test compared to the ISATs.

    Last year the cutoff scores to attend the top two selective enrollment high schools, Northside College Prep or Walter Payton, were 891 and 892 respectively, for a Tier 4 student. If my child’s MAP test scores remain in line with his past performance, this would result in either a 28.5 or 16.5 reduction from the 300 points allotted to the standardized test results (1.5 points off for each percentile below 99). Thus, even if he attains straight A’s and achieves a perfect score on the Selective Enrollment exam, he would not obtain the minimum score for admittance into either Northside or Walter Payton as his point total would be 871.5 or 883.5 (depending on which year MAP score you input.)

    Although I realize that ALL CPS students will be in the same situation, this does nothing to level the playing field with non-CPS students who are not required to take the MAP test or EVEN a standardized test compliant with the new Common Core standards. How is that fair to CPS students? In addition, although I have no data to provide you at this time, it is reasonable to assume that the majority of private school students reside in Tier 4, which further penalizes CPS students in Tier 4 that will be directly competing with these students for a very limited amount of spots.

    This situation could be easily rectified. All applicants interested in enrollment at a SEHS should be required to take the same standardized test. In this case, the MAP test. As CPS has access to all the necessary testing material, non-CPS students could just pay a fee to take the MAP test at their local CPS school or a testing center set up for this purpose.

    I request that you give careful consideration to the consequences of the policy you set in motion when the decision was made to simply switch out the ISAT for the MAP test in allocating points on the rubric for the selective enrollment process. If it is not your desire to place CPS students at a disadvantage compared to their non-CPS peers, then a change needs to be made.

  • 247. H  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    “New Trier fairly recently only required *2*”

    Truly frightening. I think I had 8, if one counts stats, which I’m not sure I would.

  • 248. IBobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    @242 MAP is being used this year because PARCC, which will be the replacement for ISAT, is not yet ready. There is no reason to think MAP will be used for SEHS admissions points years from now, if you’re kids are years away from 7th grade.

  • 249. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    ” I think I had 8, if one counts stats, which I’m not sure I would.”

    As noted on the current NT grad requirements, it only counts courses taken in 9-12, regardless of the level. I’m pretty sure that my HS did not offer 8 full-year-credit ‘math’ courses, even counting stats, unless you count remedial levels. Looking at their current offerings, it would be a max of 5, counting stats, if there were no duplication.

  • 250. RL Julia  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    1. If they eliminate the standardized test score from the scoring for SEHS’s then please have them standardize exactly what an A is city-wide- and have every school go to the same grading standard.
    2. Letter to B3 – if every kid’s MAPs score are lower than the their ISAT scores – then all it means is that the curve shifts to the left – so I don’t really understand the argument.
    3. Is any part of the MAP test nationally normed? I thought that was the part of the ISAT that was used and that made it useful. From what I know, the MAP test is a great diagnostic – but it isn’t a great test to use for entrance decisions.
    4. No matter what changes are made, parents will continue to try and game the system to the best of their abilities in order to get their children into the most desirable schools- regardless of said child’s true abilities. CPS knows this which means that they will continue to change the system up every year/every chance they get.
    5. Again, it seems that the only REAL choice is to develop the capacity of all schools to deliver the world class education it is assumed is de rigeur at the (Loop and Northside) SEHS’s (btw, it’s not necessarily so).

  • 251. ...hmmm  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    @246 Letter to BBB

    No, non-CPS students should NOT have to pay a “fee” to take the MAP.

    Also, if non-CPS students will be going to a different school or test center to take the MAP then so should all students. This is the only way to control the test environment across the board. If not, the next complaints will be that some schools have better computers, or better room temperatures, or charts on the walls, or the myriad of other variables and that have been posted on this blog.

  • 252. H  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    “As noted on the current NT grad requirements, it only counts courses taken in 9-12, regardless of the level. I’m pretty sure that my HS did not offer 8 full-year-credit ‘math’ courses, even counting stats, unless you count remedial levels. Looking at their current offerings, it would be a max of 5, counting stats, if there were no duplication.”

    It’s possible it was 7.5 including stats and yes all taken in 9.25-12: Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II; Trig and Analytic Geometry; Calculus; Independent Study; Multivariable Calculus taken at “college” (which was a satellite campus of a middling school); Stats (not positive if it was 1 or 2 semester class, was not AP, which was not offered at my school).

    Seems like all those courses are offered at New Trier, except perhaps independent study, and surely you could get that at New Trier. Taking (let’s say) 8 was combination of starting really “low” with algebra I and being allowed to double up math classes freshman/sophomore years. Starting low was a function of coming from a different school system and starting partway through the year. Otherwise I might have tried harder to get them to let me place out of algebra and geometry.

  • 253. H  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    “if every kid’s MAPs score are lower than the their ISAT scores – then all it means is that the curve shifts to the left – so I don’t really understand the argument.”

    The argument is the potential effect on spots going to CPS versus non-CPS applicants, as is described in the letter (and extensively in this thread).

  • 254. concerned parent  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    @251 – now you are definitely asking too much

  • 255. IBobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    RL Julia, see @210 and 221.The curve will not “shift to the left” for everyone, only MAP takers. We are not trying “to game the system”. We are asking for a reasonably equitable assessment. Do you have a 7th grader? Are your kids in SE schools?

  • 256. Letter to BBB  |  February 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    @250 And what about non-CPS students? Will their test scores also skew lower this year…

    @251 The SE test is also given at several different test centers around the city & I haven’t heard many complaints about the factors you mentioned in past years.

  • 257. RL Julia  |  February 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    So really most of this post is people thinking that kids from private schools will have an unfair advantage? Wow. I think that in general, most kids coming from private schools are going to have an unfair advantage – regardless of the test that is being taken or how it is measured – for all of the reasons mentioned here (no doubt) and other places on this blog. I think prior posts have proven this out – that private school kids do perhaps disproportionately end up at the SEHS’s – as do kids from RGCs and other types of magnets. This is hardly news.

    As for my own kids – I have an 8th grader and a 10th grader and yes, they are in SE schools. What I learned from those stressful experiences? 1. there is more space than you think – most everyone gets in somewhere that is acceptable – and mostly you can predict where your kid is going to land and if they would be a good candidate for whatever school you collectively are interested in. If your kid is rocking B’s and C’s and has standardized test scores in the low “80’s and you live on the North side of the city in Tier 4 and no IEP – guess what…. 2. The system is not a fair one – but that being said, it is disproportionately MORE fair for kids who are in magnet schools (and private schools, no doubt), tier four neighborhoods (and maybe even households) , and I hate to say it – who are white, who parents are college educated and involved – other posts to this blog demonstrate that those types of kids really do tend to disproportionately end up in the most desirable SEHS’s. 3. There are a lot more choices out there than just the five SEHS’s North side parents have generally deemed acceptable. There used to be a poster here who was great about talking about “casting a wide net” . Her posts had tons of great leads/ideas/ suggestions. 4. Nothing is guaranteed. So your kid gets into X SEHS, no guarantee that they will like it (although most do) – or that they are set for life in anyway – or that something is amiss. There’s a handful of kids leaving the SEHS’s every year (and no, I don’t think their spots are filled – but I really don’t know for sure).

  • 258. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    256: ” The SE test is also given at several different test centers around the city & I haven’t heard many complaints about the factors you mentioned in past years.”

    Every year, there seems to be one or two rooms on one administration date where there was something weird going on. Pretty good, considering, but that’s cold comfort if you are in that room.

  • 259. ...hmmm  |  February 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    @254: Right, asking for a fair process is clearly asking too much of CPS.

    Clearly, all kids should be taking the same test(s). Not much question in that.

    However, logically, there should be differences in test scores if taken in a familiar environment vs. unfamiliar; comfortable or uncomfortable.

    At the test centers now, kids are penned up in a room until their number is called and then are herded into some other room to take their test. This is not the experience of every child. It either should be, or this variable needs to be eliminated.

    At the public schools now, commented on in this very blog, there are issues with computers, uncomfortable room temps, some places with cheat sheets on the walls, etc. These are not the experiences of every child. They either should be, or these variables need to be eliminated.

    Come on, CPS! Get some skin in the game. Stop messing with our kids and with your taxpayers. Set up processes and test conditions that are equal and transparent. Don’t dabble in it–get it done correctly. If you want us to walk down a pathway as screwy as the Tier System is, so be it, but the rest of the damn maze should be as equivalent as possible for all students.

  • 260. SLParent  |  February 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    @257 Agreed. Wow.

    And clearly any recipient of the letter written to BBB @ 246 will appreciate that the writer is not concerned with the majority of CPS 7th graders who are not attending high-performing elementary schools, do not live in a Tier 4 zone, and may not have had the advantage of previously taking the MAP test. This letter so blatantly focuses on the concerns of a minority of CPS families (and bringing non-CPS families into the fray does nothing to help expand that pool) that it is unlikely to capture the attention of the administration.

  • 261. IBobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    @260, So if you are in the minority, as a non CPS student, then your concerns about equity do not have merit? That’s a surprising thing to claim, especially in view of your overall concern for the disadvantaged.
    Are you assuming that all non CPS schools are high performing elementary schools? Not so. There are mediocre parochial schools out there with test scores not much better than neighborhood schools.

  • 262. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    “I think that in general, most kids coming from private schools are going to have an unfair advantage – regardless of the test that is being taken or how it is measured – for all of the reasons mentioned here (no doubt) and other places on this blog.”

    What is ‘unfair’ about that advantage? Serious question.

    I think it’s very easy to distinguish the advantage that comes from attending private or SEES, and all that implies, and the advantage that comes from using a qualifying score that’s based on a “easier” scale. It’s like the difference between picking a sprint team from those with professional coaching versus not, and picking them with the pro coached running 100 yards, and the non-pro running 100 meters.

  • 263. SLParent  |  February 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    @261 reread my post. I was stating that the minority are those CPS students who do have access to high performing elementary schools, the post had nothing to do with the relative merits of non-CPS schools.

  • 264. IBobsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    @263 My point remains the same. Why is it ok to dismiss the concerns of the minority, whoever that may be, regarding equity?

  • 265. Chris  |  February 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    IBO: “Why is it ok to dismiss the concerns of the minority, whoever that may be, regarding equity?”

    Well, there is the objective “ok”, and the realities of the system we’re dealing with. It’s like the tier system–there is a (fairly vocal) minority who find it inequitable, but that fact won’t sway anyone at CPS.

    The argument for equity here seems, to me, to carry more weight (bc the change is not even remotely suggested as making things more equitable for those given an (still only *presumed*) advantage. But I am not sanguine about CPS seeing it the same way.

  • 266. anon  |  February 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    263 If I lived in the South Loop, I wouldn’t be concerned either.

  • 267. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 4, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    @ 198. IB obsessed

    “Mastery” and “proficiency” in the current era of assessment mean meeting a pre-set level of achievement — in the same way that the ISAT has arbitrary cut-points for below/meets/exceeds. Mastery would mean achieving a certain scale score on the exam.

    NWEA is saying that the MAP is not intended to be measure of mastery. The RIT scores are at equivalent intervals. NWEA is saying that using their RIT levels to set mastery levels (e.g., advanced/proficient/below) is bogus.

    This is why CPS’s promotion policy continues to make no sense. Why use the 24th percentile or 10th percentile MAP n.p.r to set promotion criteria, regardless of grades? What makes the 24th percentile or 10th percentile salient? Without an explanation, these are capricious levels — no different from having a monkey throw darts at a board with percentiles on it and taking the average.

  • 268. HSObsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    I don’t think this has been posted yet? Trib story on how CPS has confirmed the switch from ISAT for SEHS admissions:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-chicago-selective-test-met-20140205,0,1328088.story

    CPS confirmed Tuesday that the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP) test would be required for selective-enrollment high schools, rather than the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) that has been used in the past.

    Demetra Soter’s seventh-grade daughter is in a prep class for the ISAT to better her chances when she applies for a selective-enrollment high school next year. The Rogers Park neighborhood mother now worries all of that work has been a waste of time.

    “That’s $360 down the tube,” Soter said. “It’s so stressful. You know kids have to get straight A’s and do well on the ISAT, so for years they’ve been practicing for that test. Then three months before the test, CPS suddenly switches to NWEA MAP, a test you can’t study for and is much harder. That’s irrational. Why would you do that?”

  • 269. Cps alum  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    @252. I’d like to know how you doubled up in math classes at the freshman level. The geometry course I teach requires algebra 1 as a prerequisite. I don’t know how this would be possible in my course since we are solving difficult systems of equations and quadratics in the first month ( topics that are typically covered in a second semester algrabra 1 course) without much review since these are expected as skills already acquired.

    My point is you were obviously a gifted student. Remember that graduation requirements are minimum requirement and not necessisarily the typical path students will take. Not everyone is gifted at math. Even New Trier is going to have a few students who score in stanines 1-4 nationally as it is an open enrollment school.

    btw– new trier and most other schools changed their requirements from 2 to 3 when the state of Illinois changed its minimum requirements about 7 or so years ago.

  • 270. junior  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    @268 HSObsessed

    Here’s the crucial part of the Trib article:

    “To address concerns about fairness, CPS said it is evaluating what tests should be used by students outside of the district who are applying for a seat at a selective-enrollment school.

    “CPS is concerned about fairness for all students seeking to apply for admission into selective-enrollment schools, and the district is currently evaluating the logistics of establishing NWEA MAP as the universal test for these schools, since it is a helpful tool in designing individual learning plans for students,” said district spokesman Joel Hood.

    ——————

    Seems like the noise-making is penetrating CPS walls. Maybe Chris will be more sanguine now.

  • 271. Sped Mom  |  February 4, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    OT/
    SOURCE: http://www.chicagonow.com/district-299-chicago-public-schools-blog/2014/02/who-lost-kimberly-lightford/#comment-22633

    Access Living as an organization supports the legislation filed by Senator Kimberly Lightford (SB2627) and Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (HB3754) that would repeal legislation creating the Illinois State Charter Commission. Access Living requests that our sister organizations throughout Illinois, known as Centers for Independent Living also support these two bills, as should all individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities who have benefited from our State’s laws relating to special education.

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establishes a broad framework to define and regulate special education programs in the United States, but leaves to the states the responsibility for developing and executing educational programs for students with disabilities. IDEA compliance presupposes compliance with all State statutes, regulations and rules concerning special education. The Illinois State Charter Commission has challenged this position, asserting that charter schools are not subject to any State-imposed requirement that exceeds Federal special education statute and regulation.

    We believe that by taking this position the Commission is authorizing charter schools to place as many students with disabilities as the school chooses to in any classroom, to create any teacher student ratio for special education the school chooses to, and to educate students with significant disabilities who require additional years of education only to their 21st birthday not the day preceding their 22nd birthday as currently required by state regulations if the charter school so chooses to do so.

    Given this egregious determination by the Commission we believe the proposed legislation should pass the General Assembly and the Commission should be abolished.

    Rod Estvan

    Education Policy Director
    Access Living of Chicago
    ——————————–
    posted at the District 299 blog on Chicago Now

  • 272. Gobemouche  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    A few comments here have suggested that CPS kids will have an advantage if MAP becomes the universal test. But MAP only became a mandatory CPS test last year. So most CPS kids have only taken it once (and, let’s be real, the computer lab situation for most public schools is sketchy to say the least). Further, there is only a spring MAP this year (probably precisely because CPS knew they would use it for SEHS scores). Yes, some schools were using it in prior years, but I think that number was pretty small (anyone know?).

  • 273. IB obsessed  |  February 4, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Gobe-some schools are giving it twice. Ours did Winter and will do Spring. I guess they have a choice.

  • 274. Gobemouche  |  February 5, 2014 at 1:15 am

    IB- good to know. I thought kids only took fall this year if they were new to CPS/had not taken it before.

  • 275. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 5, 2014 at 6:52 am

    @272 @273: Most school have taken it twice a year, as Rebecca Harris of Catalyst researched:

    An overwhelming majority of elementary schools – 392 schools – are still giving students a mid-year MAP test, even though the district cut back on the NWEA/MAP last year and now requires them only once per year for 2nd through 8th-grade students.

    https://www.catalyst-chicago.org/news/2014/02/04/65465/many-schools-its-tests-tests-and-more-tests

  • 276. pantherettie  |  February 5, 2014 at 7:10 am

    @264 – I don’t believe that it’s ok to dismiss the minority view when discussing equity. However, in this specific situation if the MAPS testing does give an unfair advantage to CPS students (which I would argue it does not) who cares? Why should CPS show concern about making the process even slightly easier for non-CPS attending students to attend a SEHS when there is a fantastically large excess of students who are CPS students who have the desire to attend? I argue that CPS should make it harder, not easier, for any student who is not a CPS alum to take one these coveted seats – especially at one of the northside SEHS that most posters on this site covet.

    @RLJulia – I think that your most recent post makes some interesting points. I especially agree about casting a wide net. I think that the change in test scoring will now encourage parents to consider SEHS that are not NSCP, Payton, Lane or Whitney as viable options for their kids. I’m really disgusted by the ongoing themes in some posts that anything outside of these schools are “lessor” or “don’t qualify” as acceptable options when most folks don’t even bother to attend an open house to learn about the schools. The goal is for CPS to offer options for *gifted and talented* students at SEHS. There are enough spaces for kids with straight A’s, high entrance exams and (previously)super high ISAT scores at a SEHS in the city.

  • 277. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 5, 2014 at 7:13 am

    @268 Thank you for the Tribune link; I had been scanning the Chicago press and hadn’t seen anything on it yet.

    But for Demetra Soter, the parent quoted, CPS did not suddenly switch. Once ISBE announced in May 2013 that the nationally normed SAT10 questions would no longer be embedded in the criterion-referenced ISAT, CPS had to come up with an alternate test if it wished to to continue to use national percentile rankings for admissions. (Again, there is no reason why CPS could not have used scale scores from the ISAT as part of its rubric, provided that it made sure that statistically insignificant scale intervals were not decisive.) We discussed this in Aug. 2013 on this blog when parents received ISAT reports without the n.p.r. for the 2013 ISATs. Since MAP was the only district-wide test that was nationally normed, everyone assumed it would be the one used, although OAE did not officially confirm that. If a test-prep company advertised their ISAT prep after May 2013 as helpful for SE admissions for SY15-16, they were either horridly inept at monitoring testing changes in Chicago or misleading.

    At the Tribune comments it is worth noting this comment from someone familiar with psychometrics.:

    A potential concern with using the MAP test, however, is relates to a unique statistical characteristic of the test and how it might impact how decisions are made. MAP is a good test for identifying students whose academic achievement ranges from moderately low to moderately high. What MAP doesn’t do well is discriminate between students who score very low or very high. Practically, this means that if a large group of students are very capable, they will get to a point where differences in their scores on MAP will not be reliable for distinguishing BETWEEN them. This “ceiling effect” starts at approximately the 95th percentile of test takers. For the CPS situation, this means that MAP might be good as a first, screening test to identify students who MAY be appropriate for selective-admission schools, but will NOT be able to discriminate AMONG the most capable applicants. My concern as a statistician is that CPS will expect that MAP results will be able to “choose” the students to admit, rather than to shrink the pool of potential candidates. As long as it is only used within its limitations, however, the MAP test can be a very useful tool to identify the most capable students as part of an overall selective admissions process.

    While NWEA says that its MAP has less of a ceiling effect than rival tests, it does not claim no ceiling effect.

    Re his point about screening, NYC runs its SEHS exam-only admissions without any pre-qualification to take the SE exam.

  • 278. anonymouse teacher  |  February 5, 2014 at 7:22 am

    @273, most schools are giving MAP 3x, due to intense pressure from CO to do so. As well, they are being pressured to give the “optional” CC aligned benchmarks 4 times a year. The CPS press tells parents one thing and our principals something entirely different. Principals are being strong armed into doing what they personally believe to be wrong, but to keep their jobs, they do it.

  • 279. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 5, 2014 at 8:04 am

    @276: ” I argue that CPS should make it harder, not easier, for any student who is not a CPS alum to take one these coveted seats – especially at one of the northside SEHS that most posters on this site covet.”

    Public education in Illinois is provided constitutionally as a public good to any school-age child. Being a CPS alum creates no special privileges. These are not the parents’ schools or the alum’s schools; these are the state’s schools. If anything, a child attending school in Chicago outside CPS benefits those inside CPS to the extent that there is more revenue per student available to those in CPS.

    Many parents here are saying that some tests available to non-CPS students would yield an equivalent student a higher national percentile ranking than the MAP would. If this is true and if OAE doesn’t correct for this, although it would always be crudely done, then these parents have a valid complaint.

    Part of the problem arises from OAE’s decision to create an admission’s program that relies overwhelmingly on a students’ performance in the 7th grade (2/3rd s of the rubric points) for their admission into the 9th grade. In theory, you could get straight Cs in 8th grade but if you did well in 7th and ace the entrance exam, you are in.

    That said, I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that the purported purpose of the SEHS are to benefit “gifted and talented” students. Unfortunately, G&T has become a politically and economically defined category — the 95th percentile and up — rather than a psychometrically or aesthetically defined category, which would narrow it. Narrow it too much and there are too few parents willing to shell out money to tuition-based G&T programs. Narrow it too much and many parents with 95th to 97th p.r. children will question creating special public schools for the 98th and 99th p.r. children.

    Everyone supports helping the G&T student, so long as your child is counted as a G&T student.

  • 280. Another mommy  |  February 5, 2014 at 8:54 am

    HI all, my comment should actually be WAY higher up in the thread, but I was wondering why my fourth grader brought home a packet for geometry last week. It was totally off topic on the stuff they are working on in class. I asked him if it was homework, he said no. They are working in it during their WIN class. It is a “free” period where they get instruction in other topics, or can work on homework, etc. He said the whole class was working on it. The worksheet consisted of him measuring angles, very basic stuff. I made my husband run out to Walgreens to get a decent protractor for him to practice with. Now it all makes sense! It is because of the MAP test. Duh me.

  • 281. H  |  February 5, 2014 at 9:34 am

    “I’d like to know how you doubled up in math classes at the freshman level. The geometry course I teach requires algebra 1 as a prerequisite. I don’t know how this would be possible in my course since we are solving difficult systems of equations and quadratics in the first month ( topics that are typically covered in a second semester algrabra 1 course) without much review since these are expected as skills already acquired.”

    I had come from an educational system where algebra and geometry weren’t taught in strict sequence. My very vague recollection is I had already learned a portion of what was in algebra I and geometry and I persuaded them to let me try both classes. There were definitely things I had to pick up by myself. I probably would have tried to skip them entirely but I arrived partway into 9th grade and I had been out any kind of school the year before.

  • 282. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 5, 2014 at 10:43 am

    @279 – yes.

  • 283. level playing field?  |  February 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I am all for a level playing field. But if I understand correctly, CPS students have been taking the MAP test a couple of times a year. The letter to BBB above indicates that the 7th grader took the MAP in winter which I assume will be repeated in May per the tribune article. Previously everyone was upset that “some” private school kids were taking their standardized test twice. But is okay for CPS kids to have the advantage? Kids in private schools have never taken the MAP. Seems highly unfair to introduce the test to them in such a high stakes manner. Also, the timing of it all is ridiculous. Who wants to tell a 13yo they have to take a high stakes test they have never taken before instead of the one they are used to taking, and have to do it a month or two before the test?

    If you want a level playing field, it should be grades and the SE exam. Or just the SE exam since grades are just as much an issue. Don’t tell me making non-cps kids take the MAP is leveling the playing field.

  • 284. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    The woman quoted in the Tribune article complained that you can’t study for the MAP test. If this is true, then using the MAP test would seem to level the playing field to a certain degree. Some folks spend thousands on test prep, while others can’t spend a dime. And if students routinely take the MAP test 2-3 times each year, that seems like a lot more practice–for free–than the once-per-year ISAT/Iowa/Terra Nova.

  • 285. Chris  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

    “Previously everyone was upset that “some” private school kids were taking their standardized test twice.”

    No, people (generally, maybe someone was upset just about the 2x) were upset that they got to take it twice AND PICK THE HIGHER SCORE. Anyone who is upset about ‘taking a practice test’ would (or at least should) be upset about test prep in general. I understand the fraught situation, given the cost of test prep and thus the unavailability of it for a large portion of kids, but that’s life.

