Monday, June 16, 2008

Task force to review CATS

This from the Richmond Register:

State Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, will be part of a 22-member task force charged with reviewing Kentucky’s public school assessment and accountability system.

The Kentucky Department of Education’s Task Force on Assessment and Accountability, which includes policymakers and experts in education, will review the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) and provide a blueprint for the system’s progress in the future to ensure that the system meets the best interests of public school students.

“I think it’s important because we had a challenge during the session with a Senate bill (SB 1) that basically intended to throw out our current system of assessment and accountability,” Moberly said. “We need to take a good, thorough look at the issues that were raised during the session. I was one of the ones who actually kept that bill from passing. That was because I didn’t think that an outright abolition of our system was warranted. I think it’s a very important part of our education reform, but we need to look at how it can be improved.”

The task force will seek input from teachers, administrators, parents, business people, elected officials, education advocacy groups and others. They also will analyze individual components of CATS and determine the effectiveness of those in meeting the needs of students.“

The timing is important as to when we have the results,” Moberly said about improvements that can be made to CATS. “Moving ahead with online testing is important so we can get results back sooner and they can be used for prevention and intervention.

Also, whether or not we can use the ACT in some form or fashion is important. All of that needs to be looked at.”Education Commissioner Jon Draud asked statewide organizations, partner groups and leaders of the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives to name members to the task force.“A major objective is to achieve consensus by Democratic and Republican policymakers on the make-up of the assessment and accountability system,” he said. “All policymakers want what’s best for students, and this task force will provide the means to achieve that...

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