Lee’s Summit School District’s Board of Education met Thursday evening, Feb. 14. From a policy standpoint, the highlights of their agenda were:
- A report from a representative of Missouri’s State Auditor’s office, which has randomly selected the district to be audited this year;
- An update on the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, which will replace the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing. According Superintendent David McGehee:
As the state and nation move toward the formal adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards, two consortia have been working at the national level to create next generation assessments to assess the standards. The state of Missouri is a member of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium. SMARTER Balanced assessments will be in use in approximately 26 states across the nation beginning in the 2014-15 school year. In the state of Missouri, they will replace MAP testing at the elementary and middle school levels and will add two end-of-high-school exams at the secondary level.
This spring the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium is conducting its scientific pilot to evaluate potential test questions and to statistically norm the exams that will be given in 2014-15. Schools across the nation were randomly selected by the consortium to participate in the scientific pilot study based on finding balanced demographics in the pilot participant schools. Lee’s Summit R-7 has five elementary schools participating in the scientific pilot between March 14 and May 10 (Summit Pointe Elementary, Richardson Elementary, Cedar Creek Elementary, Meadow Lane Elementary, & Hazel Grove Elementary). Additionally, schools that were not selected had the option to voluntarily participate; Lee’s Summit R-7 has one elementary school (Greenwood Elementary) voluntarily participating.
The students and district will not receive scores from these pilot exams. The benefit to participants is the experience for staff administering and students taking the exams in this new format. Next generation assessments are taken on the computer and include technology-enhanced test questions. Additionally, the next generation assessments and the Common Core State Standards require a higher level of synthesis and analysis than previous state assessments have required. The pilot participants plan to share their observations and experiences regarding this new format of testing with the nonparticipant building leaders so that R-7 can benefit as a whole from the pilot.
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