    Some people getting to pick their best score, while other do not was a bad concept by CPS.

  • 286. Chris  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:12 am

    ““I’d like to know how you doubled up in math classes at the freshman level.”

    I doubled up junior year. Probably would have doubled up 9th grade, too (or instead), but not on the same campus as 10-12. Alg 1 in 8, Geo in 9, Alg 2 in 10, and everything else offered (ex stats) in 11. Local college math in 12, and that’s when I hit the wall–partly from the loss of structure.

  • 287. Chris  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:20 am

    ” Don’t tell me making non-cps kids take the MAP is leveling the playing field.”

    Since they are so much smarter and better educated, it shouldn’t be a problem. [/snark]

    What is leveling the playing field is NOT allowing non-CPS kids to use a test where getting a 99th%-ile score is “easier” or an indication of ‘lesser’ ability/achievement than a 99th%-ile score is on the test used for CPS kids, without using different scoring rubrics to convert the %-ile rank to the 300 point SEHS scale.

    Now, thus far, that is hypothesis based on anecdata, but CPS has the real data that can prove or disprove the hypothesis with reasonable confidence. What CPS minions are saying at this point implies that the hypothesis is more likely than not correct.

    It is absurd that they are dealing with this change in the middle of the school year, effectively in the middle of the process. But there is never a convenient time for a transition like this. Hopefully, they figure out a way to minimize the anxiety related to it, but their track record aint great.

  • 288. PSMom  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

    There are probably close to 5000 seventh graders in Chicago private schools. If you take these 5000 plus maybe 1500 fifth graders, that is a lot of kids to try to arrange taking the MAP test this spring. Seems like a lot of effort. Instead drop the whole test from the equation.
    (based on 31,000 Chicago Catholic school students 10% 7th graders, various elite privates, other religious schools, home schooled kids)

  • 289. junior  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

    @279 CB

    Well said.

    In Lake Wobegon, they have selective enrollment schools for all students.

  • 290. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:29 am

    @283 – absolutely. BBB still has not determined what test non-cps 7th grade kids will take this spring. When will she decide? May? Non-cps kids have never taken a test on a computer. Looks like they will not be given a chance to practice even one time for the MAP. Lack of a decision at this late date is crazy.

  • 291. level playing field?  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Completely agree that CPS should not have been permitted to schools to administer the test twice and pick the higher score for submission. That is certainly not fair.

    Still say that introducing the MAP test to non CPS students at this point is not leveling the playing field. It is not just a new test but a whole new format for test taking. And it would be a high stakes test. Non CPS students would not get a “practice” test.

    Yes, test prep does exist for a fee and that introduces some advantages for those with the means to do that. From the people I have talked to it seems like you can gain an advantage with the prep classes. At least based on what I heard from people that took the AC entrance exam and participated in the prep classes prior.

    While it can be argued that life is not always fair, it seems like this would be a somewhat cruel way to introduce that concept to teenagers.

  • 292. Chris  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:39 am

    “Still say that introducing the MAP test to non CPS students at this point is not leveling the playing field.”

    I don’t disagree with this, but what’s the alternative?

    For purposes of the alternative, you *must* assume the following:

    1. The anecdata is accurate, and MAP %-iles will skew low compared to previously allowed non-CPS tests.

    2. There is no way to develop a ‘fair’ (meaning, fair to CPS-kids and defensibile with data to non-CPS-parents) scale for the MAP to equate it to previously allowed non-CPS tests (NB: this would be a good solution, if possible).

    3. Just ignoring the 7th grade tests, or using them (Stanine 4+) as a threshold for application, won’t fly *this year* at least. (NB: this would *also* be a good solution).

    4. CPS-kids will be required to use their MAP scores, regardless of level of hoopla.

  • 293. IBobsessed  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

    @291 Keep in mind that nobody takes the same MAP test twice. There are 1000s of test questions in the bank and they are adjusted by level of difficulty according to the test takers correct answers. So while CPS kids do get practice taking a computer based test, they are not taking the same test 2x. And it is not like CPS kids have years of experience taking MAP. It was required district wide only last year. So some CPS kids will have taken it 1x last year before the important test this Spring.

  • 294. level playing field?  |  February 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I think this is what is called being between the proverbial rock and hard place.

    I agree with assumption #1 so to allow non-cps students to use their usual test may not “fair”. Doubt anything can happen with #2 at this point. And not sure I trust CPS to do it correctly. Like the #3 option the best.

    So to answer “what is the alternative”. Honestly, I don’t know.

  • 295. IBobsessed  |  February 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Even for CPS students who have taken MAP before, what disadvantage does this computer based test have on test taking strategies? Can a question be skipped? What does that do to the test calibration for test question difficulty? Will skipping reduce the difficulty of the next question asked? Or just not count at all? Has anyone heard of scratch paper provided for calculations? The highest level reading questions include pretty dense texts to interpret. Underlining key clauses would be helpful, but that’s not an option with MAP.

  • 296. junior  |  February 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    @292 Chris

    I think we have more than “anecdata” about the MAP, ISAT, SAT-10, NAEP and TN.

    We can see how TN inflates percentile scores compared to NAEP here :

    http://heartland.org/policy-documents/test-credibility-naep-versus-terranova-test-score-results-arizona

    … and the table in my link @113 shows SAT-10 skewing to higher percentiles than NAEP and MAP. These show SAT-10 for 8th grade skewing 20-22 percentile points higher at the “meets” cut score. Even if the drop is 1/4 to 1/2 of that at the top scores, that’s a huge disadvantage to CPS kids applying to SEHS schools.

    Is it perfect data for our specific purposes? Probably not. Is it strong evidence? I’d say so. And I’d say that CPS’s lowering of the 7th grade test score cutoff percentile for kids to qualify to take the SEHS test shows that CPS data show the same trends.

    Are non-CPS kids disadvantged by MAP? I don’t know. No one has presented any data or evidence there, simply hypotheses. I would guess that the predominant factor in how well a private school kid does on MAP compared to the CPS population is not where or how s/he takes the test, but at what instructional level they are being taught.

    MAP is a pretty forgiving and fault-tolerant exam — superior in that respect to ISAT/TN. If you make a silly mistake in SAT10 or TN, you are straight-up penalized in your score. However, MAP is more likely to keep drilling you at that level to determine if that first mistake is representative of what you really know.

  • 297. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    @285 – Chris, right on that. Seems to me too that some people here are reporting that private schools either are or will be taking MAP and also that some CPS schools take it more than others and that some will even opt out of testing. So, anecdatally there is/will be much discrepancy on who gets the most practice.

    That being said, I don’t think it would be fair for any CPS or private school student to have their pick of multiple MAP test scores. Seems that the idea behind the test is to measure gains and it would be more beneficial for everyone to have the later spring test date as the one that counts.

    @246 great letter – minority or not, nicely lays out the issue as it pertains to you and others

    @251 I was thinking maybe some light refreshment and a maybe a masseuse in the waiting room :)

  • 298. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    @288 “There are probably close to 5000 seventh graders in Chicago private schools”

    And out of those how many will (A) not take the MAP test at their school and (B) apply to CPS SEHS?

  • 299. PSMom  |  February 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    In the past the “other” tests were used to determine eligibility to take the SEHS test. If the MAP scores are to be used to determine eligibility then CPS would need to make the test available to “ALL 5000.” There would need to be a huge campaign to educate all of the families in the private schools.

    I assume a small percentage of these 7th graders will take the MAP in their school since it is not a requirement in the Archdiocese or in the state. Maybe some of the elite schools have the test but your regular Catholic school is not taking it. Over 70% of my son’s Catholic school class applied for CPS this year.

  • 300. Chris  |  February 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Junior (296):

    Yes, looks like hard data. Would like to see the Chicago subset, as directly crossed with the same cohorts ISATs/other applicable test.

    However, this:

    “And I’d say that CPS’s lowering of the 7th grade test score cutoff percentile for kids to qualify to take the SEHS test shows that CPS data show the same trends.”

    I have to say ‘Nah’. I’m pretty sure it is about the fact that a kid with a high Stanine 4 score (high 30s percentile) on one of the two halves was excluded from applying, but would have had a great shot at a spot in most of the SEHS, especially from Tier 1.

    I went thru a couple of scenarios in another thread, but a T1 kid with *dual* 39s (and all As) would have had a decent chance at King and South Shore–would have need a ~80 on the 8th grade test, which is plausible if the 7th grade ISATs were a ‘bad day'; and if the facts were a 39/75 (very plausible), the 8th grade test score would be readily gettable, but that 39 would have prevented even applying. If basing qualification on stanines is going to be used, dropping it to dual 4s is completely defensible (but will include some with no real chance–a 29/29 would make a seat basically impossible, using prior cut scores).

  • 301. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    psmom – I still don’t see the need to test everyone if only certain families intend to apply. I also understand that some schools will have something like 70% while others will have maybe 30% and I guess I was asking in a “pose the question” kind of way. If the number of private applicants from previous years is known that would be the best guess. Also, it would be interesting to know how the MAP test is embraced in non-CPS setting. Another poster indicated that there may be a shift in general toward MAP.

  • 302. PSMom  |  February 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    There were approximately 1350 to 1800 private school students who toke the SEHS for 2013/14.

  • 303. H  |  February 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    “For purposes of the alternative, you *must* assume the following:”

    So in asking for alternatives, you rule out the alternatives? No 3 (ignoring or using MAP only as application threshold) seems quite feasible. I’m not saying they will do it, especially since I guess they have said they won’t, but still. It would be easy to do.

  • 304. Chris  |  February 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    “So in asking for alternatives, you rule out the alternatives?”

    Rule out the already mentioned alternatives, bc (1) as you note, not too likely CPS will accept, at least at this point (I think it is plausible that they end up at some variant of #3), and (2) see if someone has another idea. Basically, it’s ‘assume CPS will act like CPS has in the past: any ideas?’.

  • 305. Patricia  |  February 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Very interesting development with the Tribune article. If I am reading the tea leaves correctly, it seems that ALL students will take MAPS, AND CPS is figuring out the logistics of it…………leaving themselves room to change this statement? Or am I reading it wrong?

    So, let’s say they are figuring out implementation. Yes, I am an implementation geek by nature and profession ;-) Back ot the envelope to get a frame of reference for the magnitude of implementing MAPS for non-CPS kids.

    CPS currently is able to process over 14,000 students for the 3200 SEHS slots each year for the entrance exam. If PSMom estimate at the high end of 1800 applied to SEHS. Let’s say add 1200 to cover other grades (just a guess for illustraton purposes). That is about 3000 MAPS tests.

    If CPS implements (at CPS schools or via IIT) for non-CPS students:

    3000 students to test on a computer
    50 computers in a lab (at IIT or CPS school or somewhere)
    60 test sessions would be needed
    2 hours? (anyone know the avg time for completing MAPS?)

    So on any given Saturday or Sunday, they can fit in say 4 rounds of testing (may be able to do 5 rounds?) So, back of the envelope 60/4 = 15 testing days needed. However, if you get 2 computer labs of 50 computers, you cut your testing days needed down to 30 sessions needed which cuts it down to about 8 test days needed. If you get 200 computers going, it cuts in half again to 4 or 5 testing days. There are 9 weekend days in May.

    Basic formula for how many testing days are needed per 1000 students becomes: (1000 / x)/y
    Where X is number of computers used and Y is the number of testing rounds per day.

    They already know who the kids are……as applications are submitted already. They should know exactly how many non-CPS kids need to be tested. They should also have the contact informationi because they already sent the parents their PIN numbers to register for the entrance exams,etc.

    There are certainly many other factors to consider like grouping like grades, etc. It certainly is a challenge, but it does not seem insurmountable.

  • 306. PSMom  |  February 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    @305 They do not know the applicants yet since the application for 2015/2016 will not be available until late Summer/Fall. The 2014/2015 applicants do not need to worry about the MAPs.

    There is also the cost to CPS which was not budgeted.

  • 307. anonymous  |  February 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    @ 305 How do they already know who the kids are? Aren’t these the 7th grade kids we are talking about? They haven’t submitted anything yet. A little more work involved as first everyone needs to be informed and then registered, etc. All in the space of two months.

  • 308. sully  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Map and other 7th grade tests shoud be used to determine eligibility for sehs test only and not part of points. If private school kids take the map only, the percent of private school kids in sehs will.rise. the advanced topics and the norming cohort used will favor the private school kids.

  • 309. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    “It certainly is a challenge, but it does not seem insurmountable.”

    No it does not if they use existing computer rooms in existing schools. Having to set up a computer testing center from scratch (unless something like that already exists) seems like an extravagance that there is no budget for.

    With some of the total crap technology that CPS kids have to work with on a daily basis at their schools and other issues like bandwidth and internet connections, putting together a computer center for non-CPS kids to apply to selective HS would be appalling. If it’s outsourced at a tech facility like IIT, there should be a fee.

  • 310. Patricia  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Oops, you are right, they do not already know. Added that as a last minute thought without thinking it through………..got it. But, that does not change too much. They can still get the word out and word has certainly spread already.

  • 311. Peter  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Our kids took MAP Fall and Spring last year and Fall this year.

  • 312. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    What’s the need for eligibility to take the SE entrance exam? NYC has none and does fine. The requirement is not that high, so it seems like an administrative hurdle rather anything else. How many students sit for the exam now, 14k?

  • 313. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    @311 Only students new to CPS were supposed to take the MAP in the fall (Aug/Sep)/beginning of year; the Dec. MAP is considered winter/middle of year. Are your children in private school?

  • 314. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Okay, send 3,000 non-cps students to cps elementary schools on the weekends to take the MAP on the “total crap technology”. How many kids can take it at once per school? How many schools will need to open on the weekends to accomodate 3,000 non-cps students taking computer-based, untimed tests, on technology that reportedly fails all the time, necessitating kids to restart the test again and again? How many staffers will be needed on the weekends to open up the schools and administer the tests for who knows how many hours each day? How many tests can be realistically be squeezed in per day–given the fact that there are only so many computers, only so many T1 connections, the tests are untimed, the computer may die, etc.?

  • 315. Peter  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    No, CPS.

  • 316. PSMom  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    @313. Interesting idea. Why not just administer to all CPS 8th graders during one school day? Non-CPS students could have one or two Saturday options. Imagine what would happen.

  • 317. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    @314 – I don’t know…..how do we do it? Obviously it would have to be at a high school to accommodate larger numbers.

  • 318. anonymous  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    @309. Not sure I understand why there should be a fee. If a student lives within the city limits aren’t they entitled to take it for free? Do CPS kids pay a fee? Whether your child goes to the public school or not you pay for the schooling via your taxes -as the tax bills clearly show these days. As private school kids have been paying in to the system without previously draining any resources, why should they have to pay an extra fee at this point?

  • 319. PSMom  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    for #316 I was replying to 312, not 313. Imagine if CPS would just administer the SEHS to all current eighth graders.

  • 320. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    @318 An admin fee for tests taken outside of your schools requirements. Our school requires the test. Obviously there are even people that don’t want to take the tests that the school requires. The tests are included in the CPS budget for CPS kids just like the private schools have their own tests that they provide for their kids. CPS is not obligated to provide any kid, CPS or otherwise, admission to a selective enrollment school.

  • 321. PSMom  |  February 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    @320 But CPS is obligated to make any public school which is available to all Chicago students accessible through a fair process. Non-CPS students cannot be charged for a mandatory required test (there is no charge for the SEHS test) as part of the admissions to a CPS public school. I own a house in Chicago, I pay taxes in Chicago which supports the school district.

  • 322. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    “CPS is obligated to make any public school which is available to all Chicago students accessible through a fair process”

    Are they and is the existing process fair?……some would argue that it’s not.

    “Non-CPS students cannot be charged for a mandatory required test”

    Yes, you’re right. Both the admissions test and the MAP test for non-cpser’s are not mandatory unless you want to apply to SEHS. The fact that they pay for an admissions test that includes CPS students (so no special arrangements) is completely on them…..their decision.

    We don’t know that they would in fact provide MAP testing or whether CPS would pay for it or not. I’m saying that there’s 2 issues here 1) the cost/logistics could be a factor keeping CPS from coming up with a “fair process” 2) It is arguable as to whether money should go to SE admissions when so many schools are lacking in many ways but in particular in the very technology they need to take these tests…..in all grades.

  • 323. Peter  |  February 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    “313. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins) | February 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm
    @311 Only students new to CPS were supposed to take the MAP in the fall (Aug/Sep)/beginning of year; the Dec. MAP is considered winter/middle of year. Are your children in private school?”

    I said fall, probably should have said winter.

  • 324. CPS Parent  |  February 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Ok, do this: Everyone takes the same test, highest scorers get in. Ya don’t make the cut, ya don’t make the cut.

    Easy peasy.

  • 325. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    @321 I wanted to add that I would be in favor of CPS students paying for the admissions test (excepting of course for kids who can’t afford it). I think anyone should pay for tests that are not required yet they elect to take them for practice or scholarships or special admissions (including SEES and AC tests).

  • 326. junior  |  February 5, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    There’s a lot of things that should be funded by public education dollars. If you support funding SE applicant exams with public dollars, then I’m certain you’re out there regularly lobbying for tax increases to fund things like school libraries, staffing, class supplies, enrichment. Well, thank you! Love to see the broad support of public education!

  • 327. anonymouse teacher  |  February 5, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    @313, I cannot tell you how many CPS schools are giving MAP in the fall, winter and spring to EVERY 3-8th grade!. At my school every K-8 kid takes MPG or MAP 3 times per year. Some schools are not doing this, some are. Many principals feel that even though some tests are said to be “optional” that their school will look better or they as principals will look better if we test as much as possible. When PARCC comes, that’s also a test that is administered multiple times. If my school uses the computer lab, it will be 36 weeks of testing, all day in the lab, every day to fit everyone in. So, no tech instruction if we do it that way. We are looking at using our laptops instead so the lab can remain open, but even if that happens, we still can’t have any tech instruction because no one can use the internet for a single thing other than attendance during school hours to help limit the number of shut downs. It was suggested to us, no joke, by CO that perhaps our tech teacher could use books to teach about technology in lieu of computers. For real.

  • 328. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    @327- that’s nuts. Perhaps you could build a model of a computer out of paper mâché to supplement the technology book with hands-on experience. Oops, I just gave CO another brilliant idea!

  • 329. CPSMom242  |  February 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Here’s an interesting tidbit. My child is in the selective prep program and they are taking out advanced math skills to focus on Terra Nova testing, based on majority. The troubling part of this, is they are keeping advanced math for CPS kids in other programs they offer to align with MAP. Basic math for Terra nova kids, advanced math for CPS kids.
    Yet both test’s scores are equally accepted for Selective Enrollment HS or AC. Isn’t that somewhat interesting?

  • 330. Patricia  |  February 5, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    @aononymouse
    As an FYI, one of my kids schools did MAPS 3x last year AND the teachers are the ones who requested the Winter one. They were trying to understand how the test integrates into their teaching and since it will be part of their evaluation, they wanted a mid-year check-in so that they can make changes with differentiation. The teachers wanted the practice before it was actually part of their eval. This year, the same school is doing it twice.

    One of my other kids, at a different school, only did MAPS twice last year. The teachers are highly skilled and differentiate already on a daily basis, so they caught onto the MAPS very quickly. I was very impressed with how they were able to increase the growth of all these kids in an RGC who started out high anyway.

    Since MAPS is actually a test teachers can use and make adjustments almost immediately, I do not see it as “bad” if there is a mid-year test. I suspect over time, as teachers get comfortable and actually use it as a tool, it will be given once. That is if the school is showing growth, if not, I am sure it will be testmania.

    Many of the other tests are/were a waste of time (dibels anyone!). Luckily, my kids schools do not use any other tests, just MAPS—–and the ISAT until it dies its natural death ;-)

  • 331. ..  |  February 6, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I’m a current 7th grader and I would like to say I have had experience taking the NWEA test before, however not this year yet. It is a highly personalized test that you really can’t study for, with some kids getting questions way beyond grade level and some not ever encountering them at all. For reading, the test starts off easy with some sort of material that should have been taught in that grade level. As you get more answers correct, it would increase its level in difficulty. I always have found myself spending tons of time sorting through lots of text and they have almost always been “old world” text like Shakespeare or something difficult to understand. In math, it is like the same thing and starts off easy but then increases in difficulty. However the problem with this is that there ARE questions above grade level, in math mostly algebraic or maybe perhaps a bit of trigonometry. It is almost impossible to never encounter these questions if you wish to have a “high” score, which where around 240-255 from my experiences. I can honestly say I have encountered algebra questions when I was in around 3rd or 4th grade. If we’re talking anything fair or level playing field, I do not believe this is the right test for it. I was in a neighborhood school before this year and we’ve never been exposed to any material higher than the grade’s curriculum. We were given scratch paper to take the math test if anybody was wondering, but still if you want to score anywhere around the 250’s you needed to know material beyond your grade level, there was no choice. You could not skip a question or go back to one, and there is no time limit on the tests. And if we’re talking about how some students have had practice taking the NWEA, that may be true but it’s only a small percentage. I transferred out of my neighborhood school and the school I’m currently in never takes the NWEA, and besides no test is ever the same. Each time you take the test, it is almost guaranteed that you may never ever even encounter a question you’ve already had once previously. Also the format of the test is basic. You’ve got the problem first. Then the question after that. Then since it’s multiple choice, you get your 4 or 5 options after the question to chose from. So there shouldn’t be much of an issue with the formatting of this test that gives anyone, private or not, a disadvantage. It is a matter of what do you know and what do you don’t.

  • 332. Alicia  |  February 6, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Im a 7th grader. I found imap to be about the same level of difficulty as the imap. Percentiles keep things in check as far as test difficulty. I have not had agebra in school but will a general test prep book with math/algebra and online videos I found enough of the basics to help. Not everyone can be 99th percentile. For every 99th their is a 1 percentile. Thats the way life works. I study hard outside of school. No late night facebook. And I go to sleep before 1AM on a school night.

  • 333. HS Mom  |  February 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

    @331 & 332 – great in sight! Do you have charts on the wall? My son says he has no idea what that is?

  • 334. CPS Parent  |  February 6, 2014 at 8:54 am

    331. .. The MAP is an adaptive test – it uses the computer to adjust the difficulty of the test to the student being tested. It does this by trying more difficult questions and then backing off when it realizes that the questions are too hard. This is the reason why even at the third grade level, you might encounter algebra questions since there will be a small number of students who can intuitively do algebra at that level and it’s important for your school to identify them. As you progress through the year the test will attempt more difficult questions since you should be more knowledgeable. There are several ways to establish a “good” score. One way is to compare your score to all the other kids in the country at your grade level – how many know less than you and how many know more. This would be a “percentile” score which CPS could use for SEHS entry. Another score would be the amount of improvement you show when compared to the previous MAP you would have taken earlier in the year. This score reflects three things – how well you are applying yourself, if the material being taught you is at the right difficulty level and thirdly, if your teacher is doing a good job teaching you. A small part of your teachers’ job evaluation is based on the progress (not the percentile score) you make on the MAP.

  • 335. IBobsessed  |  February 6, 2014 at 10:43 am

    My 7th grader’s MAP report includes reports of performance on Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Geometry, The Real and Complex Number Systems, Statistics and Probability. I’m curious if these are standard for every 7th grade report or if, say, a student does not answer some questions correctly they would not even get to Geometry. REading included Literature, Foundational Skills and Vocab, Informational Text, and Lexile Range. Anyone else have different categories on their MAP report?

  • 336. MAP report  |  February 6, 2014 at 11:18 am

    @ 335 Yes, my report contains those items but doesn’t give any specific information besides the word ‘high’.

  • 337. CPS Parent  |  February 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    “High” indicates your child is doing very well in those areas.
    Teachers get a lot of data from the test but this is what NWEA says to tell parents about MAP results:

    “When parents come in for a 15–20 minute conference, you won’t want to spend much more than five minutes talking about MAP test scores. You can let the parents know how the student is performing in relation to the district scores for that grade. For example, you could say “Your student is performing at a very high level for a typical sixth grader.”

    You can share your class goal with the parents as well as the student’s own goal. Then give them a couple of ways they can help their child at home on the student’s chosen goal. Make sure they are simple, but effective, strategies the parents can use.”

