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Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 09/15/2011

New details on the health/sex test

The state superintendent’s office weighed in with a few additional points on this morning’s health education testing story. Some will enlighten, others are likely to prompt new questions about why the District is doing this.

For openers, the new testing on health and sex education is now being called a “pilot,” which is not a word that surfaced during my conversations and e-mails with OSSE and DCPS this week.

Individual students and teachers will not receive scores, unlike other DC CAS tests. The scores will be reported only at the school level, according to Tamara Reavis, elementary and secondary assessments chief for OSSE. There will be no passing “cut” score.

That also means that results will not be broken out across the usual spectrum of advanced, proficient, basic and below-basic, or among demographic sub-groups, Reavis said. The results will show only the percentage of questions answered correctly.

The new test will also not have any role in teacher evaluations “at this point,” according to Reavis.

So, just to review: No data for parents. No accountability for teachers. Why is this a meaningful tool?

“At this point the purpose of the assessment per the Healthy Schools Act is to measure if schools are providing a quality health education to students,” Reavis said “After the pilot year, other types of reporting may be considered.”

Reavis later explained that she was using the word pilot interchangeably with “base” or “initial” — not something speculative or experimental.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By  |  12:05 PM ET, 09/15/2011

 
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