    Also, you can take a look at this:

    http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/support_articles/Understanding_Teacher_Reports.pdf

  • 338. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 6, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    @335 Those are standard for the Math 6+ test.

    For Math 2-5 the “goals” are “measurement and data” rather than statistics and “number and operations” rather than “Real and Complex numbers” The reading categories are identical.

    You should have received a reference sheet explaining the various terms. Because of even wider standard errors for the goals, NWEA just groups them as Low, LoAvg, Avg, HiAVg, High.

    I don’t see how helpful it would be to know that a student’s “geometry” is Avg v HiAvg in terms of focusing instruction. The test report is not specifying what aspect of, say, geometry is avg or low or high in reference to the norm group.

  • 339. junior  |  February 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    @338 CB

    I get the sense that teachers get more granular reporting than parents, but I could be wrong. I remembered a post from a while back from one of our regular teacher participants on this forum. Reposting it here as an example of what a diligent and skilled teacher might do with NWEA data (maybe we’ll can get an update when she has time, but as you can see below, she probably doesn’t have much time)::

    “Your child should be getting challenged. If he/she hasn’t been, you should see change this year or the teacher will be out. The purpose of the NWEA (MAP test) is to find out the learning/teaching level of EACH child and go forward from there. My class just finished the reading and math tests. I have 8 different levels of learning in my room. I have managed to group them into 6 different teaching groups because having only 1 or 2 in a group will not be possible on a regular basis. I have taken the data which is extensive and printed out what each group needs to learn to move forward. I teach first grade so I have a group that needs to learn beginning sounds and a group that needs to work on blends, digraphs, synonyms, and antonyms to start. I have a group that needs to practice basic sight words and a group that is reading on a third grade level and needs comprehension and reading strategies. MY RATING will be based on the data showing that I have moved ALL children up from their starting point. Teachers cannot let any group stagnate. It’s quite the challenge and is doubled because we must do the same thing for math. I am using this weekend to think it all out so I have it in place, up and running by Wednesday. That means at any given time in my classroom, I’ll have 6 different things going on. Sometimes it means I give the same lesson, but each group has a different task that’s leveled to their ability. Sometimes it means 6 different tasks. I just finished my math workshop materials and I have 15 stations so that 2 students can be at a station at one time. I have 30 students. Each of those 15 stations has the same activity leveled in 4 different ways. They are color coded by folder colors and the folder colors match the color of the child’s name card. At an instant, I can see who is working at which level. This is just a small peek at what the current classroom should look like daily. Hope this helps.”

  • 340. CPS Parent  |  February 6, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    339. junior – Yes, I remember the quote in that post. Elsewhere (in this thread I think) I had posted that a good way to gauge your child’s teacher is to ask how they feel about the MAP. Good teachers will value it for the data it produces and it should influence what they do in class.

  • 341. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    No. They get the same reports we do. I had asked our teachers about whether there were more detailed reports because what I saw and how the MPG/MAP had been described to me didn’t jell.

    We had discussed this here: http://cpsobsessed.com/2013/01/27/wbez-visits-2-under-enrolled-schools/

    The RIT scores are supposed to be compared with RIT bands or ranges in the NWEA’s DesCartes book, but it cannot pin-point what each student needs. One teacher put it this way:

    According to MAP, when I look at each student’s RIT band, and what they “might know, probably know and need to work on”, I see things like this: “probably knows letter c, probably knows letter z….” That is literally what it says. Um, I have a test that I give, letter names and sounds, where I know exactly which letters they know, which sounds they know and I have a chart that shows that same info for the entire class so I can focus things like that on the letters that give kids most of the kids trouble

  • 342. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    @340 Again, it does not produce much data:

  • 343. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Sorry @342: I thought all 3-8 parents got them w/ report cards. Not sure if this will work or not.

  • 344. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Bugger. WordPress is silly sometimes:

    There’s very little instruction-related data there.

  • 345. local  |  February 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Oh, just wait until your kids are subjected to Explore,PLAN, PSAT, ACT, SAT…

  • 346. Chris  |  February 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    “I thought all 3-8 parents got them w/ report cards”

    I haven’t seen that (yet).

  • 347. junior  |  February 6, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Here are the MAP teacher reports:

    http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/resources/AnnotatedReports-MAP_0.pdf

  • 348. but wait.....  |  February 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Here is a link to a school district who put the pdf files of the DesCartes goal ranges online. They look very specific to me. The real question seems to be whether the teachers have the training, time and resources to use it as a differentiation tool. This seems much more valuable that Isat results that you do not receive until the following year.

    https://sites.google.com/a/sau73.org/curriculum-assessment/activities/descartes-ranges

  • 349. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    @347 Thanks. I’d see those before. Those show the same thing the parents see, just for all the children.

    Only if the students take the “survey with goal” format of the test, do they get RIT ranges for the goals.

  • 350. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    @348 I didn’t wait, sorry. I agree it is better than the ISAT but the ISAT was never designed as a diagnostic tool. It was a criterion-based test of Illinois learning standards in two, sometimes three subjects.

    In math, under one of the four goals, there are 40-50 different skills for a single RIT range. One would hope that the test results would narrow down which of those 30-50 skills are problematic when a student gets a “low” or “average.” It does not do so now, and that makes it hard to understand exactly what’s going on, absent a whole other set of diagnostic tests. To know whether a student can “write
    equivalent forms of whole numbers using multiplication” or “identifies 1/3 from a region or set” or “identifies a decimal place on a number line to the tenths place” or any of the 27 to 47 other items requires the teacher to go through all those things just for that goal for that RIT range. If you have a class that spans 4 10-pt RIT bands, with 4 goals, you have 16 categories of an average of 40 skills to re-examine just because the test spits out Lo or Avg in that band — that’s 640 items. I’d really like to know which 5 of those 640 the teacher should be focusing on.

    It reminds me going to see a dermatologist with a blistering rash from cutting some weeds. He says, “It seems to be some type of poison.” No shit, doc. Which one of the poisons is it?

  • 351. MAP report  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I had never seen a MAP report until a few weeks ago when I requested that my child’s teacher send it to me. Our school does not generally provide them to parents.

    Does anyone think that for this year’s 7th graders… CPS should

    Determine whether there is in fact a difference between how students perform on the ISAT compared to the MAP; and if so, add points to bring it in line with past performance on ISAT. For ex., if they find most students score an average of 3% lower on both reading and math, 9 points would be added to score.

    Private school students could still take whatever approved CPS test they planned on taking so they wouldn’t be need to take the MAP this year; and then CPS could start planning now for next year and move all students over to the same standardized test for SEHS applications.

    Wouldn’t that be most fair to everyone at this late stage in the game?

  • 352. Gobemouche  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    If you haven’t read it yet, the writer at Chicago Public Fools posted a great piece about ISAT testing, opting out, and BBB’s letters to parents and teachers. Worth the read, especially to see how one NY superintendent is handling the opt-out question in a completely different way.

    “But how about a test that is officially no longer used for anything? A test on its way out–the ISAT–is still being administered this year for reasons that are murky at best. Byrd Bennett cautions against opting out of the ISAT too, although that’s two more weeks of QUIET IN THE HALLS and bubbling, confusion for lots of kids and boredom for others, and many, many more weeks of prep for this obsolete exam.”

    http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-public-fools/2014/02/its-almost-testing-season-in-chicago-opt-out-at-your-peril/

  • 353. Even One More CPS Mom  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Does the percentage of students in a school who participate in taking the ISAT or MAP tests affect a school’s CPS level ranking? If so, perhaps something to think about when considering opting out, how it will affect your school?

  • 354. junior  |  February 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I guess the logical solution to your skepticism is more and better NWEA MAP testing. Thanks, CB.

  • 355. CPS Parent  |  February 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    If the opting out actually gets some traction will it skew with family income? I would think that poor kids will do the tests and the middle class and above will be the ones sitting out. If I were RYH or any of the other self appointed “parent” groups I’d sit this issue out.

  • 356. cpsobsessed  |  February 6, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t know that RHY is urging parents to opt out (perhaps making that option known though.) I think they’re point is to question the amt of testing. I could be misinterpretting that – maybe those are intertwined…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 357. junior  |  February 6, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    If they get enough people to opt out, they can challenge teacher evaluations based on lack of test validity.

  • 358. Allison  |  February 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    How about this year’s 7th graders? Would it not be unfair that they are abruptly switching tests and not even properly informed on the changes? My kids’ school did not tell or explain to them anything about the changes so far and they only just recently handed out the letter by BBB. My kid tells me that most of her classmates don’t even know about the changes yet or do not know how this can impact them especially since most of them are hoping to make it into a SEHS. I do not think that the NWEA should be used to score students this year as they STILL have ISAT testing and the logical thing would be to keep the ISATs for this year and to have the changes start affecting the 7th graders next year. But we all know CPS has always been lacking in the logical department.

  • 359. CPS Parent  |  February 6, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    357. junior I don’t think a few tests less in Chicago invalidates the test – the MAP is used nationally. The argument would be that “see parents are opting out of this bad test – it shouldn’t be used to evaluate us”. I personally think that a test which is meant to be didactically useful should not be used for a specific percentage of the teacher performance evaluation. Teachers who know they are on the cusp (and I bet most in that position do) may very well telegraph their fear of the MAP to their students.

  • 360. IB obsessed  |  February 6, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    @357 Because Junior direct actions like that are the only way parents have a voice when there is no parent representation on the unelected BOE. I’ve heard nothing about trying to invalidate the test results to prevent teacher evaluations. They are tired of the standardized testing culture driving curriculum. And we have MAP to show where our kids are, so ISAT is purely for the NCLB AYP numbers game. My kid will be reading a nonfiction book of her choice during ISATs.

  • 361. junior  |  February 7, 2014 at 12:10 am

    @359
    Not invalidate the test, just the teacher’s growth measurement.

  • 362. pantherettie  |  February 7, 2014 at 7:06 am

    @Junior – Thanks for posting the teacher’s MAP report. That is the most comprehensive and informative info about the scores and percentile ranks I have ever seen. When my dd was in 5th and 6th grade she took the test twice each year and I *never* received a report with percentile ranks connected to the scores. This year she is in 7th grade at an AC. Her school has not taken or “prepped” for this test at all this year and it makes sense. 7th graders at an AC should be working at least 2 grade levels above their chronological age – doing 9th grade work. So, at least in theory, when they participate in MAPS testing they should skew the test scores as much as or even more than kids in classical or RGC schools. Another reason that using this type of adaptive test as an admission test is decidedly unfair to kids attend neighborhood schools where the curriculum is not designed to *routinely* expose them to material above their grade level.

  • 363. kls  |  February 7, 2014 at 8:23 am

    My child just received their winter MAP score with their report card. And fwiw, the math score was 5 points higher on the winter MAP than it was on last spring’s ISAT (99 vs 94). So I don’t think its universally the case where the SAT10 questions on the ISAT always yield a higher percentile than the MAP. Too bad this score doesn’t count for admissions….but next year will.

  • 364. CPS Parent  |  February 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

    362. pantherettie You are misunderstanding the concept of nationally normed percentiles. No mater what test is used some kids will score grade levels above some will score grade levels below. The good thing about the MAP is that for the first time teachers have a clear indication of their students potential as revealed by a standardized test. Many of those teachers would have known already but now it is backed by data and they are being held accountable to move their students forward. Again for good teachers, they were already doing this, but as we have all experienced there are plenty of sub-par teachers in CPS.

  • 365. cpsobsessed  |  February 7, 2014 at 10:09 am

    What are your thoughts on test prep time in school for the ISATs this year?
    I was told that the ISATs will still count toward school and teacher ratings (trib told me this but I’ve seen others say no.)

    If the ISATs count as teacher/school assessment but is no longer high stakes for students, does the test prep time seem gratuitous?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 366. Pantherettie  |  February 7, 2014 at 10:15 am

    @364 – I completely understand the concept of nationally normed percentiles. I also understand and somewhat agree with why CPS has chosen to use MAP testing vs. ISAT testing as a better way to view student growth (or stagnation) for individual students. For example, when a student whose score was 250 at the Fall MAPS testing increases to 260 by the Spring MAPS testing, I can see how CPS would consider that useful indicator of a teacher’s instruction skills and abilities. What I don’t agree with is using this type of test – that is supposed to give within year growth information as part of admissions policy for SEHS. Their is plenty of information upthread about how MAP testing is not comparable to the ISAT(STAT 10) or TN. I will say it again that it is the adaptive nature of the test that puts some students at a disadvantage. If CPS wants to give an aptitude test like the Otis-Lennin as a criterion for future testing – fine. If CPS wants give an achievement test like the ISAT or TN – fine. In both of these cases, students who are not being taught 2 grade levels ahead are not at an inherent disadvantage when taking either test.

    I know several 7th grade parents who have smart kids who attend solid neighborhood schools who have not been exposed to the higher levels of math required to earn in the high 9 percentiles. They are a disadvantage compared to kids who attend ACs, Classical and RGCs when taking MAP tests for admissions. They are not reading literature at the same critical level as kids who attend ACs, Classical or RGCs. MAPS testing (as I understood CPS was using it) was not supposed to be comparing kids across these groups. So why is it being used for that now?

    BTW – if CPS wants to use MAP testing to measure within year growth ad teacher accountablity why would it only be given once per year? Isn’t the point to give it once in the fall for a baseline that a teacher is starting with and once in the spring to measure student growth?

  • 367. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

    “If the ISATs count as teacher/school assessment but is no longer high stakes for students”

    They were only ‘high stakes’ for the kids in 2 grades, and for kids who were well behind grade level in a couple more. It’s my objection to the broad use of “high stakes” as an objection to testing–in my view, it focuses the objection to testing on the *teachers*.

    And, regardless of what CPS (and any other district) does or does not do, there **will** remain a whole host of high-student-stakes standardized tests–albeit focused on grades 11 and 12.

    “does the test prep time seem gratuitous?”

    Depends on the form of the prep. Which is a weaselly non-answer, but I think the best answer.

  • 368. Testing Prep  |  February 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    My children’s school does not “prep” for the ISATs. I’ve always been bewildered when parents have complained of the time ISAT testing takes because in my experience it has been 2 days of testing, 3 if it was a science year, and done. (No prep time).

  • 369. pantherparent  |  February 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    This change will skew SEHS admission in favor of students in gifted elementary schools. So it effectively moves the admission criteria from 7th grade to kindergarten.

    Most kids going to SEHS now scored straight A’s in 7th grade and 300 on the entrance exam so ISATs were the only difference maker. Now that’s gone and replaced by a test that neighborhood kids won’t score as well on as their counterparts at gifted schools.

    This hits home with me as my two oldest both missed out on gifted elementary schools but were able to gain admittance to Northside from their neighborhood school. I don’t think that would have happened had this new procedure been in place then.

  • 370. Patricia  |  February 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    @panterparent
    FWIW below is a link to a 2012 article by a great reporter at WBEZ, Linda Lutton. RGC, magnets and privates have historically filled many of the SEHS slots even in the old rubric. I am not sure if that would skew any differently by including MAPS instead of ISAT.

    http://www.wbez.org/story/chicagos-best-high-schools-who-gets-who-doesnt-97110

  • 371. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    “Most kids going to SEHS now scored … 300 on the entrance exam”

    Even limiting that to “most Tier 4 kids”, you have to be further limiting that to “most Tier 4 kids at PaNJY”, because there are over 1600 T4 Frosh in SEHS, and nearly 600 at PaNJY, and if there really are even 800 ’99th%-ile” scores on the 8th-grade exam (which ignores the substantial number of non-t4 kids who get 300, and any non-Chicago-resident-non-testers), with a cohort population of ~35,000, there is something hinky with the test.

    If it’s limited to “most T4 kids at WP and NS”, then, yeah, I buy that 100%.

  • 372. Patricia  |  February 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    @ panterparent
    Also, for many, the grades were all As and ISATs 99’s with the differentiator being the entrance exam.

  • 373. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    “RGC, magnets and privates have historically filled many of the SEHS slots even in the old rubric. I am not sure if that would skew any differently by including MAPS instead of ISAT.”

    Focus, due to anecdata and some hard data, is on the apparent fact that, at the 7th grade level, to get past about 95%-ile (perhaps slightly lower) on Math, one must have had some exposure (at least) to concepts generally taught in Algebra I and Geometry, or be a darn lucky guesser. If kids, in T4, in neighborhood schools *can’t* (bc of lack of concept exposure) get over a 93 on the MAPS Math, even with a 99 on Reading and a 99 on the 8th-grade test, then they would have been precluded from Payton, based on last years cutoffs.

    Similar-ish concern about the Reading portion, but that’s more variable, imo–what could they *test* on Reading/Verbal that is a “no idea what the question is asking” thing, based solely on a ‘seen it/not seen it’ duality, like a lot of that ‘accelerated junior high’ math can be?

    Anyway, to the extent that neighborhood school kids–who are, for this point, presumed to (a) not have been exposed to Algebra I and Geometry, and (b) required to know something about (a) to get a 95+ on the 7th grade test–effectively get a max of ~895, rather than 900, *solely based on what math they had or hadn’t been taught in school*, that (1) has the appearance of unfairness, and (2) will result in somewhat fewer neighborhood school kids at PaNJY.

  • 374. Testing Prep  |  February 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    @369 and 373
    I agree…especially in terms of the math component. FYI: RGCs also do not cover geometry in 7th grade nor should they. Do we really want a situation where are kids are rushed through Algebra (arguably the basis of all higher level math) in order to get to geometry in order to score better on a test? I don’t.

  • 375. pantherparent  |  February 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Love the PaNJY acronym although it took me a minute to figure it out. Thought it was some east coast hybrid of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. I guess I wouldn’t get into a SEHS with flawed reasoning like that.

    Agree that the gifted schools have always sent a large percentage to SEHS, which would make sense. Smart in 1st grade, smart in 7th.

    But where perhaps 10 kids from a certain gifted school goes to PaNJY last year, that number could easily increase to 15, based on the reasons that Chris so eloquently pointed out @373.

    Thus pushing the Tier 4 neighborhood-school kid out of the running because he had a bad day when he was 6.

  • 376. Mom  |  February 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    What does the SEHS entrance exam test? Isn’t it more a test of innate intelligence than a test of what you’ve learned (or am I misremembering that)? If so, couldn’t these concerns about neighborhood kids be a bit of a wash? The ones who didn’t test great at 4 but are innately smart will do better on the entrance exam, and the kids in RGC who got lucky on the test at 4 might do better on the MAP (because they’ve been exposed to more accelerated curriculum), but not as great as some neighborhood kids on the entrance exam. Of course, there will be kids in RCCs/Classical who are both incredibly smart AND have been exposed to more material making them more “advanced” in terms of what they’ve learned than neighborhood kids. But doesn’t this just raise the question about what the purpose of the SEHSs is? One could argue that (with the exception of tinkering for socioeconomic status) these schools should take the students who do the very best in both arenas — they’re the smartest and have shown mastery of the most advanced curriculum. If the point of SEHSs is to give the most advanced, smartest kids the education they need, why is it “unfair” for not as many neighborhood kids to get in who haven’t gone as far in terms of their curriculum than other kids have?

  • 377. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    @365 CPSO:

    This spring’s ISATs will not count toward teacher or school ratings by CPS. The ISATs will have no stakes within CPS.

    In CPS, the NWEA MAP will be used for the state-mandated teacher and principal evaluations and for the school quality ratings and for student promotion.

    I have been told that CPS approached the state (ISBE) about not administering the ISAT given its minimal value but, for whatever reasons, were told they could not skip it.

    The ISAT will be used by ISBE to determine AYP for schools, but only 64 schools in CPS made AYP last year, and this year 100% of students must meet or exceed standards to make AYP, which will happen in even fewer schools, regardless of whether or not parents opt-out of the ISAT.

  • 378. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    “If the point of SEHSs is to give the most advanced, smartest kids the education they need, why is it “unfair” for not as many neighborhood kids to get in who haven’t gone as far in terms of their curriculum than other kids have?”

    Are you for realz? So, you are suggesting that it is “fair” to basically make the determination of who gets into SEHS at age 4. Even the Germans don’t go that far with early tracking.

    And, if it is the case that we are ‘to give the most advanced, smartest kids the education they need’, there should be a weed out from the SEES every year, to eliminate the kids who aren’t keeping up, and bring up the ‘most advanced, smartest kids’ who had a bad day when they were 4, or had disorganized parents, or were just late bloomers. Make it like English Football relegation and promotion–bottom 10 or 20% of the SEES class gets sent ‘down’ to the neighborhood schools, and get replaced by the top kids from the second division.

    That may all sound harsh, but it fairly represents what I think about the idea of making HS almost only about whether you had an accelerated curriculum, and got an A. Sheesh.

  • 379. pantherparent  |  February 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    The unfairness comes in because the neighborhood kid has not been exposed to as much, not because of their ability, but because of the school they are in. They simply won’t have learned some of the material RGC kids have.

    So of course the RGC kids will most likely be “more advanced” than a neighborhood kid but will they be “smarter”? Not necessarily.

  • 380. mila mom  |  February 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    376-the SEHS exam is an achievement exam. The AC entrance exam is more of an aptitude test (it is also used for kids testing for upper grade RGC spots). So if the MAP is a pure achievement test there would be no advantage in any factor other than grades for HS entrance for a neighborhood school kid.

    BUT I am not so sure that MAP is a pure achievement test, that measures strictly what they have been exposed to/taught. On looking closely at my own kids’ MAP reports from years past (some CPS schools have been using the NWEA tests for a few years now, at least sometimes) MAP does not seem to measure strictly what the kids have been taught, but also maybe what they can reason out on their own. My oldest attended a magnet school that did not have any sort of accelerated math curriculum, so he was certainly taught well at the grade level, but not exposed to above grade level material. He has always been very strong in math though. He scored very well on the 6th grade MAPS, just as well as on the ISAT in math. The difference for him was in reading, perhaps because he hardly ever voluntarily picks up a book (and yes, ISAT was much higher). His report also said he was high in the areas of geometry and algebra, and I am certain he was never taught those things, at school or home. Would an accelerated program made up for him being a lazy reader? I don’t know.

    This is just one case obviously, but I don’t think we need to worry that every neighborhood school kid will be at a disadvantage, those who are super strong in both subjects should be fine That said, I do suspect that MAP will be much more discerning in showing what a kid’s strengths and weaknesses are than ISAT was and so this might hurt neighborhood school kids (especially in tier 4) whose parents do not have the resources to help their kids work on any weaknesses.

    And of course one of the worst parts about this first year is that for any kid who hasn’t taken MAP before, the parents will learn what area the kid needs to work on by receiving a lower than expected score on the high stakes test.

  • 381. junior  |  February 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    @374 Testing Prep

    “Do we really want a situation where are kids are rushed through Algebra (arguably the basis of all higher level math) in order to get to geometry in order to score better on a test? I don’t”

    Agree. And given the very uneven performance of these kids on the algebra exit exams, I’d argue that “mastery” is not a good descriptor for their algebra knowledge. I think we’re maybe already trying to push ahead many kids who aren’t quite ready. And the switch to MAP test will probably distort that even more.

    @376 Mom
    A presumed advantage for neighborhood kids in the SE entrance exam? Not buying that one.

    You seem to meld the terms “smartest” and “most advanced” in curricular terms. I think that’s glossing over the issues hashed out in dozens of posts above.

    The issue of which types of students should qualify for SE is a good and lengthy discussion no doubt. We don’t seem to select strictly for innate intelligence or academic achievement. Through the tier system, we recognize unique potential and achievement by trying to select kids who have succeeded over other obstacles. I think, likewise, if your trying to create avenues to have kids reach their full potential, we want to keep open the door for kids whose parents didn’t get track them into RGC at 4 years old. I think it’s good public policy to keep the test a level playing field that considers talent and potential over exposure and experience.

  • 382. IBobsessed  |  February 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    ” I think it’s good public policy to keep the test a level playing field that considers talent and potential over exposure and experience”
    And anyone who agrees with this should not be caught advocating a pure highest test score only criterion, like NYC has, for SEHS admissions.

  • 383. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    “And anyone who agrees with this should not be caught advocating a pure highest test score only criterion, like NYC has, for SEHS admissions.”

    If the rank + Tiers were still preserved, would you still make the same statement? Tiers (in some form) ain’t going away in Chicago, regardless of what the points are based on.

    A related thought–it seems to me that CPS would want there to be more ‘points’ in the qualification rubric, bc it obscures the fact that a T1 kid with 4 As, and straight 83s on the 3 test segments would have gotten a seat at Payton last year, while the lowest, level score for T4 would be 3 98s.

    NOTE: I think the purpose behind the Tiers is good and a political fact of life even if you think the policy (or implementation) is bad. I do think the implementation could be improved w/o running afoul of federal law, or meaningfully increasing costs, and that improving implementation should be a goal.

  • 384. IBobsessed  |  February 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I don’t understand why it is only now that the advanced instruction at SE elementary schools is seen as an unfair advantage in HS admissions. This unfairness is new only if the ISAT did not measure ANY above grade level performance, but it did. The percentile ranking given for the student was based upon SAT 10 norming. So, while it might not have measured above grade level with as fine a degree of differentiation as MAP does, advanced knowledge test takers would have scored higher than those whose instruction was not above grade level. So an RGC kid might have the opportunity to score at the 99th percentile on ISAT if she learned the material taught at her RGC, while a bright neighborhood kid who received 7th grade level instruction would have scored in the 80th. With MAP, the 7th grade RGC kid, who has had 9th grade level instruction, might have the opportunity to score in the 85th percentile (according to the RIT content we’ve seen) and the competent neighborhood kid would score in the 75th. So, MAP is unfair, if you take ability to score higher to be unfair, only it is MORE unfair than ISAT was. As long as you have schools that teach above grade level, you will have students who are inherently advantaged on tests that are normed. Is there something I’m not seeing here?

  • 385. IBobsessed  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    “I think the purpose behind the Tiers is good and a political fact of life even if you think the policy (or implementation) is bad. I do think the implementation could be improved w/o running afoul of federal law, or meaningfully increasing costs, and that improving implementation should be a goal.”

    I agree. And that was my point in @382.

  • 386. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    @368 You are fortunate. But many schools have “ISAT workbooks” that the students use. Some relegate it to homework but others make it part of the daily work. Friday is “test prep day” at some schools. Other schools even hold ISAT pep rallies as the tests approach.

    @364 The MAP is essentially an achievement test — it measures a sample of what students have learned. It cannot therefore measure a students’ potential; it is backward looking, not forward looking. The data is not always reliable. One reason that NWEA recommends fall-spring testing is that students might have an off day: http://www.nwea.org/support/article/1054

    @366 To answer your question of why CPS only requires the test be given once per year (though a majority of schools administer the “optional” winter one): because they will use it to measure growth, the lower the scores are in the fall, the easier it is to show growth in the spring. John Cronin at the Kingsbury Center, the research affiliate of the NWEA, once showed how many schools in a district showed strong growth. They compared the test duration with RIT scores and found that in the fall the students had lower test durations than in the spring and lower test durations in the fall than schools that showed less fall-spring growth. In short, the strong-growth schools appeared to have gamed the system to achieve the growth (for example, as the students begin the test, announce that they will get cookies when it is over).

  • 387. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    @363 You cannot compare the ISAT spring test with the winter MAP test — if you child learned more in the period than the norm group, her percentile rank would rise on both tests. You would need to compare the spring MAP (last year’s) with last year’s ISAT.

  • 388. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    “So an RGC kid might have the opportunity to score at the 99th percentile on ISAT if she learned the material taught at her RGC, while a bright neighborhood kid who received 7th grade level instruction would have scored in the 80th.”

    What do you base that on? What portion of the 7th grade SAT 10 math section(s) is based on math concepts not typically introduced until 9th grade? That argument requires that it be a substantial number.

    And yes, I realize that those were made up numbers, and the ‘true’ spread is prob more like 99 RGC to 95 ‘hood (or less). But even *that* isn’t the argument–the argument (as it related to RGC v hood) is *all* about T4 PaNJY admits, who have typically gotten 97+ on the ISATs, but, if getting 100% on MAP *until* hitting the Alg-I and Geo questions, and then going 0-for-the rest, means that the max score is a 95 or a 93, *then* there will be reduced numbers of ‘hood kids who get enough points to get into PaNJY from T4.

    If the real effect of shift from ISAT to MAP is that a RGC kid who would have gotten a 99 on ISAT, instead gets an 85 on MAP (which, btw, I think has no basis in reality), then there won’t be a lot of RGC kids at PaNJY, either, *if* non-CPS kids can use Terra Nova and other tests for 7th grade scores.

  • 389. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Reality check: Does anyone really believe that the switch to MAP will eliminate the possibilty for neighborhood school students to attend SEHS?

  • 390. IBobsessed  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I guess I was’t clear. My question addresses only the claim that the unfairness of MAP is a matter of it testing on material that neighborhood kids have not been exposed to. I am not saying that using MAP this year is fair across the board. My point is that As long as you have schools that teach above grade level, you will have students who are inherently advantaged on tests that are normed. MAP exacerbates this, but it is not something new.

  • 391. Counterpoint for discussion  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    To 378 Chris:
    Your statement :…..Are you for realz? So, you are suggesting that it is “fair” to basically make the determination of who gets into SEHS at age 4. Even the Germans don’t go that far with early tracking.

    I took a break from posting in order to allow the conversation to develop over many threads. I notice from previous threads (IEP and 504) post number 401 and this one that you like to disparage Germans in your arguments. That’s all fine and good but please don’t pout like you have with previous posts when you get schooled.

    Man or woman up and keep defending the illogical/communist positions such as Tiers.Tiers are evil. They reward poorer performing children and penalize smarter kids that happen to live on the other side of the street. Yes Chris, some neighborhoods have a tier 1 and tier 4 directly across the street.

  • 392. IBobsessed  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    OMG.

  • 393. junior  |  February 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    @389 OutsideLookingIn

    Eliminate possibility? I think the better way to phrase it is that any neighborhood or magnet kid who is not being instructed at a significantly higher grade level will be seriously disadvantaged by the change from ISAT to MAP. While Chris focuses on Tier 4 PaNJY, I think the disadvantage spans through all tiers and all SE schools. PaNJY Tier 4 is just most obvious because of the high stakes of a single point difference.

    It will be a sad day for CPS when parents of 4 year olds start saying “it’s RGC or the suburbs, kid — we know you probably won’t get into SEHS going to magnet or neighborhood”.

    @391
    Evil? Pfffft..

  • 394. IBobsessed  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Neighborhood kids are already seriously disadvantaged in SEHS admissions, Junior. Tell me how this could not so. I am talking about kids in neighborhood schools overall, not neighborhood schools in gentrified northside neighborhoods. That this is only now being noticed with the ISAT to MAP switch is surprising.

  • 395. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    “As long as you have schools that teach above grade level, you will have students who are inherently advantaged on tests that are normed”

    It isn’t a question of the ‘inherent’ advantage of working ahead (which isn’t necessarily true, in any case), it’s about the potential *relative* (as compared to ISAT) disadvantage for those *not* working ahead.

    Ignore the actual tests given for a second, and conceive of the following two tests:

    #1 evaluates whether, and how well, a 7th grader has learned the things a ‘typical’ 7th grader is supposed to learn. #2 evaluates how the same 7th grade learning, and goes beyond that.

    For Test #1, there are 100 questions on things every 7th grader should know, and getting all of them correct gets one 99th %ile.

    For Test #2, there are 200 questions, and the first 100 test the same knowledge as #1 does, after the first 100, the questions are all in Chinese. They actually only test the same information, but because 10% of schools teach Chinese to fluency, 100 correct is only 88%-ile (there are a few kids who learn Chinese outside school).

    In test #2, is it “unfair” that some kids learn/know Chinese? Are the kids who learned Chinese–even if they get only 101 questions correct–“smarter” or “more academically advanced” than the kids who got 100% on the English questions? Or is the unfairness of the test that it evaluates something that 90% of kids haven’t been taught in school?

  • 396. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    “OMG.”

    Agreed.

  • 397. Chris  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Junior: “While Chris focuses on Tier 4 PaNJY, I think the disadvantage spans through all tiers and all SE schools. PaNJY Tier 4 is just most obvious because of the high stakes of a single point difference.”

    Yes, of course it runs the full gamut of the schools and tiers. But focusing on the area of the narrowest difference keeps the discussion out of the weeds (like: “if she can’t get score X on MAP, she prob shouldn’t be at any SEHS anyway” or similar. That is a valid discussion, but not relevant for this issue).

    Also, the 7th grade test scoring rubric makes a single %-ile worth 2 scale points at various places–99 to 98 is 150 to 148. Also 97 to 96 and 95 to 94. Every 9%-ile diff is 14 points on the SEHS scale.

  • 398. kls  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    387: I understand where you are coming from but last spring’s MAP math percentile was also a 99. So again, 99 MAP vs 94 ISAT. Thanks.

  • 399. Counterpoint for discussion  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    To: 393
    The sad day has come. The social re-engineering has failed the middle class in Chicago. Because of it, one time great public schools are now “poor choices”. Example Schurz or Taft. We can dress it up 6 ways to Sunday with wall to wall IB or the like, but the stink still emits.

    To: 392 and 396
    Yes “OMG” is correct. That’s about all that will save you from your false instrumentalism of social order.

  • 400. junior  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    @394

    Not sure your point. That we should further disadvantage the disadvantaged?

  • 401. Testing Prep  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    @386 Wow! I had no idea the amount of “test prep” that was going on at other schools. My child’s CPS school does not…I didn’t even know there was such a thing as ISAT workbooks & we certainly don’t have pep rally’s. I guess I should pat the teachers at my school on the back…the students overall do well even without the prep.

  • 402. HS Mom  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    @394 I agree. The same situation exists for an “above grade level” ability kid who happens to go to an under performing school and whose education is greatly compromised because of his/her classmates.

    Some solutions exist in the way of charters and NCLB seats. Unfortunately, the fact that his/her education has been significantly impaired does influence the ability to thrive in an advanced setting. Would a possible solution be to implement a uniform differentiation program throughout all elementary schools (including SEES and RGC) that would allow all kids to work at their level regardless of the type of school they attend? Maybe kids would go to different schools on certain days of the week…… Just a thought and possibly a valuable use of this new testing.

  • 403. junior  |  February 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    @401
    NCLB was not aimed at schools like yours. It was aimed at failure factories where illiterate students were promoted from grade to grade. On your school, the NCLB mandates have a lot of negative consequences. On the failure factories, I really don’t know.

  • 404. HS Mom  |  February 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    @403 – if that was to me….my reference to NCLB stems from my understanding that there are some seats awarded using the NCLB regulations as means to give AA kids who fit the description – intelligent but disadvantaged educationally – into SE schools. I also understand that these kids are hand picked and do test to get into the schools. I’m imagining, maybe naively, that these are actually kids that are identified by teachers who are smart and wanting to learn but are stuck in these “failure factories”.

  • 405. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Dumb question: if kids in SEES work two grades ahead, what the heck are they learning in their Freshman and Sophmore English classes in high school that they haven’t already covered in Jr High? Seems like they would be bored senseless during their first two years of SEHS.

  • 406. Gobemouche  |  February 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    405 – the SEHSs are also advanced. That is the whole point.

  • 407. Gobemouche  |  February 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Junior- “It will be a sad day for CPS when parents of 4 year olds start saying “it’s RGC or the suburbs, kid — we know you probably won’t get into SEHS going to magnet or neighborhood”.

    That already happens. It’s been happening forever. Regardless of ISAT/Map or SEHS admission, plenty of people go SEES or ‘burbs. I feel like I’m seeing that even more in the last couple of years (even more than 10 years ago) with the longer day, funding issues, the pension fight…etc. I mean, come on, we’ve always known that SEES kids tend to get into SEHSs. It makes sense in that they are both accelerated or advanced environments, I guess. I’m sort of surprised that you’re taking issue with this now.

  • 408. HS Mom  |  February 7, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    “I mean, come on, we’ve always known that SEES kids tend to get into SEHSs”

    What!! Please check out the link in post 370 for a list of schools sending kids to 4 SEHS’s shown in descending order by count. Point being, you don’t have to go to SEES to handle an advanced curriculum.

  • 409. pantherettie  |  February 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    @405 – kids who attend Academic Centers actually earn high school credit starting in 7th grade. By 10th grade some are taking AP courses(if they wish) or having the chance to study things in more depth and variety.

  • 410. junior  |  February 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    @407 Gobemouche

    I think the point is that if you have a smart, talented kid who will work to achieve to their abilities, you’ve always been able to feel confident that sending them to a good neighborhood school would not significantly diminish their chances to attend an SEHS. It is a sudden change, and unfair to folks who have no time to prepare for it.

    Sure, people have always fled to the burbs for schools. I don’t see your point — does that mean it’s OK to adopt policies that encourage more flight by devaluing neighborhood schools?

  • 411. Gobemouche  |  February 8, 2014 at 1:12 am

    HSmom – you completely misunderstood my point. I was not saying in any way the kids from neighborhood schools can’t handle a SEHS. Not at all. I stated a widely observed fact – that SEES kids tend to get into SEHSs. That is all. That is not an opinion or a judgement about other schools or programs. I’ve seen the data from the article many times.

    From the article: …”They’re mostly gifted and magnet schools. They make up fewer than 1 percent of schools in the system. But together with the private schools, their students win more than half the seats in Chicago’s top four high schools.”

    Again. I did not say nobody else can or should get in, nor did I allude to such a thing. I did not write a single word about who can or can’t “handle the curriculum.” I’m well aware that smarts (or whatever you want to call it) are not monopolized by SEES.

    Junior – No snark, honest request. Please explain why MAP testing represents a significant disadvantage to CPS students. I realize personal anecdotes are not data, but have you had personal experience with MAP resulting in a lower percentile versus ISAT? I can see the issue with Terra Nova, etc versus MAP, but I’m having a hard time seeing why MAP versus MAP is an issue too.

  • 412. Testing Prep  |  February 8, 2014 at 8:34 am

    When do we think CPS might make a decision re: the fairness of CPS students taking the MAP test vs. the other accepted standardized tests? Why did CPS change the information on the OAE website indicating that a decision “would be made soon” re: other acceptable standardized tests?

    Anyone have some inside information on this? Is CPS actually looking at data to figure out how to align the MAP test with the other acceptable standardized tests?

  • 413. Testing Prep  |  February 8, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Just wanted to add…I currently have a child at one of the ‘Elite 4′ who was the product of a neighborhood school. He frequently comments on how well his former school prepared him for HS. He also notes that some other kids were not as fortunate…the knowledge gap in his English class is huge…from kids that don’t yet know the parts of speech to kids that are writing short stories/analyzing complex literature with ease.

    Even he realizes the unfairness re: the kids that apparently didn’t get a good neighborhood school education & has commented on the difficulty the teacher must have in grading them as ‘it’s not really fair to grade them on things they were never taught’.

  • 414. Cps alum  |  February 8, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I was evading the FAQ section on the new nwea common core aligned MAP tests. Question # 16 says it all:

    http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/resources/Common%20Core%20MAP%20FAQ_July2013_0.pdf

    16. Do the 2011 norms apply to the Common Core MAP tests?
    The 2011 norms are carefully constructed to be independent of any specific test. Performance on any MAP test that comprises a broad sampling of NWEA test items can appropriately reference the 2011 NWEA norms. Therefore, the 2011 norms apply to NWEA Common Core MAP tests.
    It is important to note, however, that alignment between test content and instructional content is a fundamental assumption underlying all MAP tests; if this is not the case, there may be a slight impact on the percentile ranks. For example, if you are migrating to the CCSS 15% MAP tests when your students are still receiving instruction aligned to your current state standards, AND the CCSS is more challenging than your existing state standards for a grade level, you may see a slight drop in percentile ranks for all students in that particular grade level.

  • 415. CPS Parent  |  February 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

    404. HS Mom if I remember correctly, the NCLB kids placed into the SEHS’s using a separate admission process was a one or two year thing a few years ago. These were kids who had not qualified for the SEHS entrance exam but did have one or more subject stanines that did meet the threshold.

  • 416. HS Mom  |  February 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

    @411 – I see your point and concur that it has traditionally been kids from predominately good schools admitted to the “top 4″. I would also like to point out that the majority of good magnet and neighborhood schools on that list while providing a sometimes superior education do not necessarily work ahead offering algebra and geometry at 7th grade. This was the issue with the new test change. If there is truth to the speculation here, Map would theoretically knock out much of the neighborhood/magnet presence in favor of SEES and private kids who might not have otherwise gotten in skewing the population even more in that direction.

    @415 – It’s my understanding from reading here and elsewhere that while the “100 kids appointed” in 2010 was abandoned after the funding was dropped (and probably after thinking it through), there are still some seats (a small %?) given to kids in the SE schools, (including now Lane and Lindblom) to kids from under-served neighborhoods/schools. They now test in with everyone else and are admitted in the same process but allowed admission with lower scores.

  • 417. OTdad  |  February 8, 2014 at 10:57 am

    All the “fairness” talks about privates vs. CPS, neighborhood vs. RGC, etc. all can trace to one thing: tests are too easy, a slight policy change can affect the outcome.

    I grew up in another country, where “straight A” is extremely hard to achieve. Basically, “straight A” is automatically top 5%. In entrance exams, 90 out 100 points is an outstanding score that few can get, 100 out 100 is virtually out of reach for 99.9% of the students. Here, we have easy “straight A”, easy 300/300 entrance exams. 1 percentile change in standardized test can mean in or out. It’s ridiculous.

    One obvious solution is increase the difficulty of the SEHS entrance exam, weigh down the score of regular grades and standardized tests. For example, only allow about 10% to get 90 out 100; 20% get 80 …. now, that’s easier to be selective.

  • 418. cpsobsessed  |  February 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    @OTDad – that may be true about the standards being easy. It likely IS true. But wouldn’t raising the standards still distribute the kids the same way (meaning the top say10 percent of kids will still get the top spots, no matter what the scale.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 419. pantherettie  |  February 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    @415 HSMom – you are absolutely incorrect about the admission of students at Lindblom from “under served neighborhoods and schools”. The only way that kids enter the SEHS not through the regular SEHS admission policy is through Principal’s discretion – which is a program available at EVERY SEHS. I’m sensitive to this because there a lot of people on this board who routinely dismiss any school that isn’t Payton, NS, Jones or WY and I don’t want your misinformation to be used here or anywhere else to discredit or diminish the school.

  • 420. OTdad  |  February 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    You are right. Raising standards alone won’t change the distribution.

    There is a difference though. Raising standards will allow us to better distinguish smart ones. For example, suppose that we are testing Kindergarteners on adding two 1-digit numbers. 5 questions within 10 minutes. It’s likely that everybody can do it correctly and get full scores. Who mastered it better? No way to tell on paper. If we change the test to 100 questions within 10 minutes, the scores will tell us much more about the mastery.

    Right now, the SEHS process is like a game of “who make the fewest mistakes” instead of “who is the smartest or who master the subject better”.

  • 421. cpsobsessed  |  February 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    @OTDad: That was very much the premise of this book (which I still need to organize for book club! You should come discuss it, even if you don’t read the book.)

    The woman studies some of the most successful education systems in the world and high standards were key. She considers the U.S. to be lacking in that respect. It’s an interesting and easy read.

  • 422. pantherparent  |  February 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    @411 Gobemouche I think Chris’s post @395 does a great job explaining the concern neighborhood-school parents have with this change.

    To me, using MAP effectively shifts the admittance to SEHS from 7th grade to pre-k. Once you get into a SEES, your path is paved to SEHS.

    I fully agree that many SEES kids get into PaNJY right now, and they should, but that number will become greater. And it will cut out the Tier 4 neighborhood kid. Through no fault of their own.

  • 423. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 8, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    @401 What school are you at? Your school shows the merits of high-quality instruction, but it takes a principal willing to put his or her job on the line to resist network pressure to go the test-prep route and having confidence in the teachers. At many schools, teachers fear their their principals and at ones where they don’t, many principals fear their network chief.

    Also, it is a lot easier to walk this walk in a neighborhood with many students who have college-educated parents involved with their children’s studies than in neighborhoods that have fewer such students.

  • 424. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    It would be interesting to see a current breakdown of the percent of Tier 4 freshman enrolled in each SEHS by the following categories (type of schools they attended in 8th grade):
    – SEES, AC or G&T programs within neighborhood schools
    – Non-CPS
    – Magnet
    – Neighborhood

    After MAP, will these percentages change as dramatically as people suspect?

  • 425. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    420. OTdad

    How is “who make the fewest mistakes” any different from “who is the smartest or who master the subject better” if you are using entrance exams or other standardized exam-based criteria for admission? If the exam is functioning as it should, the smartest should make the fewest mistakes. I get the concept of selectivity being hard to judge if the exam is too simple, but the whole point of norm-referenced exams is to avoid this: ideally, half the exam-takers should get any one question wrong. Scoring in the 99th percentile of a properly and nationally normed exam does separate out who does better on than 99% of the competition, at least in principle.

    Raising the standards is relevant for criterion-referenced exams, where it is possible for everyone to get 100% in principle. But standards are what one is supposed to learn. Raising them will reduce the number who can meet them, but it would not differentiate those at the top.

    SEHS admissions get so contentious because it is so hard to get in, and it is precisely around high performance that one gets in. According to a Feb. 2013 CPSO post, 14,393 students sat for the SEHS test last year. We know from CPS cut-score data that 1,256 offers were made solely by scores (30% of offers made), so 1256/14393= .08726, or 8.7% of permitted applicants received an offer by score alone. And anyone with a score of 892 or more received an offer from a school they applied to, with the possible exception of a tier 4 student applying to Payton (the min. was 892 but it is possible that some 892-scorers from tier 4 did not get in). So, getting 300/300/300 is not easy.

    If the top 5% is the standard we are looking for, then among the roughly 28,000 8th graders in CPS, we need only 1,400 9th grade SE seats. CPS made 4,106 first-round SEHS offers last year. If the aim was to let in only the top 5%, then you could kill the tier system and just let in 144 more students by rank-alone. Which, by the way, is two less than made it into Northside, Payton, and Young from the tier 4 pool. So no one who didn’t get in last year, would get in under a non-tier 5% system. They wouldn’t be qualified

  • 426. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    @422 @395

    Chris’ @388 post was more accurate than his @395 post.

    A test designed to rank 7th graders would contain enough questions of enough difficulty to rank the 7th graders in the norming group. What matters is how much students in the national norm sample know. That is what Chicago students — neighborhood or RGC — are being compared to.

    I know this sounds pedantic, but this stuff is not intuitive: the 99th percentile of the norm sample contains the scores received by the top 1% of students. Let’s say for “generic test” that the norm sample for 7th grade contained 10,000 students. This means that the 100 highest scores are in the 99th percentile.

    Let’s say the scoring system runs from 200-900 (the lowest possible and the highest possible scores at 2 point intervals). The 99th percentile could contain:

    5 scores of 900
    8 scores of 898
    20 scores of 896…
    [and so on until]
    40 scores of 890 (now totaling 100 scores)

    The 98th percentile would the start at scores of 889 and downward until 99 more scores were obtained, then the 97th percentile starts.

    Let’s say I develop a test like the MAP, let’s call it *MAP. Because *MAP contains a broader range of material than “generic test”, it can better discriminate among students, but the norms for the 7th grade on *MAP are still obtained by testing a group of 7th graders and ranking them. Let’s say the same group of students who served as the norm group for generic test were also used to norm *MAP, except now RITs are used instead of the 200-900 scale. The 7th grade 99th percentile could contain:

    1 score of 290
    2 scores of 289
    2 score of 288
    3 score of 287
    5 scores of 286…
    until 100 scores are obtained, let’s say at 275

    So, those 5 students who scored 900 on “generic test” now score
    290, 289, 288, and the 8 who scored 898 on “generic test” now score 287 and 286 and those at 890 on “generic test” score 275 on *MAP

    While the *MAP indicates more precise differences among the students than “generic test”, it would not necessarily alter their percentile ranks because it has a broader range of potential answers.

    What matters in the real world is that the fundamental content of tests is different, not that one has a broader range than the other.
    Conceptual frameworks, content emphasis, item difficulty, and item sampling techniques differ among the tests. And of course, norming methods differ and so do the actual norm groups. In practice, there will be percentile rank differences when you switch to a different test, though if the tests are after the same basic concepts they should be similar even if they are not identical. Of course, when a 98th percentile rank has a much different outcome than a 99th percentile rank, the similar but not the same has significant consequences. But norm referenced standardized tests were not designed for individual-level accuracy.

  • 427. HS Mom  |  February 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    @425 CB says “If the top 5% is the standard we are looking for, then among the roughly 28,000 8th graders in CPS, we need only 1,400 9th grade SE seats”

    We would need to know the total number of 8th graders in the city of Chicago + others from outside applying (hopefully negligible) for this to be correct…….something greater than 28,000, don’t know what that number is.

  • 428. OTdad  |  February 9, 2014 at 11:22 am

    @425 CB,
    There is a big difference between “who make the fewest mistakes” and “who master the subjects better”. The implications are huge to education quality.

    Still use the Kindergarten math test (1-digit addition) as an example.
    Student A: draws dots on paper and counts them up. can finish 1 question in 1 minute.
    Student B: has mastered 1-digit addition. can do a question instantly (1-2 seconds).

    If the test is 5 questions in 10 minutes. They both are likely to get full scores. There is a possibility that A can score higher than B because A’s method is less prone to mental mistakes.

    If the test is 100 questions in 10 minutes. Student A will score no more than 10 points. Student B will score close to 100 even if he makes one or two mistakes. There is no chance A can score higher than B.

    Who is the better student? The simpler test reveals nothing or gives wrong indications. SEHS exam is this kind of test (too many score 300). Standardized tests are this kind of test (too many 99% 98%..90%). Everyday tests are this kind (everybody is “straight A”).
    As a result, SEHS picks students who made fewest mistakes, not the smartest ones. A mediocre student can get in by not making mistakes while an outstanding one can be shut out by a mental mistake somewhere.

    Easy tests and easy As encourages mediocrity by doing just enough. It makes students/parents/teachers/politicians feel good about themselves. By giving out easy As, we are telling students “you are perfect, good job”, instead of “there is always room for improvement.”
    13 years of giving a mediocre student As can have profound impact on how well s/he masters the subjects.

  • 429. OTdad  |  February 9, 2014 at 11:55 am

    @421 CPSO.
    Sounds like a good read. I’ll borrow that book from the library.

  • 430. WRP Mom  |  February 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    @421 CPSO, I’ve read the book now. Looking forward to the next book club meeting!

  • 431. cpsobsessed  |  February 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Okay, great. I will set it up!
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 432. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 9, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    @428 The SEHS exam is norm-referenced; the district assessment (was SAT10 of ISAT; now NWEA MAP) is also norm-referenced. There cannot be “too many” students scoring equivalent to the 99th percentile, 98th, etc. unless the norming was fouled up.

    We don’t know how many students received a perfect score (900) last year, but we do know that the rank admissions scores ranged from 708 to 900 — no everyone wants to go to Payton or Northside. At Northside, 78 students were accepted by rank alone last year, with a min. score of 898. Since there is no way to get a 899 score, and the reported mean by rank was 899.15, working out from the average tells us that only 45 students received a 900. Likewise, at Payton only 42 of the 66 students admitted by rank only received 900s. So even in the rank-based admissions, 57 students at both schools failed to reach the 99th percentile on the one of the SAT10 sections or they failed to reach it on the SEHS exam. At Northside, this mean that only 12.7% of all offers were made to students with perfect scores. At Payton, 10.8% of all offers made were to students with perfect scores.

    I fail to see how we can conclude that the SEHS exam is therefore too easy.

  • 433. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    @427 Good point. In the 2010 Census there were 164,466 children aged 10-14, so roughly 32,893 in 8th grade — just dividing by 5 which is not perfect but good enough. So 5% of that pop. would be 1,644.

    One could make the argument that the SEHS should take those who score at the 95th percentile or higher, not just 5% of the Chicago population. which is how the state defines G&T. I have no idea how many such students there are in Chicago in 8th grade.

  • 434. H  |  February 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    “How is “who make the fewest mistakes” any different from “who is the smartest or who master the subject better” if you are using entrance exams or other standardized exam-based criteria for admission? If the exam is functioning as it should, the smartest should make the fewest mistakes. I get the concept of selectivity being hard to judge if the exam is too simple, but the whole point of norm-referenced exams is to avoid this: ideally, half the exam-takers should get any one question wrong. Scoring in the 99th percentile of a properly and nationally normed exam does separate out who does better on than 99% of the competition, at least in principle.”

    You seem to be focusing way too much on whether the test is normed. If you wanted to pick the best HS math students, you’d be much better off relying on performance the MAA test or the AIME, as opposed to the top scorers on the ACT or SAT. The fact that those tests are nationally normed (I’m assuming they are) doesn’t mean they do a good job at identifying the top math students, just the ones that do best at the math on those tests. But if the tests are not testing for what you are really interested in, their having been normed doesn’t do you much good.

  • 435. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    @434 You need a normed test to rank-order students. For those math tests, if the questions are too hard, most students get most of them wrong. If 10 people score 12/15, 50 score 10/15 and 2,000 score 2/15 and you have 500 spots to fill, you have to start pulling from the 2,000 equally low-scoring students. Normed tests are designed to produce scores close to a normal distribution, so that the 500th student scores higher than the 501st student.

  • 436. H  |  February 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    “You need a normed test to rank-order students.’

    Not really. If you set aside the issue of comparing across different versions of a test, you can certainly give the same test to all students and rank order them. Yes, you can imagine an example where the test is so hard that there are a bunch of ties. If that were not a problem, then you could just take the top X scorers regardless of whether the test is nationally normed. (How you would try to fit it in the CPS scoring formula is a separate matter, though no particular reason to think that the current percentile rank metric is appropriate.)

    The point remains that the existence of norming, national or otherwise, doesn’t tell us that a test is necessarily a good measure of whatever you are trying to select on. Maybe it is, but being normed does not assure it.

    Also, having a normal distribution is all fine and good, but pretty much any distribution would be fine unless it is extremely skewed as in the example you constructed. Even then, it would be fine if you wanted to pick out the equivalent of the top 10 scorers. E.g., the Putnam may have a median score of zero but it’s a better test to pick out the top college math students than the SAT/GRE.

  • 437. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    @436: “The point remains that the existence of norming, national or otherwise, doesn’t tell us that a test is necessarily a good measure of whatever you are trying to select on.”

    I agree. But OAE needs a test that guarantees them a ranking. .

    Of course, one could simply set a level of performance on a non-normed test that is “good enough” for SEHS admission and then select by lot from among those in the pool.

  • 438. Chris  |  February 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    BEZ Article: “They’re mostly gifted and magnet schools. They make up fewer than 1 percent of schools in the system.”

    How can I take the conclusions seriously, when there is such a glaring error. There are certainly more than 4 gifted and magnet elementaries–CPS school locator gives 469 elementary schools in the district, and shows *50* (aka, *more* that 10%) that are magnet or RGC. Limit it just to RGC (ie, assume another error), and the number is still 13–which is ‘less than 3%’, but still doesn’t make the number used correct.

    Can we get some accurate reporting on this stuff?

  • 439. Chris  |  February 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    CB: “Chris’ @388 post was more accurate than his @395 post.”

    I agree. 395 was to make a specific point, and was not intended to be “accurate”.

    CB: “OAE needs a test that guarantees them a ranking”

    Finish out that thought to (partly) convince H: they need the ranking *in order to have an easy to explain system* (without getting into all the details). Gotta have a system that is cognizable to the typical CPS parent, and the typical top half 7th grader.

    There could be a ‘better’ system of identifying the ‘most worthy’ 8th graders, but if it isn’t easily explained, it’ll get passed over for the best option that can be.

  • 440. Chris  |  February 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    CB: “I fail to see how we can conclude that the SEHS exam is therefore too easy.”

    Agreed. We don’t have anyway of knowing based on the publicly available data. As you spell out, it would appear to be decently difficult, as there isn’t anyone getting 900 points and not getting in *by rank* to the school they want. The first time that there is a rank minimum of 900 at one of the schools, there will be a possible issue there, but before that, concern seems misplaced.

    And, iirc, CPSO found out how many 300 scores on the 8th grade there were in some prior year, and it wasn’t anything wildly different than one would expect, with an age-cohort of ~30k. If the test is the ‘right amount’ of hard, there’d be about 300 kids with 99 %-ile scores, and non-perfect overlap with the kids who got 2 99s on the 7th grade tests, so not all of the “perfect” 8th grade scores result in “perfect” qualifying scores.

  • 441. H  |  February 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    “they need the ranking *in order to have an easy to explain system* (without getting into all the details). Gotta have a system that is cognizable to the typical CPS parent, and the typical top half 7th grader.”

    I take the point generally, but having a normed test has little to do with it. My guess is that the NYC selective HS test is not normed but it generates scores with sufficient gradations to allow students to be ranked and is (presumably) cognizable to the typical top tier NYC student.

    My main disagreement was with the suggestion that because a nationally normed test will distinguish the top 1% on the test that necessarily means it is picking out the “smartest” 1% for whatever one is trying to select for.

  • 442. Chris  |  February 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    “having a normed test has little to do with it”

    Well, yes and no. Yes, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to explain, but, no, it opens up (more) accusations of a biased test, which I think is part of the ‘explainable’ system.

  • 443. H  |  February 10, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    “Yes, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to explain, but, no, it opens up (more) accusations of a biased test, which I think is part of the ‘explainable’ system.”

    It matters given the particular circumstances of CPS testing because the private school kids are taking a different test, so there certainly has to be some norming if they are to be compared. (I realize given the actual system that is a big deal, but I was discussing it mostly in the abstract.)

    Otherwise, I’m not sure it would be an issue. Even if parents were aware of whether there is norming (I’m not convinced that most are), I don’t think there would be much difference between an NYC test (assuming that is not normed) versus a normed ISAT or whatever. There would be complaints about bias or fairness for other issues but I don’t think they are ones that primarily depend on whether the test is normed.

  • 444. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 10, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    The NYC SHSAT’s precise raw-to-scale scoring system is not known, but it does score students relative to each other. The scale score, not the percentile rank, determines admission. What is known is that students can have lopsided percentile ranks on the verbal v. math sections and gain admission, whereas students who have similar, high percentile ranks in both sections often do not. The test has never been subject to independent peer review.

    For more, see http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/pb-feinman-nyc-test_final.pdf

  • 445. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    More than a Score met with several CPS officials today to discuss district testing policy and our criticisms of it. Inter alia, we discussed role of the NWEA MAP in SEHS admissions. Because OAE is still working on this, our discussion on SEHS admission was off the record. However, I can assure readers of this blog that 1) CPS understands the concerns expressed here; 2) they take them seriously, and 3) they are working hard to create an equitable test process for all students, public and private, seeking to enter SEHS in 2015-16.

  • 446. cpsobsessed  |  February 10, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    @thanks for the update on that, C-Ball.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 447. Gobemouche  |  February 10, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I recently heard that there were around 900 CPS students who received over 90 percentile on last year’s ISAT, but only around 200 who received the same on the NWEA. Does that sound right?

  • 448. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 11, 2014 at 12:58 am

    445. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins) | February 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you for updating!!!

  • 449. OTdad  |  February 11, 2014 at 5:15 am

    @445 CB:
    “3) they are working hard to create an equitable test process for all students, public and private, seeking to enter SEHS in 2015-16.”
    The solution is rather quite simple: Everybody takes THE SAME standardized test, no “equivalents”.

    Let’s examine Payton’s Tier 4 admission from last year. The minimum score 892 and maximum score 900 is only 8 points apart.

    Since one “B” in grades costs 25 points, grades is basically useless in comparing two students, other than “straight A” is a prerequisite for admission.

    Let’s see how much a small variation in standardized test percentile can affect the outcome. According to
    <a href="http://www.cpsoae.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=72696&type=d&termREC_ID&pREC_ID=200840&quot; CPS Point Calculation Tool

    Since CPS add reading and math percentiles together, to simplify, let’s consider the average percentile:
    99% (99% 99%) = 300 points
    98% (98% 98%) = 297 points
    97% (97% 97%)= 294 points
    96% (96% 96%) = 291 points

    We can see that
    1 average percentile = 3 points
    2 average percentile = 6 points
    3 average percentile = 9 points

    Let’s assume from 892 to 900, the scores are evenly distributed.

    If the change of test causes 1 average percentile drop for CPS students, we can expect there will be 37.5% drop of CPS Tier 4 students in Payton.
    2 percentile drop = 75% drop.
    3 percentile drop = “CPS students, Payton is only for private school students. No Tier 4 CPS students allowed”. (the maximum points a CPS student can get is 891).

    We can see that using different standardized test is OUTRAGEOUSLY unfair.

    To add insult to injury, I think private schools are already enjoying an BIG unfair advantage. Why? Nearly 30% Payton freshmen last year were from private schools. It’s reasonable to assume that all of them are in Tier 4, and most ranked 30% are from Tier 4. So, only 17.5% are from CPS Tier 4. Almost 2:1 advantage to privates. How is that possible? Brilliant students tend to be self motivated learners, schools play small role in their achievements. You can’t teach smart. In Tier 4, private schools should have absolutely no advantage given the shear number of students in CPS. The only reason this can happen is: private schools have unfair advantage in their self cooked percentile, 1 or 2 percentile is all that takes.

    If private schools have to take the same test, I expect there will be a big drop (at least 10%) in private school enrollments.

    CPS, please close the loop hole. Ban whatever self cooked standardized percentiles from private schools.

  • 450. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 11, 2014 at 7:38 am

    @449: I agree with the point that the ideal system would be that everyone takes the same test — but let’s be clear, even if all private school students took the test in spring 2014 with public school students, you are still going to have the problem of new students showing up between then and the Dec. 2014 deadline. They will have to be tested as well, but because they would be taking the MAP in fall 2014, their percentile rank will be off a different norm — the one for 8th graders at early fall.

    I’m not sure how you reach this conclusion: “If the change of test causes 1 average percentile drop for CPS students, we can expect there will be 37.5% drop of CPS Tier 4 students in Payton.” What is the private:public acceptance ratio you are using?

  • 451. HS Mom  |  February 11, 2014 at 8:59 am

    @449 OT – you lost me at the 37.5%. Are you saying that the 8 point spread in tier 4 would give a value of 12.5% (100/8) for each point the entrance score drops?

    The private/public ratio would be further compromised in that as CPS scores go down the cutoffs go down. While private scores remain stagnate, admission is allowed to lower scoring private applicants who now have comparable scores to CPS high scorers. This will happen at every tier level.

    Since CPS has promised that this will not happen, it will be interesting to see their solution.

  • 452. H  |  February 11, 2014 at 9:11 am

    “What is known is that students can have lopsided percentile ranks on the verbal v. math sections and gain admission, whereas students who have similar, high percentile ranks in both sections often do not.”

    That’s more a function of how the system chooses to use the two scores. And that choice generally makes sense to me and is (very very roughly) consistent with how selective colleges do it. If you are 1/100,000 smart in math and 1/5 smart in verbal (ignoring other factors for the sake of this example) you get into Harvard. You may not if you are 1/10 in math and 1/10 in verbal.

  • 453. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 11, 2014 at 10:19 am

    @449 OTdad – why is it “reasonable” to assume that ALL kids in Payton’s freshman class who came from private schools live in Tier 4?

  • 454. Patricia  |  February 11, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Crazy thought? Since MAPS will be used for admissions AND the scores are available pretty much immediately, what about CPS using an 8th grade Spring MAPS instead of 7th grade? (if timing is too tight then have a Winter MAPS for 8th graders applying to SEHS.)

    Isn’t the reason 7th grade ISAT (and grades) are used is because the stupid ISAT results took so long to get back? Since the test has changed, it could be an opportunity to use the 8th grade results for MAPS and in 8th grade take the entrance exam. Grades still 7th.

    This would certainly give CPS enough time to figure out the logistics for all CPS and non-CPS kids. Or am I missing something?

  • 455. Chris  |  February 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    “I recently heard that there were around 900 CPS students who received over 90 percentile on last year’s ISAT, but only around 200 who received the same on the NWEA. ”

    You mean 900 (and 200) *in one grade*, right? Like, of last year’s 7th graders (~30,000), 900 were in the top 10% nationally.

    Doesn’t sound right to me (way too low), but if that is more than one class year, sounds *absurdly* low.

  • 456. Chris  |  February 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    “why is it “reasonable” to assume that ALL kids in Payton’s freshman class who came from private schools live in Tier 4?”

    It’s not. A lot of folks who send their kids to privates do so bc their chosen hood to live in doesn’t have good schools. So, if anything, there would be a ‘reasonable’ assumption that *more* of the private school kids live outside T4. I don’t think that is a good assumption, either, but it would be just as ‘reasonable’ as assuming ‘all’.

    I’d probably start with a 2:1 T4:other assumed baseline, and fine tune with other available data. For purposes of the ‘close enough’ analysis, I might assign all of the non-T4 1/3 to T3, even knowing it is clearly incorrect, but close enough to guess-analysis.

  • 457. pantherparent  |  February 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I think the privates will put up huge opposition to the “one test” solution. Not because their enrollments in SEHS will drop but because if the overall school results are made public, it allows parents a very easy way to compare public to private. And privates don’t want that.

    Right now many private schools play the “privates are better” card with no actual data to back it up. The ISATs allow parents to compare public schools but how do they decide if they should spend $5K to go private?

    Every child in every school should take the exact same test on the exact same day across Illinois for their grade. 1st through 12th. Public, private, charter, home-school. And the overall results should be published.

  • 458. 19th ward Mom  |  February 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    @Christopher Ball
    Thanks for sharing the information re: the meeting with CPS. Did you by chance ask them why they are not sharing the comparison of scores between MAP and ISAT for just the cps kids. Data they easily have on hand. If they used MAP for last year’s entry class for SEHS, would the same amount of CPS kids have gotten spots?

  • 459. OTdad  |  February 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    @451 HS Mom:
    1 average percentile drop translates to 3 points less = 37.5% of 8 points. 37.5% of Tier 4 CPS students who would have been accepted by Payton will be replaced by privates.

    @450 CB:
    Nearly 30% of Payton freshman were from private schools. That’s a substantial percentage if we compare the number of applicants from public schools Tier 4 and privates. I don’t have factual numbers to work with and have to make some assumptions, such as all private applicants are Tier 4, all ranked acceptance (30%)are from Tier 4 . So, Payton has 47.5% freshman from Tier 4, 30% from private schools. That leaves 17.5% for CPS Tier 4 students.

    Again, I don’t have the actual number. Assume conservatively 1 out of 5 Tier 4 applicants is from private schools. A private school students will have 5×30/17.5~~8.5:1 better chances in getting into Payton than CPS students in Tier 4.

    I don’t think private schools are that much better, especially for top of the barrel students. Education quality cannot make that much difference. There must be other reasons. I remember reading on this board that private schools were allowed to take ISAT twice and pick the higher score. (1%~ 2% difference could easily come from that.) Using different standardized tests (1~2% alignment error is not all that big). That’s why I suspect private school might already enjoy 1% advantage or more.

    If we ask everybody taking the same test, with the 1 percentile or more advantage gone, the number of private students will drop by 37.5%. 30%*37.5%~~11%. So, 19% of all Payton will be from private schools.

  • 460. Chris  |  February 11, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    “If we ask everybody taking the same test, with the 1 percentile or more advantage gone, the number of private students will drop by 37.5%. 30%*37.5%~~11%. So, 19% of all Payton will be from private schools.”

    Nah, not gonna happen. That’d require private applicants to be under-represented (based on % of those ranking Payton–it’s been in the 20-25% range in recent years) among admittees. And, even taking exactly the same test, I would expect at least a slight *over* representation as compared to the applicant pool (bc of the “inherent” advantages of private school). Basically, I’d be shocked if any “fair” (ie, not designed to specifically *disadvantage* non-CPS 8th graders) change in the admit process reduced private number at WP & NS below about 25% (give or take). And, there is every reason to believe that a ‘fair’ change wouldn’t have any meaningful effect (ie, moves the needle by one or two kids either way).

  • 461. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    @459 You’ve confused the sets. You cannot subtract 30% from 47% to get the % of CPS students. If 30% are private, and all private are tier 4, and all rank-only are tier 4, then you saying that 30% of the 47% are private; so 70% are still CPS.

  • 462. Chris  |  February 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    CB: “If 30% are private, and all private are tier 4, and all rank-only are tier 4, then you saying that 30% of the 47% are private; so 70% are still CPS”

    Huh? If the 30% who are Private grads are all in T4, and all rank admits are in T4, and T4 is 47% of Payton admits, then there are only 17% of Payton admits who are T4 and not Private grads.

    Yes, 70% of the Payton admits are non-private, still, but that breaks down as 30% Private, 17% T4, non-Private, and 53% T3+T2+T1. And OTdad is most concerned (self-interest, which is completely understandable) about the non-Private T4s.

  • 463. OTdad  |  February 11, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    @462:
    “self-interest”? I assumed all privates are T4, is there any point to consider T3+T2+T1 since they are “assumed” not competing with privates???

  • 464. OTdad  |  February 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    @460:
    “even taking exactly the same test, I would expect at least a slight *over* representation as compared to the applicant pool”.

    30% of Payton is not “slight”, it’s way way way over representation. I believe there are much more smart kids in CPS than privates. A few bucks cannot buy smarts, you have to born with it.

  • 465. Confused  |  February 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Did anyone see the letter to the editor by WY principal Joyce D Kenner in the Chicago Trib today re: SEHS and ACs.

    “Selective enrollment schools were designed for students capable of handling college-preparatory curriculum. These programs are not designed for parents attempting to game the system by putting students in expensive prep courses to boost their scores. This gives an unfair advantage to those students who cannot afford these programs.”

    She further states that years ago “parents were not privy to what test was being used for selection” and that “I would really like to see a system where principals at the elementary school level have an opportunity to recommend a select few students to the high school of their choice based on their academic success.”

    First, isn’t that why we have the tier system (as imperfect as it is) in the first place…to level the playing field among different socioeconomic groups? Second, I’m not sure how many years ago she is talking about…but for as long as I have been aware…parents and students have known (as they should) what tests will be used for the selection process. Anyone know what she is talking about? Third, as for principal recommendation, doesn’t the current system already have the “principal discretion” component?

    Finally, I find it discouraging that there is sometimes a negative connotation implied on this blog (as well as in the principals letter) to individuals residing in Tier 4. That designation was decided by CPS not the individuals that live in an apt. or home in a certain area…and frankly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have extra money or access to a quality neighborhood school (my area doesn’t). Having conducted the census in 2010 in my area, I found that despite the Tier 4 designation…there is Section 8 housing within the tier & many first generation immigrants that neither speak English nor are privy to the supposed benefits of being designated ‘tier 4′.

  • 466. Chris  |  February 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    “30% of Payton is not “slight”, it’s way way way over representation.”

    You missed/ignored my point.

    ““self-interest”? I assumed all privates are T4″

    You made assumptions (incorrect, imo, as I noted above) that make the Private ‘advantage’ (an ‘inherent’ one, I learned from someone here) in PaNJY admissions look as disadvantageous to T4 as possible, and implied the unfairness of this as it relates specifically to *CPS T4 kids*.

    I inferred that you focused on this because it emphasizes the ‘unfairness’ to your (and my) kids, as CPS-attending, T4 living, kids. If you allocate out the 30% privates to be 20% in T4 (ie, ~42%, instead of 63% of the T4 WP admits) and 10% bt the other Ts, then the numbers aren’t so stark, and it doesn’t look like as much of a problem.

    I totally agree that allowing a variety of even slightly differently scaled/normed tests to be allowed for admissions decisions give *someone* an unfair advantage. I’m not ready to assume that, under the prior regime, that those with the advantage were the privates (except, of course, w/r/t the picking the higher score among 2 or more tests). I think that the data and anecdata regarding the switch to MAP is strong enough to conclude that those using a score from a not-MAP test will receive, in the aggregate (ie, any given kid getting to use the MAP score instead might be benefited) an unfair advantage.

  • 467. Admissions  |  February 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    465. Well that sounds like 100% Principal Discretion. And we all know how that turns out with political ties being pulled to let cronies or friends of cronies of Chicago’s politicos into SEHS.

    Looks like she is living on another planet.

  • 468. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    @462 I’m confused over what the assumptions are. Just checking if subscripts work here: Tp

  • 469. Chris  |  February 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    CB: “I’m confused over what the assumptions are.”

    As I read it, it starts with 30% of Payton admits being non-CPS 8th grade, which is a (rounded) fact.

    Then, it is assumed that 100% of those non-CPS admits are either Rank or T4 admits.

    The Rank admits are assumed (for ease of discussion, only) to all be T4.

    So, of the total 100% of Payton admits, it is 30% non-CPS, 17.5% CPS T4 (combined Rank+Tier which is factually 47.5% overall, less the 30% non-CPS), 52.5% CPS non-T4. And then the rest is built off of that.

  • 470. OutsideLookingIn  |  February 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I love the smell of outrage based on unsubstantiated assumptions.

    Please show the data that proves:
    – all kids admitted to Payton based on rank were Tier 4 private school students
    – not a single person admitted to Payton by Tier was a private school student from Tiers 1, 2 or 3.

  • 471. Luv@Europe  |  February 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    467 My read is that principal kenner would like students based on grammar school principals’s observations of good students. That would be interesting. You might end up with hard working mature, responsible kids, not necessarily the straight A perfect test takers. It might result in a delicious mix. Sounds good to me.

  • 472. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    No; they don’t. Anyway, @461, @462 I’m confused over % of what.

    T is the number of Payton 9th graders admitted
    F is the number of Tier 4 students admitted to Payton 9th grade
    P is the number private school students admitted to Payton 9th grade
    Pf is the number of private school students admitted to Payton 9th grade who are in Tier 4
    Cf is the number of CPS students admitted to Payton 9th grade who are in Tier 4

    1) F = .475*T

    2) P= .30*T

    3) F = Cf + Pf

    4) Pf = P

    5) .475*T = Cf + .30*T

    6) .175*T = Cf

    So the number of CPS students admitted to Payton who are in Tier 4 is 17.5% of the total number of students admitted to Payton. I thought we were talking about the percentage of Tier 4 students admitted to Payton who were CPS students, or:

    7) Cf/F

    8) .175*T/.475*T

    or, 36.8% of the Tier 4 students admitted to Payton are CPS students.

    I think that equations 1 and 4 are unjustified assumptions, however, so the true share of non-private Tier 4 of all Tier 4 would be higher.

  • 473. Admissions  |  February 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    #471. Reality is that it would end up being a whole bunch of parents kissing up to the Principals of their school and being afraid to rock the boat. Principal would have waaaay too much power over the fate of the children. Plus this is Chicago and fairy tales of fairness don’t work here due to heavy political clout and corruption. I would not support her suggested model. Even she clouted in some students, so no, I don’t support her proposal.

  • 474. luveurope  |  February 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    473 Yep, I understand it is a pipe dream, I also understand this is Chicago which is why I write tuition checks for high school. Don’t get me started on the kids at Lane on PD.

  • 475. parent  |  February 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    @471, Isn’t that what charter schools are for?

  • 476. SE parent  |  February 11, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    @465 those comments from Kenner are a joke. An audit of SE admissions showed that she was the biggest abuser of PD and hand selected many a student. NOT based upon academics. Of course she claimed that 5% PD meant 5% of the total population. She almost lost her job over that and it’s a mystery why she didn’t. Principals selecting students by scholastic qualification? What a joke

  • 477. pantherparent  |  February 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Made me laugh too. The person that single-handedly made CPS change how principal discretion was handled is lecturing parents about admissions. That’s rich.

  • 478. Gobemouche  |  February 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Just curious – why was More Than A Score in that meeting? What other groups were there? I’m just trying to understand who voices get to be heard in this process and why.

  • 479. Chris  |  February 11, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    CB: “the true share of non-private Tier 4 of all Tier 4 would be higher”

    Agreed.

    And, altho making everyone use the same tests would be most fair, it is *highly* unlikely to result in anything close to the change in the %age of “Private Kids” at Payton that OTdad had suggested.

  • 480. Confused  |  February 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    @478 agree…although encouraged to hear that CPS is aware of the potential disadvantage the MAP scores have for CPS students v. non MAP test takers…the lack of communication by CPS on the subject is extremely frustrating.

  • 481. anonymouse teacher  |  February 11, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    @478, not 100% sure, but my guess is MTAS has spent a lot of time and energy trying to build relationships with CPS Central office and asked to be involved in some of the input.

  • 482. claire  |  February 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    So many people here are really articulating the strengths, and limitations of MAP testing. So interesting to get lots of different perspectives! Just wanted to add my 2 cents as a parent and a teacher!

    With MAP, you do get a *glimpse* into what a child needs to work on, but it’s vague. It’s phrased as “Kids testing around the same score as Johnny *probably* could not identify alliteration in a 3-4 paragraph literature piece.” It goes on to list 10-12 other skills that a kid *might* need to work on. My fear- and what I unfortunately have seen in many classrooms- is that teachers start teaching a curriculum that is a mile long and an inch deep. “Small group instruction” is really just targeted test prep, a bunch of piecemeal lessons that the teacher is pulling from the RIT bands.

    Some might argue that this is a good thing. A kids can’t identify acute angles? Just pull him into a small group and teach him once or twice and hope it sticks…now he knows! But teachers know that learning is hardly this simple, and most skills take repeated exposure, relevance, and practice to master. But when teacher/principal/school evals are based on this- who could blame them for trying?

    When kids are being pulled into all of these small groups and being taught material that is really not relevant to current classroom units of study, it’s hard to make that learning “stick” and it comes at the expense of diving deeply into other areas.

    MAP claims to be Common Core aligned, but I don’t see it this way. Common Core asks kids to master grade level material really solidly, but MAP is telling teachers and students to go as far as you can, no matter how shallow you dive. This leads to, in my opinion, random skills being taught in isolation, and not the type of learning experience I would hope for for my students or for my K and 1st grade children.

  • 483. OTdad  |  February 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    @472. CB & @479 Chris, thanks for clarifying. I can’t disagree with what you two have said.

    @470. OutsideLookingIn:
    I’ll be very surprised if my assumptions are indeed true. As for “outrage”, not at all. If 8 year later, when my child is going through SEHS process and there is an obvious advantage awarded against my child, I probably will be if SEHS is our only option.

  • 484. local  |  February 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    “This gives an unfair advantage to those students who cannot afford these programs.” Snicker. Wonder what she does to support ACT/SAT/AP test prep at WY.

  • 485. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    @ 478. Gobemouche

    We were not there to discuss the SE testing choice; the meeting was planned before the Byrd-Bennett letter publicizing the use of the NWEA MAP. Given the discussion here, I asked about it because I had the opportunity. I reiterated some of the concerns expressed here.

    Clearly, from my comments above, I have profound disagreements with CPS, state, and federal testing policies. I am no apologist for OAE; I’ve been at loggerheads with the office on some issues. Nevertheless, they understand the severity of the concerns stated here and are doing their best to resolve them.

    More than a Score is an umbrella group of parent and parent-teacher groups, including Raise Your Hand. The meeting was part of an ongoing dialog with CPS over their standardized testing policies and practices. Want to take part in our “Ice the ISAT” campaign?

  • 486. Gobemouche  |  February 12, 2014 at 12:11 am

    485- Thanks for filling in the details, Christopher. I have no issue with any group, I was simply curious how the whole thing came about. I’m always curious about who/what CPS at least pretends to listen to. At the moment, I’m sort of test-neutral, I guess. On the one hand, I sincerely hate test prep in the classroom (but I also have a vicious hatred of busy work, uninspiring teaching methods, complacent administrators, and irrational bureaucracies – I’ve got a lot to get worked up about on my plate already). On the other hand, I don’t see testing going away anytime soon…so I’d like my child to be prepared to deal with the process. Anyway, kudos to anyone who gets in there and stands up for matters to them.

  • 487. Confused  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:09 am

    @485 Christopher…thanks for addressing the testing issue with CPS. Any idea when CPS will make a decision on the issue? Before or after CPS students have already taken the MAP in late April/May?

    FYI: I do agree that also taking the ISAT this year is a waste of instruction time. Students will essentially move from ISAT prep/testing (with possibly a short break) right into MAP prep/testing

  • 488. Patricia  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:15 am

    @confused
    There really should not be MAPS prep. It should just be part of the curriculum and the teachers lesson plans for insturction to hopefully do more differentiated targeted teaching. Right?

    @Claire
    Interesting perspecitve. Can you help me understand how this works for K and 1st graders as you note. I thought MAPS is not given until 2nd grade and that grade is just for practice. I may be out of date with my knowledge of lower grade testing since my kids are past that point.

  • 489. claire  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Patricia-
    Yes, the policy has been changed to exclude K and 1 from taking NWEA. I was just referencing K and 1 because that’s how old my children are. As in, “Looking forward towards 3rd grade and beyond, I don’t want my K and 1st grade daughters to be taught in that sort of way.” Sorry. Unclear!

    It IS actually possible to prep for MAP, and lots of schools who have HUGE growth measures are most likely doing the sort of work I referred to in my previous post. Many schools have students study MAP vocabulary, create worksheet packets for students, etc. So, I guess you could say that is helps with “differentiation” but I guess not the type of differentiation I think is meaningful, or a type that seems to foster the type of critical thinking and authentic learning experiences that I want as a teacher or parent.

  • 490. Patricia  |  February 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

    @Claire
    Got it. Understand now. That is a shame about MAP prep. I guess I am lucky with my kids because the teachers seem to be using MAP as was intended. One seems use it as a guage for differentiation. The schools/teachers seem to already be good at differentiating, so it is just another point of reference. Also, one of my kids schools doesn’t seem to pay much attention to MAP, but there is an amazing well rounded curriculum and it seems to carry through to the MAPS scores in a positive way. Although, it does give a teacher some areas to focus in with differentiation/supplementing which they are doing.

  • 491. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    @487 I don’t know. Sorry.

  • 492. ConfusedMom  |  February 25, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Hello everybody.
    I have two questions:

    1. Does anybody know how NWEA Map results compare to the Scantron Performance Series? My kids been taking Scantron twice a year for years now, so I have their results and was wondering if I could use them as a good predictor for the MAP results. If they are in the 95-99 percentiles on Scantron Performance, where that would place them on the MAP test?

    2. My kids are at a charter school and I was told they will NOT be taking MAP test this year. I have a 5th grader who I thought will be applying for an AC next year, but now I am at a loss – what will he apply with?? I asked the school what are they going to do about it and they said they will figure it out, but that was almost a month ago and they still have no answers. Any ideas about who should I talk to?

    Thank you,
    ConfusedMom

  • 493. ConfusedMom  |  February 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Just realized that I have a third question: do we have a choice which test results to submit? Do the results have to come from the school or I can just find a place that does private testing and submit those results? It shouldn’t be a problem to find a place where my kids can take the ITBS since many homeschoolers use it…

  • 494. anonymous  |  February 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    @confused mom
    I would encourage you to contact the OAE. I think they are still trying to work through what option(s) will be acceptable for non-cps and charter kids. Their last post regarding this was almost a month ago when they indicated that the information would be available shortly. We are moving further into spring without a decision. Hopefully they will address this soon so that everyone knows the requirements before it is too late.

  • 495. ConfusedMom  |  February 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    @494
    I talked to OAE today – they still don’t know what to do with the non-CPS kids. Looks like they are trying to extend the list of acceptable tests in such a way, that most private and charter schools will not have to add an extra test to whatever testing they are already doing. They said they should have the new list available in a couple of weeks. So I guess by mid March we will know, if Scantron Performance Series percentiles can be used.

  • 496. IBobsessed  |  February 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

    FYI. We are opting out of ISATs and I realized today that in the past, Von Steuben Scholars and Ag. HS required a minimum Science stanine. MAP does not test Science. So, I was worried that maybe CPS would use ISAT Science scores for these magnet HSs. Called OAE and they said that these programs will use 7th grade Science final grade in place of stanine on standardized test. Only wish that was in writing…..

  • 497. Veteran  |  March 1, 2014 at 8:52 am

    This is what your child’s teacher is subjected to…..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/28/a-video-that-shows-why-teachers-are-going-out-of-their-minds/

  • 498. Veteran  |  March 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    The comments on administrators are telling…

    http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2014/03/michelle_gunderson_shares_an_a.html

  • 499. anonymouse teacher  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    @489, actually that is incorrect. K-2 is not exempt from taking NWEA (or actually MPG–Map for Primary Grades). Schools had to vote on using MPG and a fluency measure or TRC and Dibels. There are a number of issues involved that would only be pertinent to school staff. But many schools are still having to give MPG. Mine is.

  • 500. Jones2  |  March 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Any parochial or private school parents here receive notice that the MAP test will be required for SEHS applications for 2014-2015?

  • 501. Chicago School GPS  |  March 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    While not formally announced yet, we have heard from some private school folks that CPS did meet with them and are requiring current non-CPS 7th graders to come in on two Saturdays in May at one of six locations to take the Math and Reading portions of MAP (separate days). Registration forms should be ready in the next two weeks. The test will be used as one third of the rubric (300 points) for the SEHS score. Apparently this is only for this year’s current 7th graders as the following year, PARC is being used instead.

  • 502. Jones2  |  March 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    501 Thanks…heard from a friend that she had received email from school & it made me curious. Very interesting as I have a current 7th grader…

  • 503. anonymouse  |  March 5, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I wonder what will happen if kid has Iowa Test results or any other from the list and those results are better than MAP. Does he still has to list MAP results on the application?

  • 504. Anxious but hopeful  |  March 6, 2014 at 8:40 am

    #501 is correct. Any non-CPS student interested in applying for SEHS must take the MAP administered by CPS as described above. They will not accept any scores from any other tests. (Our school does the regular MAP and those scores will not be accepted, only MAP Common Core, even though there’s an 80% overlap between the tests.) They want to make it as fair as possible.

  • 505. AE  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:31 am

    @501 Re: next year, have you heard whether non-CPS students will be required to take the PARCC (like CPS is doing this year with the MAP)??

  • 506. AE  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Also, I believe I read somewhere that the PARCC is given twice a year (like the MAP). Can anyone confirm? If so, I assume it will be the second (spring) score that counts? (In case it’s not obvious, I have a current 6th grader, so I’m very curious how selective enrollment will work next year — especially since the PARCC is such an unknown. At least with the MAP I have a few years data to help predict outcome.)

  • 507. 2nd grade parent  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:36 am

    so did OAE do right? given the hundreds of comments that were made, it seems like OAE/CPS has listened and course-corrected. While not perfect (as much in CPS is not)… is this an acceptable solution?

  • 508. HSHSHS  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I am not sure if CPS will change it but we were told at a parent meeting that they will use MAP for 2 years for SEHS because the first year of PARCC will be too uncertain. So if this policy sticks the current 7th and current 6th will take MAP for SEHS

  • 509. AE  |  March 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

    @ 508 — Oh, I hope you’re right. Can I ask who gave you that info?

  • 510. anonymouse  |  March 6, 2014 at 11:15 am

    @507 There is no official solution as of yet.

    I don’t know how fair or unfair it will be in the future years, but this year there is already nothing fair about it. CPS schools have known about MAP for months and teachers are ready to start prep as soon as they are done with ISATs. At our charter school teachers have absolutely no information about this test, because the school will not be providing it. Which means charter school kids will have absolutely no prep. I guess, kids in private schools are in the same boat – if MAP is not a required test at their schools, their teachers are not going to spend time on prep. And it is not like we can do prep at home either – I can’t find any sample MAP tests anywhere.

    I have a 5th grader and was thinking about an AC :(

  • 511. 19th ward Mom  |  March 6, 2014 at 11:23 am

    @507 , Oh my God, yes!! Unbelievable. CPS did the right thing! I almost cannot believe it. They came up with this logical solution and are actually moving forward with administrating it so quickly and efficiently. Who is in charge of CPS OAE, is this a new person? This is the most right thing by CPS that I have seen them do without a whole lot of negative press and back and forth between parents and the administrators. This totally made my day. :) :)

  • 512. Patricia  |  March 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    @ 19th ward Mom

    I believe it is the Research and Student Testing and Assessment that reports to the Office of Accountability who made the call to have the same test, MAPS, and then how to implment it. I assume they worked with OAE too. It certainly seems like a good call. The key of course is how smooth the implementation goes.

    Glad to hear they meet with parents to get insight into the process in addition to reading this blog ;-)

  • 513. IBobsessed  |  March 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    @510 I wonder what kind of prep is really even possible with MAP since there is no extended response component and 100s of questions in the test bank. Kids are not necessarily going to get the same questions or the same level of difficulty of questions. How could prep extend to all the possible achievement levels since MAP has a high ceiling? So what could prep do, other than just review basic general math facts etc? Didn’t ISAT prep focus on the steps to get full credit for extended response, as well as on a specific grade level skills?

  • 514. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    @506. AE

    The PARCC has two stages. One is a mid-year benchmark. The second is the end-of-year summative section. They are different in form, from what I can tell, and purpose.

    The winter and spring MAP tests, by contrast, are identical in form and purpose.

  • 515. anonymouse  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    @513
    – every test that checks vocabulary has fixed set of words for each grade. It would help to take a look at that set beforehand. Not to memorize it, but it least to go through it once.
    – we know that MAP is aligned to the Common Core and that one gets new higher level problems as long as he can solve them. But we have no idea how CC topics are weighted and in what order they are presented. Let’s say kid passes the part about solving linear equations and this is all he is supposed to know on his grade level. What will he get next? Systems of linear equations or linear inequalities? He does not have time to master both, but there is enough time to at least get exposed to one of the topics. the question is which one?

  • 516. IBobsessed  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    @515 That’s what I’m talking about: ,” What will he get next? Systems of linear equations or linear inequalities? He does not have time to master both, but there is enough time to at least get exposed to one of the topics. the question is which one?”

    Multiple this example by N? text items and how can you really do prep?

  • 517. Jones2  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    @515 Here you go:

    http://www.wps60.org/schools/guides/DC11Vocabulary.pdf

  • 518. anonymouse  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    @517
    Thank you!!!!

  • 519. 2Kids.1Dog  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Private school parent of a current 7th grader here — we have an upcoming formal meeting with school officials to discuss, but bits of information coming out ahead of it is as follows:

    CPS officials had a meeting this week with heads of private schools to discuss changes to SEHS application process.

    This year’s 7th graders will be required to go to a CPS school to take MAP test. Told that these scores will not be used towards the 900 point total, but just as a screener to determine who is eligible to apply for SEHS.

    Only kids with MAP scores above a certain level will be eligible to take part in the SEHS application process (same as in past, just a different criteria for measuring eligibility).

    Regular standardized tests given at private school in spring of 7th grade will still be used as part of the 900 point scale.

    BUT, was noted that much is still in flux and nothing is final yet.

  • 520. Jones2  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    @519 If what your reporting is accurate “private, non-CPS students will be allowed to use scores from other tests i.e. Terra Nova, ITBS etc.” for SEHS application point total then NOTHING has changed. CPS students will be on a different playing field.

  • 521. 2Kids.1Dog  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    @520, to your statement that “CPS students will be on a different playing field,” I suppose to some extent that has always been true inasmuch as they took the ISATs and private school students often took other tests such as ITBS and Terra Nova. That point has been debated endlessly in the past.

    I think the key for this year lies in how the MAP test compares to tests like ITBS and Terra Nova. (And I note that it hasn’t yet been confirmed that the other tests will still be accepted.) And if all students are required to take the MAP test, I’d submit that even still it isn’t a level playing field since at my children’s school, MAP testing hasn’t been rolled out and my child will be required to take an unfamiliar test at an unfamiliar location on a weekend.

    Point is, there isn’t necessarily a way to ensure that children coming from a variety of differing backgrounds and educational situations can all be put onto the same playing field.

  • 522. Patricia  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    @ 2kids 1 dog
    “Regular standardized tests given at private school in spring of 7th grade will still be used as part of the 900 point scale.”

    Using MAPS as a screener is NOT having all kids take the same test. If the old tests are still used in the 900 point rubric, then I agree with Jones2 that NOTHING has changed.

    There are clear differences with MAPS vs. Terra Nova, etc. There is less so with ISAT vs. Terra Nova.

    Hope your information is not accurate. It would be a typical CPS cluster…..

  • 523. IBobsessed  |  March 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Why in the world would CPS go to all the trouble/expense of having private school kids take the MAP test and then NOT use the scores for the 900 point total? Absurd.

  • 524. Anonymous  |  March 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    My kids are also at a private school. Official confirmation has not been provided yet but verbally I was told that, based on what was said at a meeting between cps and some private school heads, the map would be used in the 900 points. All non-cps kids would have to take the map test at a cps school on a Saturday in May. The map results would be used for all 7th grades, cps or otherwise, in the typical 900 point formula. Again, this information has not been confirmed.

  • 525. Anxious but hopeful  |  March 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    The rep from my kids’ private school who attended the meeting absolutely understood them to say the CPS-administered MAP (Common Core version) is the test being used in the 900 point scale.

  • 526. Chris  |  March 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    ” the key for this year lies in how the MAP test compares to tests like ITBS and Terra Nova.”

    Yeah, that’s been the crux of the whole ruckus.

    With that as background, your suggestion about the use of the MAP makes *zero* sense. *ZERO*. Even crediting CPS as a massively irrational place, it still doesn’t break the plane of plausibility.

  • 527. AParent  |  March 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Just curious – my 4th grader said that students in his school are allowed to use calculator during ISAT for math… I do not understand why( they are testing on multiplication) and would like to know if other schools follow the same policy? Thanks…

  • 528. ConfusedMom  |  March 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    @527
    “Students in grades 4-8 are allowed the use of a calculator on all portions of the mathematics test. ”

    http://www.isbe.state.il.us/assessment/pdfs/calculator_ISAT.pdf

  • 529. OTdad  |  March 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    @521. 2Kids.1Dog:
    “Point is, there isn’t necessarily a way to ensure that children coming from a variety of differing backgrounds and educational situations can all be put onto the same playing field.”

    Taking the same test is an obvious way to level the playing field, because only the students’ performance on the same test determines the outcome. “a variety of differing backgrounds and educational situations” are just excuses for special treatment.

  • 530. ConfusedMom  |  March 6, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    >Taking the same test is an obvious way to level the
    >playing field, because only the students’
    >performance on the same test determines the
    >outcome
    as long as tier system is in place, you can’t really talk about outcome being determined only by performance.

  • 531. CPSMom  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Potential Change in CPS Testing Policy
    We have heard that CPS will require every 7th grade private school student wishing to apply to a public high school in 8th grade to take the NWEA/MAP test in May on two Saturdays.

    We are confident that all students at independent private schools will be required to take the MAP test. However, we are trying to clarify whether Catholic school students will also be required to take the MAP test.

    How might this work? Anyone who wants (e.g., needs) to take the MAP test will have to register to do so on a yet to be released form that will be made available on the Office of Access and Enrollment website. Then you would be required to bring your child to a testing site on two different Saturdays (one for Reading and one for Math) in May.

    We still do not yet know whether or not Catholic school students will be required to take the MAP test. This information may not be made officially available for another week. Nevertheless, we wanted to communicate what we have heard given the time frame and impact of this change. As we get clarification, we will provide you with an update.

    If your child is required to take the MAP test, we also want you to know that the content covered in our program that you child just completed includes content that will also be on the MAP test – so it is not wasted effort. However, the MAP test, since it is Common Core compliant will include tougher math. In addition, since there would be a gap between the end of your child’s preparation and when he/she takes this newly required test – a refresher would be a good idea.

    If it is confirmed that the MAP test will be a requirement for the Catholic school population, we will offer your child an intensive and extensive Workshop to review additional, advanced math content and also to make sure that his/her review is fresh. This workshop will be provided by us free of charge.

    We will continue to make every effort to ensure that you are well informed regarding any changes to CPS’ testing policy – and that your child is well prepared.
    ——————————————————————————-
    —-this was sent from the Selective Prep Program

  • 532. OTdad  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    You are right. But by allowing certain students taking different tests would put CPS students of all “tiers” at a disadvantage.

  • 533. IBobsessed  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    @531 The chance that CPS will have a different test policy for private independent school kids and Catholic school kids is nil.
    Very strange memo.

  • 534. Chicago School GPS  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    CPS is reducing acceptable 7th grade standardized test down to just the spring NWEA MAP test. All CPS students will take the reading and math sections over a month window starting April 28. Non-CPS students can register to take the test at select CPS facilities during that same window.

  • 535. ConfusedMom  |  March 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Any word on 5th graders and AC?

  • 536. ISAT Lockdown  |  March 7, 2014 at 12:57 am

    My too young to take ISAT shared they’ve watched TV all week in the classroom instead of going to recess or gym; basically on lock down this week to keep school quiet for the older kids.

    My older daughter who took the ISATs finished and kids drew and colored for the rest of the day. Productive.

  • 537. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 7, 2014 at 8:19 am

    534. Chicago School GPS | March 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Do you know what the 5th graders will use for a test for the academic center and will all students regardless if parachial or private will use the same test to level the playing field.

  • 538. ConfusedMom  |  March 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

    @537
    as of yesterday there were no official rules and I was told by OAE that they should know in a couple of weeks.

    A week ago it was “in two weeks”.

    We are at a charter school that will not administer MAP this year.

  • 539. Chris  |  March 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Selective Prep: “Anyone who wants (e.g., needs)”

    Ok, I really try to avoid picking on usage errors, but that one was from a business communication and it just grates–

    Whoever wrote that should have just used ‘needs’ in the first place and avoided the parenthetical, but if doing so, one must understand that “e.g.” is “for example”, and that the right way to express that cutesy sentiment is “i.e.”–“that is”. Using “e.g.” is all sorts of wrong.

  • 540. Wondering  |  March 8, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    @536 Same at our school. My son is taking the ISAT for the first time. He tests an hour on 3 days a week (T, W, Th) for 2 weeks. During last weeks testing, the entire school seemed to have come to a halt. My son tests one hour per day, but spends the rest of his days watching a movie, free time at the computer or reading a book. There is no real meaningful instruction going on during the entire week, and that includes the days on which they are not testing (M and F). Lower grades (K-2) are also affected, no specials like PE, music, science…. To sum it up, two weeks of little to no instruction. What a waste of time. Is this the norm in CPS schools?

  • 541. OTdad  |  March 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

    @540 Wondering:
    “What a waste of time”. You probably have wasted much more of your child’s time if anything other than “meaningful instruction” is a waste of time. I think sometimes a break can actually help children absorb things they have learned.

  • 542. IBobsessed  |  March 11, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Quite an eyeopener this:

    http://www.citypages.com/2011-02-23/news/inside-the-multimillion-dollar-essay-scoring-business/

    Take your kid’s extended response score with a huge grain of salt.

  • 543. ConfusedMom  |  March 11, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    @542
    at least in IL they never made any secret out of the rubrics, they where right in the ISAT sample booklets, together with three samples of graded extended responses.

  • 544. ConfusedMom  |  March 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Re: non-CPS 5th graders

    Talked again to David at the OAE and was told that I need to contact my local neighborhood school and have my kid to take MAP there together with everybody else. Also was told that MAP will be the ONLY accepted test.

    He did not have any other details.

    I can only imagine how happy neighborhood schools are going to be trying to fit in hundreds extra kids for testing. Good luck to all of us!

    And I wonder when are they going to make this information public. Before local testing or after?

  • 545. 2nd grade parent  |  March 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

    confused mom, this should be a good introduction to the challenges, surprises, and functioning of CPS… if you are coming from outside the system; I would suggest buckling up for a bumpy ride.

  • 546. Jones2  |  March 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    @544 window for MAP testing doesn’t begin until April 28th…
    so you do have time to alert your neighborhood elementary school that your child wants to take the MAP test.

    It is curious that CPS has delayed making formal announcement that MAP will be only test accepted for AC & SEHSs. Hope it is announced soon.

  • 547. ConfusedMom  |  March 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    @ 545
    Well, we are as outside of the system as it gets – my kids are homeschooled :)) We do it through a charter school, so kids been taking ISATs for years, but this school will not administer MAP this year. So we have what we have.

    But I know we will manage. Somehow :))

  • 548. IBobsessed  |  March 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    @543 Confused More disturbing than an inflexible rubric (eg. a great essay on why the essay topic is dumb being given 0 points), is the haphazard changing of test grades so the bell curve is preserved.
    If the results of the graded test yield something other than the typical bell curve, then there is something wrong with the test or something wrong with how it is generally graded.

    These are the standardized test results we all put so much stock in for showing who is smart and should be in SEs? Sheesh.

  • 549. ConfusedMom  |  March 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    @548
    essay questions have nothing to do with SE. Percentiles for the ISATs were based on multiple choice math and reading questions that were taken from SAT-10 and nationally normed. The rest of the MC questions and essays were local and were used only for assessing schools, not students.

  • 550. psmom  |  March 12, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    @544
    does this mean I my private 5th grader will need to miss school for part of two days so she can take the MAP test?

  • 551. ConfusedMom  |  March 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    @550
    I guess so…
    For me it looks like a much bigger problem to get local school to agree to test an extra kid and to have all the paperwork needed for that. Results for CPS kids are recorded according to their CPS ID numbers. What are they going to do with non-CPS kids that don’t have those numbers? I should have asked about when I talked to them, but was so surprised by the local school idea, that did not think about it.

  • 552. Chicago School GPS  |  March 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    CPSOAE is still working out the details, but I believe 5th graders will also be able to test on Saturdays in May for the math and reading portions of MAP at one of several CPS approved sites.

    The MAP is an untimed test so I suspect they will have a rolling process where kids can come and go over a period of time, but again, it’s all speculation until word from CPSOAE.

  • 553. 2Kids.1Dog  |  March 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    @529, OTDad, I’ll agree that it is fair to have kids taking the same test, under the same conditions. It is not fair to have kids taking the same test, under drastically different conditions.

    Private school (and charters too, it appears) students have been given 6 weeks notice that they will be forced to take a test that many of them have absolutely no experience with, at an unfamiliar and TBD location, and on two separate Saturdays in May. CPS kids, by contrast, will be taking a test that they’ve had at least one year experience with, from their teachers and at their schools, and during the school day. Not the same conditions at all and hardly what I’d call “a level playing field.”

    As a private school parent, this difference bothers me, and feels as if it stems from the same claims that it isn’t “fair” that approximately 30% of the freshman at schools like Peyton come from privates. Last time I checked, my property tax dollars were just as valuable as those of a CPS parent and my kid was just as entitled to earn a seat at a SEHS as any other child in the city of Chicago.

  • 554. Anonymous  |  March 13, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I am in favor of a level playing field. Having all kids take the same test makes sense. However, private school families are still waiting for a final decision from cps whereas cps kids know what test will count. This is very stressful. Also, our private school approached cps in the hopes that the school could offer the map test to the kids at their own school – the school would purchase the same map test and submit the scores. They were told this was not an option. So, while the test they all take is the same, the circumstances they are taking them under are vastly different. So no, I do not believe the playing field is level.

  • 555. OTdad  |  March 14, 2014 at 4:33 am

    @553. 2Kids.1Dog:
    “As a private school parent, this difference bothers me, and feels as if it stems from the same claims that it isn’t “fair” that approximately 30% of the freshman at schools like Peyton come from privates”

    The “unfairness” is very different. Previously, private schools enjoy a huge advantage by choosing a test that would yield higher percentiles (in top SEHS admissions, 1% or 2% percentile is determinant). The 30% Payton example shows exactly that private school students were indeed GIVEN this advantage.

    MAP test capture details about what a student know. Unfamiliarity about test or environment won’t cause much differences, because if you don’t know, you don’t know, familiar or not. Students themselves actually determines their scores, no free handouts are given. It’s so much fairer in comparison.

  • 556. OTdad  |  March 14, 2014 at 4:36 am

    oops, lots of typos.

  • 557. HS Mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 6:46 am

    @553 “I’ll agree that it is fair to have kids taking the same test, under the same conditions. It is not fair to have kids taking the same test, under drastically different conditions.”

    The most “fair” thing to do is to have everyone take the same test. CPS would obviously like privates to administer their own MAP test for many reasons. Those that are unwilling to give the test in order to accommodate CPS SE requirements are making that choice for their students.

    As far as conditions being “the same” – this is a complaint that everyone shares because the conditions under which the MAP test is given will vary from school to school.

    @ 554
    Confused by your comment – A – it has been announced that MAP is the test for SE enrollment B – that all schools need to take the same test C- If a private school already administers the MAP test as it’s test, that test is acceptable

  • 558. Patricia  |  March 14, 2014 at 10:11 am

    @ kids/dog. One thing to keep in mind about High Schools. Private catholic schools have an advantage for HS admission at Loyola and St. Ignatious. other catholic hs. Privates like Latin & Parker have high schools that students automatically are admitted into. This is part of the deal you get from the years of tuition. If you want to switch back to the free public school system, there are going to be things your student would not be familiar with, etc. Yes, tax dollars are the same. I agree with that! However, you decided to not use your public school options for elementary. No judgements on this as it is up to each individual family.

    Taking the same test is the fair thing to do. Agree with HS Mom that the administration is going to vary across CPS schools which will be problematic for all students, not just private applicants. I would even agrue that it will be more of an issue for current CPS students. Welcome to public shools!

  • 559. Chris  |  March 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

    “Private school (and charters too, it appears) students have been given 6 weeks notice that they will be forced to take a test that many of them have absolutely no experience with, at an unfamiliar and TBD location, and on two separate Saturdays in May”

    Other than the notice thing, how is that different from teh 8th grade test?

    Oh, that’s right, *test prep*.

  • 560. Chris  |  March 14, 2014 at 10:45 am

    “Taking the same test is the fair thing to do.”

    ‘xactly. This year is a total CF for *everyone* and it is really unfortunate for anyone who is affected by the transition year. And I suspect that next year will still be a transition year, but there’s a chance that they’ll just stick with this years rules.

    If, as a private school parent, you feel that the ‘lack of exposure’ to the MAP test is a problem, you need to take that up with *your school’s* administration. That they didn’t adequately prepare your kids for the possibility that CPS would change the rules is *on them*. Of course, they will complain about being kept out of the loop, but they should have been ready for the likelihood of change (that the ISAT wasn’t going to be normed this year has been known for a *long* time) and talking to the OAE folks *daily* about what would be accepted tests, and then taking steps to make sure that the kids were prepared–oh, wait, *many* of those administrators don’t actually *want* your kids to leave–so there’s a substantial conflict, at least for any school that has an affiliated HS (Cook, and Anshe, and so on don’t have that conflict).

  • 561. Anonymous  |  March 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    @ 557 HS mom

    Cps has not made an official announcement regarding what tests will be acceptable for private schools. At least not that I see on their website. The OAE website still states “Tests that will be accepted from non-CPS/non-charter students will be announced shortly.” Some parents have heard things through their schools and have posted what they have heard. Until am official announcement is made was are still in limbo.

    Our schools has been in contact with the OAE, at least as much as they can be. Cps appears to be leaning towards requiring the map of all applicants. Our school was told that, should the school itself decide to administer the map, those scores would not be acceptable. So even if a private school student has map scores from this spring, they must still take the map test through cps.

  • 562. 19th ward Mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Until every child from birth has the same opportunities, same education, same homelife/parenting, and same cultural exposure then there will never be a level playing field. And we know to have all of the “same”, across all of these attributes will never happen and is not the way life is designed.

    What I think CPS is doing in this regard, is making it more “fair” at this point in the process for all kids to have an equal chance to get into the SEHS.

    As was documented earlier, some private schools were giving their kids an unfair advantage by letting them “pick” the scores that were submitted to CPS for 7th grade.

    By only allowing the MAP scores administrated by CPS, it ensures that no one is given an opportunity to submit their best scores.

  • 563. Anonymous  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    @562

    Some cps kids take the map multiple times each year. The spring test is the one acceptable for selective enrollment. I am not implying they are choosing the higher score, just they may take the test in fall and again in spring and submit the spring score. So why is it unacceptable for noncps kids to take the test somewhere else and submit the scores from this spring? What if the dates of administration lined up with when cps kids took the test. Instead of making them go to a cps site they could take it at their school in a familiar environment. How is that different than any other cps school?

    Wasn’t the tier system created to address those opportunity differences?

  • 564. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    563. Anonymous | March 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I think it’s fair. My child was taking a test for Catholic HS~I didn’t have the option to take the test anywhere else but the school we chose for my child to attend. The school and test were foreign but that was the rule. If you want to attend a CPS SEHS~sign up for the CPS test date.

  • 565. Jones2  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    @563 For someone who wants to test for a CPS school…the objection to taking the test at a CPS site administered by CPS seems a little misplaced.

    If a CPS student wants to take the HS entrance exam for St. Ignatius or Loyola, I assume that it may occur at a site of the school’s choosing & be administered by that school.

  • 566. Patricia  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    @anonymous
    I agree with SSI4. The students all already have to take the same admissions test at a CPS designated location and date. Also, aren’t there different versions of MAPS? There is a CC and non CC version. That would be a headache for CPS to monitor.

  • 567. ConfusedMom  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    @562
    tier system takes in the account only the economic component, you can not control for the parenting style. If it is, for example, a fresh off the boat Chinese family, this family might end up in a tier 1 living situation, but if the mom is the “tiger mom” type, she will be much more involved in her kids education and her demands on the kids will be much higher then in most of the families around her. She will do everything she can to supplement the school work. There are enough free resources around to do it, but the family has to want to do it, and the kids have to be brought up in a way that will not let them say that they would rather watch TV.

    Does this mean that her kids will have an advantage when the time comes to apply for a SEHS? Yes. Is it unfair? No. Because these kids worked for it their whole lives. Could another kid get the same results if his family made the same demands on him? Most likely yes. But they did not, so no he does not have the results.

    (My apologies to all the Chinese moms reading this. I know it is a stereotype and it does not apply to each and every family, but I needed an example where everybody will understand what I am talking about, and nothing else comes to mind.)

  • 568. 19th ward Mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    @564 & @ 565 Good point! I never thought of it that way but it is the way it normally works. You want in to a particular school, they dictate how, when, and where you test in. In fact, the catholic schools stress this even against other catholic schools. That you have to test at their location or you will not be considered for the 1st round of acceptance. So if you take the test at St. Ignatius, Marist will not take that as an acceptable score or even consider you.

    Yet other private parents complain that CPS is being unfair. But it is even the way other private schools work. No where else in Chicago does another school let another school administrator their entrance exam.

    And before someone can say, but it is my tax dollars and we should have some input into this process. Yes, your tax dollars get you automatic acceptance into your neighborhood H.S not into SEHS.

  • 569. 19th ward Mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    @567 It is still unfair but I guess you don’t see that. You are not looking at it from that child’s prospective with the non-tiger mom, maybe even a drug mom. Did that child do something to deserve to have a non-tiger mom. No. We are all born into the circumstances that we are and we do the best that we know how to do with then them.

    That child born to a drug-addict was given an unfair start from the beginning and it is nothing they can do about it. No amount of work starting when they get to kindergarten is going to put them on a even playing field when the other child has spent 5 years being cultured and the drug addict mom’s child spent the last 5 years living in dicey circumstances.

  • 570. Anonymous  |  March 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Yes, if you apply to a private like loyola you have to take an enrollment exam on site. Everyone is treated the same. I believe they also look at your other standardized test scores. Could be wrong about that. But if they do, those were taken at the kids school.

    Cps was similar. Everyone has to take the enrollment exam in 8th. That process was the same for everyone. 7th grade exams were taken at your own school. If it is the same test (map cc) don’t see why it can’t be taken at their school. If anything it saves cps money.

    Why is my wanting to reduce the stress on my child perceived as being against the system and misplaced? I think we can all agree that this process is stressful. I have no issues with taking the map and agree that they should all take the same test. Why is is wrong to want the same thing as others have in taking the 7th grade test at their own school in a familiar environment and the 8th grade test together at cps?

    We will throw our dice just as everyone else. Doesn’t mean I have to like the odds.

  • 571. ConfusedMom  |  March 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    @569
    Of cause I know it is unfair to the kid to be born in a “bad” family vs in a “good” one. The question is what to do with schools, not how to build a communist society :))

    Top SEHSs not only give better education, they have higher demands on their students as well. Yes, we could move to a lottery system where everybody can apply and the winners are chosen at random. It will be perfectly fair, but will it make any sense? No. Because in such a school ether teachers will have to lower the standards to accommodate everybody (but then it will be your regular neighborhood HS all over again), or they will have to drop a lot of kids after the first year, because they can not pull the weight. As long as the drop out rate is one of the criteria to grade the schools, the second scenario will not happen, and the first one none of us want.

  • 572. Another mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    @570 I agree with you. We are at a private school, too, and the frustration among our school parents is not with the new MAP requirement per se (though we already followed the rules and took the Stanford 10, which CPS had earlier deemed sufficient, only to find out now it’s worth nothing). We understand the rationale behind making everyone take the same test, MAP. However, we object to CPS’ careless, last-minute roll-out of these changes. We were told we can’t take MAP at our own school during a school day like every CPS child. We have to keep the entire month of May open because we will be taking it at some undetermined place on some undetermined date. It’s already mid-March. When are they planning to tell us? Our kids are stressing out because they thought they were done with testing and now this wrench was thrown into it. What about kids who are homeschooled or who attend other private schools who aren’t tuned in to the rumor mill — if they look at OAE’s website today, they would still think their standardized test was the requirement, because CPS hasn’t even bothered to change that on their site.
    It would have been nice if CPS could have done a TINY bit of planning and informed all of us parents — public and private — at the start of this school year. They surely saw this coming. I hope they give us more than a week’s notice to get ourselves to these test sites.
    Plus, from what I understand from public school parents’ posts on this blog, the MAP is not even really a great tool for making admissions determinations, as it disadvantages children who haven’t been exposed to concepts far above grade level (as opposed to assessing their ability to learn). From what I have heard, MAP was designed to diagnose where a teacher should be leading a class, not to be used for admissions. So that seems silly for everyone.
    My own opinion is that the Catholic HS comparison isn’t really a fair one, because CPS has historically allowed private kids to submit scores from their tests and then sit for the entrance exam in 8th grade. Catholic HS’s never did it that way. Plus CPS is public, for everyone, as long as you live in Chicago (or you are Bruce Rauner). For the record, our school gives just one standardized test per year. So we never had multiple scores from which to choose — just one score. So we had zero advantage in that regard.
    Everyone will scream, but if this were really fair, then all seventh-graders across the city, public or private, would have to travel to an off-site testing center over two yet-to-be-announced weekends in May to take the MAP. That would be the most fair. That, or let the privates do it on a school day at the kids’ school, like the CPS kids.

  • 573. 19th ward Mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    @571 Confusedmom

    I don’t believe I ever referenced or alluded to wanting a communist society. My comment was in direct rebuttal to this comment by you:

    “Does this mean that her kids will have an advantage when the time comes to apply for a SEHS? Yes. Is it unfair? No. Because these kids worked for it their whole lives. ”

    You cannot say it is fair or that the other child worked less. They were just given different hands in life to play.

    And the scenario you describe with the lottery actually happens today. It is called “magnet schools” and some magnet H.S. (Von Stuben, Chicago Ag) do work very well and are in high demand.

  • 574. Chris  |  March 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    “You cannot say it is fair or that the other child worked less. They were just given different hands in life to play.”

    And, thus, if you want ‘fair’, ‘communism’ isn’t the correct reference–it is Harrison Bergeron (read it here: http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html ).

    Is it ‘fair’ that some kids have greater intellectual capacity than others? *ABSOLUTELY*. Is it unfortunate that some kids have crappy parental situations? Of course, but that doesn’t make it ‘unfair’ in any fashion that we can actually do something about without completely reordering society (ie, taking kids away from ‘bad’ parents, and having a system for judging ‘bad’ in the first place–it’s honestly pretty dystopian, even if it *would* be better for some umber of kids).

  • 575. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 14, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    570. Anonymous | March 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t know any Catholic HS that ask for any standardized test scores.

  • 576. OutsideLookingIn  |  March 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    @572 Another Mom – I agree with much of what you posted, although I don’t think it is a big deal to ask non-cps kids to take the Map on two Saturdays at an offsite location. The bigger issues are that 1) CPS still hasn’t decided/announced the non-cps student testing requirement for a very high stakes test, which is just 6 weeks away, and 2) most non-cps 7th grade students have never taken the MAP, while cps kids take it 2-3 times a year.

    Imagine if CPS announced 6 weeks before the 8th grade SEHS exam that all 8th grade students would take the ITBS rather than the usual SEHS exam. I think that cps students would believe that the private school kids who’d taken the ITBS annually were getting a leg up.

    Everyone should take the same test, no question. But the issues I listed above make this year an unlevel playing field.

  • 577. Jones2  |  March 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    @576 I agree with you that CPS should formally announce the decision. However, The MAP test has NOT been given to CPS students 2-3/year. My CPS student has taken it 2 times in the last 7 years which is far from 2-3/year.

  • 578. HS Mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    @572 I don’t know what you’re expecting. The year we applied CPS introduced the tier system and changed the ranking options after applications were opened up and submitted. At least you’ve got an announcement giving you the heads up. We got “well what we’re doing is now illegal so we’re going to try something out and see what happens”.

    They don’t care if you know what the test is in advance or if there is time to test prep. It’s just part of a large balancing act where someone is always feeling slighted. I absolutely give CPS huge credit for instituting policy that everyone agrees is necessary, while acknowledging that having timely, formal, thought through decisions and notifications at the time of the “MAP in ISAT out” announcement would have been nice. Expect it, we all do. you’ll save yourself some aggravation.

  • 579. Another mom  |  March 14, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    @578 I just don’t get why they couldn’t have done a little bit of planning to save everyone — public and private school kids alike — the stress and hassle. Setting up this last-minute MAP test is going to cost CPS a lot of money. Since they knew ISAT was going away, why didn’t they plan for it earlier? That seems so basic. But maybe you are right; my expectations were too high.

  • 580. pantherettie  |  March 15, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I will add my voice to those who are saying that they are really glad that CPS has made the decision to move require all 7th graders to use MAPS scores vs. the multiple mess that was their initial plan. I also agree that there needs to be much better communication with *all* parents about the dates of the MAP testing. That said, I don’t think that OES or CPS as a whole is particularly concerned about inconviencing private school parents or helping to make the testing environment any less stressful for any students. Why should they be? SEHS represent a small portion of CPS schools, testing above average children to get into these schools represents a small portion of the overall needs of the special needs population at CPS.

  • 581. @577  |  March 15, 2014 at 9:49 am

    FYI-This is my son’s 4th year taking MAP. When he was in a classical school he took MAP in 2nd & 3rd grade, three times a year. For 4th grade I transferred him to a magnet, they didn’t do MAP, but the following year in 5th grade the magnet tested him with MAP three times a year. This year for 6th the magnet is only testing MAP twice a year.

  • 582. Jones2  |  March 15, 2014 at 10:00 am

    @581 Interesting…it appears that there is a lot of variation between CPS schools & the use of the MAP test in prior years. Nonetheless, because of the type of test it is…not sure if it makes much difference.

  • 583. Alicia C  |  March 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I have kids in public school but I do see their point…not really fair all around. I feel sorry for the pressure the 7th graders are under in Chicago. Makes no sense. Why didn’t they announce back in September that all 7th graders would have to take the MAP test?…and why have they not ‘officially’ announced that private schools will have to take the MAP yet? It’s less than 2 months away. Typical CPS. I would be a bit upset as well if I had a child a 7th grader in a private school. My child has taken the MAP test twice this year school…to just throw a new type of test with a new format, at the last minute, to be taken on a Saturday at an unfamiliar school? Seems odd and yes, I dare say it here…unfair. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-catholic-schools-cps-letter-met-20140321,0,1209649.story

  • 584. Specialneedsmom  |  March 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

    HELP!
    Does anyone know if the individual questions on the MAP test are timed? I know the overall test is untimed, but I can’t find anything that speaks to the individual questions. If a student takes a long time on a given question does that impact the test score, and if so, how?

    My child is in 7th grade in a Catholic school. We just learned he needs to take the MAP test in May. He is a special needs child that is allowed extra time on classroom and standardized tests.

    I thought I had sufficient time to work with CPS on this for next fall’s entrance exams (setting up a 504, etc.), but with the MAP that has all changed. I’ve started to work with our local CPS school, but am not confident the paperwork / process will be completed in time. I just don’t know how long it will take, and it seems like the CPS folks have a lot on their plate already for the next few months.

    Unlike CPS students, Catholic school students do not take the MAP as part of their testing protocol, so the entire format is completely unfamiliar.

  • 585. Jones2  |  March 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

    @584 Neither individual questions nor the test is timed…there is no penalty attached to the amount of time your child takes to finish exam.

  • 586. Specialneedsmom  |  March 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

    @585 Thank you! That is quite a relief!

  • 587. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  March 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    @572: “Our kids are stressing out because they thought they were done with testing and now this wrench was thrown into it… For the record, our school gives just one standardized test per year.”

    They better get used to lots of standardized tests. CPS loves to give them and to put high stakes on them.

    “From what I have heard, MAP was designed to diagnose where a teacher should be leading a class, not to be used for admissions. So that seems silly for everyone.”

    You are correct, but CPS has been misusing tests this way since 1996, for promotion decisions, for graduation, and for school ratings. You and your children are being treated fairly, in that your getting the same shitty treatment that CPS kids get.

    Most CPS students are not taking the MAP in their own classroom. They got trotted off to a computer lab that they may or may not have used much or at all before. The computer might meet only the minimal technical requirements. If the computer, the CPS connection, or the NWEA server crashes during the test, they often have to start over from the beginning.

    If your school had to set up internet connections with NWEA, make sure the computers are running the right software, and have the right tech specs, the test-taking would probably be a disaster. Most CPS schools have great difficulty make the 1st testing session work properly. You wouldn’t want to put your child through that.

    The number of permissible failures before clawbacks in NWEA’s contract with CPS are redacted from the public document. So we can imagine that it must be pretty bad if they want the information hidden from competitors as proprietary.

  • 588. Joepantelvv.deviantart.com  |  March 25, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Thank you for some other wonderful post. The place else may just anybody get that type of information in
    such an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week,
    and I’m at the search for such info.

  • 589. roscoe  |  April 2, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Has the MAP test been administered to all of CPS 7th graders yet? There is a lot of confusion at my childs school, which is to be expected, but it is unclear who in the system has been given the test. Feedback here would be greatly appreciated!

  • 590. AE  |  April 2, 2014 at 9:28 am

    We were told that Spring MAP testing (which is the test that counts for selective enrollment admissions) can begin the week of April 28. There is a one month window to administer the test to all students.

    Current CPS 7th graders may have had Fall or Winter MAP testing earlier in the year…

    Hope this helps.

  • 591. Anxious but hopeful  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    It’s now April 2 and we still don’t have the application for non-CPS testing. They announced the MAP plan to reps of private schools on March 6, saying the forms would be available in a couple of weeks, but here we are. They need to get this moving. Just processing the forms and assigning all of the applicants to dates and testing locations is going to take a huge amount of time.

  • 592. SLooper  |  April 7, 2014 at 6:55 am

    April 7th… still no application for the non-CPS MAP test. Any other private schools out there that have managed to sign up? Echoing 591. above…. Our counselor told us the registration would be on paper (vs. online). Concerned that this will take a while to process.

  • 593. Anxious but hopeful  |  April 7, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I am really, really anxious now. Still nothing from CPS. Our school counselor has been trying to contact them to find out what is going on and there has been total silence. How are they going to process all of these forms in time at this late date? How are they going to assign students to dates and locations in such a short amount of time? This is a complex undertaking.

    The CPS website still says tests for private school students “will be announced shortly.” When, exactly? And will we still have the opportunity to work around conflicts as originally stated, by selecting our preferred dates in May?

    I’m starting to wonder if this is actually going to happen.

  • 594. Chris  |  April 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

    “I’m starting to wonder if this is actually going to happen.”

    They’re probably hoping that the CPS parents will stop paying attention, and then shift back to using whatever 7th grade test was previously acceptable for private school kids.

  • 595. Chris  |  April 7, 2014 at 10:05 am

    oh, and ps: I do not envy anyone with a current 7th grader the uncertainty that this whole CF is causing. Really, really awful.

    Best of luck, everyone.

  • 596. SLooper  |  April 7, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Private school administrations scrambling to purchase and administer practice MAP tests, and all 7th grade private school parents blocking out the entire month of May for testing (hope no one had Memorial Day plans…). 99.9 % chance there will be issues with test administration (internet connection issues, messed up appointment times, etc.). Now I’m just venting :)

  • 597. Another mom  |  April 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I agree — this whole thing has been done so carelessly. The CPS OAE website STILL has the old information up saying they’ll accept the Terra Nova, Stanford 10, Iowa Basic Skills, etc. (with 2014 reference, so it seems current — see link). Parents and schools who aren’t tuned in to the rumor mill will have no idea what is required. Even those of us trying to be tuned in have no idea. This is a lack of due process. I’m fine with everyone being treated the same, but this isn’t it. I think CPS needs to come up with a “Plan C” — whatever that is.

    http://cpsoae.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=72698&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=380735&hideMenu=1

  • 598. Map?  |  April 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Has anyone called CPS OAE recently to obtain updated information?

  • 599. Anxious but hopeful  |  April 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Our school counselor has not been able to reach anyone at the office. She has called multiple times and reached out via email. No response.

  • 600. CPSOAE Stalker  |  April 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Details were just posted on the CPS OAE website…http://cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=307572&id=0

  • 601. SLooper  |  April 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Am I understanding this correctly?

    After reassuring CPS parents that spring testing is better… ” it is important to note that performance on the spring assessment is typically representative of the highest instructional point in the year for students. Normative data has shown that summer learning loss may contribute to stagnant or negative performance for fall testers.”

    … They go on to say that all private school kids will be tested in September? Contrary to the May dates that were originally planned? So no spring testing for non-CPS kids?

  • 602. Chris  |  April 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    “Details were just posted on the CPS OAE ”

    Wow. Not that there will be no complaints, but they made an effort to cut down the most obvious ones.

    Still stinks to have to live thru the transition year.

  • 603. cpsobsessed  |  April 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Made a new post with the trib story if you guys want to comment there…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 604. NWEA  |  May 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    any 7th graders with MAP scores to report? Curious about the range that top students are getting.

    My child, always scored 98s and 99s on ISATs received a 260 math.

  • 605. Scores  |  May 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Generally, I believe students are scoring perhaps 5 pts. lower on MAP on at least one section i.e. Reading or Math so sounds like your student is right on target although you don’t mention reading score.

  • 606. IBobsessed  |  May 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    The silly OAE CPS website selective enrollment high school page still does not refer to MAP scores at all. FAQs reference ISAT scores. is The scoring rubric explanation does not say MAP scores will be used next year. There is no link to the announcement that MAP scores replace ISAT. In fact, you have to do a search to bring up that document. I know no announcement about the MAP scores used for sehs apps for current 7th graders was sent home from our school in backpacks.

    So, I feel bad for ordinary, non-obsessed parents too busy working to lurk on the OAE website for updates or who have no internet access. Wouldn’t be surprised if any number of not middle or upper class parents had no clue that it was their 7th graders MAP score that really counted this year, and no opportunity to send their student to bed early and give them an extra good breakfast.

  • 607. Map scores  |  May 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    7th grade Daughter’s math map score 270 (99th). Reading not so good though.

    5th grader 97%ile math, 94 reading. Was typically 99/99.

  • 608. map  |  May 21, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Neighborhood school with a “gifted” class here.

    About 1/3 of the class used to score 99s on isats.

    Math scores were a lot lower on MAP. There was a single 270 (which according to the rubric I saw is a 98?) the rest were lower. Reading scores were better, several 98s, 1 99.

    This makes sense to me as this isn’t an RGC so the math curriculum is not a year ahead. If the kids master what they were taught they max out around 95. The kids who did better had tutors.

  • 609. Scores  |  May 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

    @608 Curious…did the majority of the class receive 95 on Math portion of test or score lower?

  • 610. map scores  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

    We are at a private school that administered the map. 270 was reported as 99 percentile on the report we received. Unfortunately it cannot be used toward SEHS admission and she has to test again in the fall. Hopefully she won’t experience any summer “brain drain”.

  • 611. roscoe  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Come on folks, isn’t your child’s score private information?

  • 612. map scores  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:31 am

    @611
    how is it any different than any of the other sehs scores that have been reported on here? Over the years I have seen a number of people reporting scores of x/900 for the sehs process and got into x,y,z school. Same for the sees process.

  • 613. mom_of_3  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:32 am

    it is private in a sense that nobody can give it out without your permission. This does not mean that YOU don’t have the right to talk about your child’s scores if you want to.

  • 614. roscoe  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:53 am

    You’re absolutely correct, it is private and you can do what ever you want with the information.

    Income and BMI is private information. Posting any score that is above the 90th percentile represent a self selecting bias in itself, and one can see that there are disproprtionately few posts which say “my 7th grade kids math map score 26th”.

    What are we achieving by only posting the scores from our children that are much, much higher than average, and what would our children say if we were to tell them that we posted their achievement on the internet possibly without their permission?

    It is also private to wear a t-shirt to a pilaties class that reads, “I’m a 1% er”, but it can be done because its a personal choice.

    On the other hand, this is the internet and some information ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • 615. Scores  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:09 am

    @614 Roscoe

    As this is a transition year with CPS using MAP v. ISAT…there is definitely interest among this year’s 7th grade parents/students how the scores compare. Why? It definitely helps with figuring out potential HS options (or non-options depending on how the scores stack up) for next year.

  • 616. map  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Roscoe WTF are you talking about.

    The comment section of this blog is a great resource for “obsessed” parents looking for information.

    In this case there is a new test which will result in a new top range. Personally I’m trying to get a sense of what the PNJY cutoffs might be. I assume lots of others are as well so I was happy to share what information I have and hope others will as well.

    It’s not easy to navigate CPS, so we help each other.

  • 617. roscoe  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Sharing information is an excellent resource, but the point here is that more information ought to be shared from all outcomes prior to make any intelligible decisions.

    Seriously, what’s the point of a scant few comments that say, “my kid got 99%”, there’s nothing to worry about, and by having a few comments like that then it will alienate people from sharing outcomes from the middle and bottom of the stack.

    We need more information here, and if your inclination is to say WTF then this has been useful to get more attention towards the process; more dialog is better then less dialog.

  • 618. map  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

    “did the majority of the class receive 95 on Math portion of test or score lower?”

    The impression I got was that the mode was 95 (260 raw score). Obviously there is reporting bias here, this is 7th graders sharing their scores with their friends. But not too much fudging as the results will be clear next year with SEHS admits. But to get into this program you need high 90s on admission exam, so you would expect similar scores.

    Looking at the materials sheet the 250-260 test material was the end of the 7th grade math book. So you’d assume a lot of 260s from a class like this.

    Any parents here from Hawthorne or its peers? Curious what their math scores are.

  • 619. I’m a 1% er  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

    @614 Roscoe

    Ssssh, don’t tell me kid but i posted their MAP score for Reading on my Facebook page to my hundreds of friends. Since it is facebook, they know my name, my kid’s name, and my kids school. I hope my kid doesn’t find out. Oops, I forgot my kid is also my facebook friend, I think I am busted. LOL

    But seriously, I am in agreement with @616. With this being a new test and new scores, I am desperate to know how it is all stacking up and what are our chances for our desired schools. So I will share what I have to get the same information in return. I hope I am strong enough to share even disappointing results even if they are not what we are hoping for.

    For the record, we have 90 percentile in Reading. The Math portion has not been done yet.

  • 620. LP  |  May 21, 2014 at 11:49 am

    @map scores
    “We are at a private school that administered the map. 270 was reported as 99 percentile on the report we received.”

    What else was on the report? Did it show class stats? I know the teachers get class numbers – I cant imagine CPS parents will be shown that but maybe privates share it?

    Does it say what year it was normed against?

    The most recent scale i found on google was 2011:

    http://www.murray.cps.k12.il.us/pdf2013-14/NWEA_2011_NormsReportRead_Math.pdf

  • 621. map scores  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    @620
    I think it is normed against 2011. The 2011 norms are consistent with the percentiles and rit scores I received for my children. Don’t have the report here though to verify. For full disclosure, her reading was not as high – low 90s. And it was the map common core that they took.

    I don’t think the report we received included information about our specific school such as class stats. I do know that a number of kids scored high in reading (about half the class exceeded 95%). Don’t know about math. None of these numbers count towards the cps admission process though. The kids will all have to test again with cps in the fall. So not sure how useful that information is in general. I have heard there is a lot of variability in the test and it is possible to drop 4-5% on subsequent tests – even within a short period of time.

  • 622. LP  |  May 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    @roscoe
    “Seriously, what’s the point of a scant few comments that say, “my kid got 99%”

    There is lots of value in sharing 99s. If a high % of 99 ISAT kids are also getting 99 MAP then that may still be the bar.

    The expectation has been that MAP scores would be lower, now that scores are coming in we can find out if thats true.

    If the mode in a big class is 95 then that may be just below the cutoff.

    Assuming 99 on entrance (easier since you’re normed against CPS not the nation) you needed 98 on ISAT for Payton last year. My bet was 2 points lower for MAP and from the scores we’re seeing that may hold… But I still wonder if privates will break the curve (and my bet) – with more resources students can move ahead in material, and thats what they’re tested on now.

  • 623. IBobsessed  |  May 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    @LP There are no norms more recent than 2011, I was told by NWEA when I asked them this during a phone call.

  • 624. Scores  |  May 22, 2014 at 7:02 am

    @LP when you state your prediction is “2 points lower for MAP” do you mean 2 points off the cut off score from last year? or 2 percentage points?

    Approx. 1/3 of my child’s class (10) scored 99 on either the reading or math section…Of those, approx. 5 scored 99 on both.

    Just thought I would add to stats…not sure how this compares to the number that generally scored 99/99 on ISATs (most likely slightly lower)

  • 625. mom_of_3  |  May 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    any 5th graders here?

    My son just got his results:
    Math: 267 (99%)
    Reading: 236 (95%)

    These are the same % as last your ISATs, so no surprises here.
    Percentiles are printed on the report, no need to guess which table to use.

  • 626. mom_of_3  |  May 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    got my daughter’s results, 6th grade:

    Math: 287 (99%)
    Reading: 250 (99%)

    Last year ISAT was 99% math and 96% reading.

    Was applying this year for WYAC and did not get in.
    Tier 4. For tier 3 her total score was high enough :(

  • 627. CPS Stressed  |  May 30, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Parents ~ if you are in tier 4, does your child need both scores to be 90+ on the MAP test to get into Lane? Child had gotten a math score in the 80s and Reading in the 90s. Child is expected to have all As on report card. Can’t judge the SE test yet. Do you think my child still has a chance to get into Lane?

  • 628. HSHSHS  |  May 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

    @627 I think this scenario is very common with MAP scores from those I have talked to. I guess there is no way to tell what the cut scores will be since it is the first MAP year.
    Also does anyone know what the SEHS entrance exam tests for?
    Is it just reading/math?

  • 629. Jones2  |  May 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Yes, your child definitely still has a shot at attending Lane.

    If your child scored 80 on Math & 90 on reading that is 28 percentage point off perfect. Using the rubric… (28×1.5 = 42). Thus, if your child scored a 300 on SE test he/she would have a point total of 858.

    Last year’s Lane cut off I believe was 836 for Tier 4.

  • 630. Jones2  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:10 am

    @626 Your daughter’s MAP math score is very high…in fact, above 99% for an 11th grader. What type of math program is she in? Has she already completed trigonometry and geometry? If so, what school is she at?

    Curious as I’m pretty familiar with the math tested on MAP & unless she just got a really lucky draw on questions that day or is a great guesser there is no way to obtain that score without that coursework (as well as advanced graphing/statistics skills).

  • 631. mom_of_3  |  May 30, 2014 at 9:42 am

    @630
    she did complete geometry and right now finishing up first semester of Algebra II. As for trigonometry, we did look at it little bit here, little bit there, she does know what a unit circle is and how to use it, but not much of trig above that. I don’t think she could figure out sin(2a) on the test or anything similar. From what I heard from her after the test, she got to some matrix problems and had no idea what to do with them.

    This was done at AoPS, not at school.

    I posted her scores not to brag, but to show that even this might not be enough to get into WYAC. Obviously in the winter, when she took the CPS test for AC admission, her math was at about the same level.

  • 632. LS Mom  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:26 am

    @630 – You mentioned you are familiar with the math test on MAP. Do you have any idea what they estimate to be an average score for 7th graders? I have talked to some discouraged 7th grade parents. It doesn’t seem fair that their children have to deal with this process without much information.

  • 633. mom_of_3  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:33 am

    @632
    did you get official test results from your school? On my copy of the report there is the child’s result and right next to is the “Norm Grade Level Mean RIT”. Is this what you are looking for?

    There is also place for a “District Grade Level Mean RIT”, but it is empty for now, probably they will fill it in next year.

  • 634. Here we go  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

    631- What is AoPS?

  • 635. Jones2  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:51 am

    @631

    I’m not familiar with the acronym AoPS. Can you just indicate whether your child studies at private, parochial, CPS neighborhood, RGC or classical?

    I would assume that she is not at CPS as I’m not aware of any school completing geometry before 6th and starting Algebra 2.

    That score of 287 very well could be a city top score…possibly among all grade levels. Last year only 2 students (among all grade levels topped out of the MAP test…which 287 puts your daughter in that category).

    The AC test is more like the gifted test & focuses more on spatial math skills/patterns/reasoning v. straight math which may have made the difference…without more info…difficult to speculate.

    @632 Agree it is frustrating to be unable to gauge your child’s score. I wish I knew the answer. Among top students (those you would expect to do well based on past performance) I would guesstimate a 95% mean. Obviously, among these students, if math is their strong suit they often score 98-99% on math. It is very difficult to score above the 95% without advanced math skills…several years above grade level.

  • 636. Here we go  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:54 am

    631- Also, did you do reading prep of some kind? I fell like there are less kids getting to 99% for the reading portion of MAP and would love to know if you did anything special. Thanks!

  • 637. mom_of_3  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:57 am

    AoPS = Art of Problem Solving

    http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/

  • 638. mom_of_3  |  May 30, 2014 at 10:59 am

    @636
    no, there was no special reading prep, she is doing grade level work.
    Loves to read though :)

  • 639. LP  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for sharing everyone.

    Momof3 thats a staggering math score for a 6th grader, you may have a prodigy on your hands. I wouldnt worry about WYAC if I were you, the AC test is one of those questionable logic & puzzle tests, if your brain works like the test writer’s you do well, otherwise you’re out of luck. Your 6th grader will ace the high school tests, not to mention ACT and the new SAT.

    @635 & 636

    95% was the ceiling for math at our CPS school, if you didnt take extra work thats where you capped. However we had lots of 99s in reading (so opposite of your feeling.) Our reading teacher is pretty amazing though, and our math teacher is mediocre at best. I have to say the MAP could indeed be a useful tool…

  • 640. mom_of_3  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:19 am

    @635
    As for the top score… I am not so sure. May be in the city, but determinately not in the region. She been writing Midwest Academic Talent Search at NorthWestern for four years now and only once got a top 2% medal, never got above that, i.e. never had 1-3 place in either reading or math. This year she did not even get in those 2%.

  • 641. LS Mom  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Basically 7th grade parents can’t really be confident of their child’s SE chances unless their children tested in the 90+ for both math and reading and have all As. Otherwise it is too hard to tell at this point how other children did on the MAP and what the score cut-offs will be. Just when parents were starting to understand the SE process, MAP was implemented. It’s too bad CPS hadn’t introduced the test one year before adding it to the SE admissions.

  • 642. LS Mom  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Maybe the private schools will have an advantage because they can learn from the CPS parents what more to expect. How are the NWEA score results being giving to the CPS students?

  • 643. 19th ward mom  |  May 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

    @642 LS Mom

    The kids immediately get the score once they complete the test. I emphasized to my kids on the day of the test to write down that score. I then got the score from them after school and plugged it into the 2011 score chart. I have yet to get a printout from the school but testing was just finished last week.

  • 644. Jones2  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    @642 Our school handed out a one sheet report…it had score and applicable percentage. We did not receive a school wide report which would have been helpful in gauging where your student fell compared to their peers.

    I’m just assuming cut offs similar to last year…if the scores are lower overall, it will then just be a pleasant surprise.

  • 645. CPS Stressed  |  May 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    @643 – Can you post a link to the score chart?

  • 646. Chris  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    “It’s too bad CPS hadn’t introduced the test one year before adding it to the SE admissions.”

    Our (neighborhood) school gave MAP test in the 12-13 school year. Was this not standard?

  • 647. 19th ward mom  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    @645 A few links had been posted above, but I found this one to be the easiest since you don’t have to search through a big document. It goes straight to the scores

    http://www.murray.cps.k12.il.us/pdf2013-14/NWEA_2011_NormsReportRead_Math.pdf

  • 648. MAP Parent Brochure  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Here are some useful brochures I found by googling that may make us understand where children should fall.

    http://www.danvilleschools.net/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=314054

    ***my comment I made hours ago is still awaiting moderation so i am reposting but putting the links in seperate posts

  • 649. MAP Parent Brochure  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/eastoverES/Documents/ACPS-MAP%20Parent%20Brochure.pdf

    The second link doesn’t say the norming year but I think it is 2011, which is the last time the test was normed. What confuses me so much that when I compare the RIT to grade level. My 6th graders reading puts him at 9th plus level & math puts him at 7th grade but his percentiles for both are in the low 70%…

  • 650. HS HS  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Rit scores are grade independent. I think that brochure you posted was trying to put the rit scores in parent friendly terms. Also the median rit score is just the one right in the middlle…which would never be a high %ile rank
    A 6th grader who gets a 250 on math will be at a higher %ile than a 7th grader that gets. 250 in math
    I would use the 2011 norm table to really make sense of the scores

  • 651. @ HS HS  |  May 30, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Yes I understand that but RITs do have something to do with grade level. My sons group is divided by RIT bands for groups. The teacher told me he has a high school Lexile & the people in his group are 6th graders who work out of 8th grade books in a magnet school regular 6th grade classroom. Higher RITs mean you can do harder work. So the brochures are an attempt to show you if your child is below or at or above grade level.

  • 652. MAP scores  |  May 30, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    “What confuses me so much that when I compare the RIT to grade level. My 6th graders reading puts him at 9th plus level & math puts him at 7th grade but his percentiles for both are in the low 70%…”

    The “grade levels” are based on the median student in that grade. However, the median 9th grader is in the low 70s percentiles. A 6th grader in e.g. the 95th percentile among 6th graders is reading well above 11th (and probably 12th) “grade level” (i.e., median student in 11th or 12th grade).

    That is, being significantly “above grade level” does not necessarily mean you are in the high 90 percentile range within your grade, because many others are further above grade level.

  • 653. west rogers park mom  |  June 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    So my kids MAP scores went from high 90’s to low 90’s this spring. The school sent an email blast about possible retakes– any thoughts on if it is worth it? For what its worth she took the 6th grade test this year with no prep and got a 133. If she matches that score its still not good enough for Lane or Whitney. I do think she could still get Taft and Taft has a lot of advantages (but the high school pressure would still be there in 7th grade)

    We didn’t say much to her about the scores but the Friday afternoon the kids sat down to take their first test she says a friend asked her if she was nervous because that was the test that mattered for academic centers. My kid said she then panicked.

  • 654. cpsobsessed  |  June 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Is she in sixth grade now? It’s the fifth grade map scores that count towards AC, just fyi.

    What is the criteria for re-takes?

    I’ll make a post on MAP scores later tonight…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 655. west rogers park mom  |  June 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    To clarify- she’s in 5th grade now and took the IG test in January for the 6th grade programs. If only we could petition to have them accept the winter scores . . . .

  • 656. anonymouse teacher  |  June 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I am curious to hear about what the school in 653’s post says about retakes. My school very vehemently stated that no one was allowed to retake a MAP test unless there was some extreme situation–in circumstances surrounding a technological breakdown and everything had to be done within the window of time for MAP, which is over now. However, CPS has always communicated different things to different schools and allows quite a wide variety of protocol, so who knows?

  • 657. pantherettie  |  June 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    It seems that it would be incredibly unfair for some schools to allow kids to take re-tests for MAP testing. I really it should be a really clear and consistent policy for everyone. Maybe CPS will make a clear decision on this soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,096 other followers

Archives

Categories

Get up to the minute obsessive updates on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 3,898,369 hits

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,096 other followers

%d bloggers like this: