FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky's current system of school testing may be on the way out, though House Democrats aren't sure that Senate Republicans have the answer for replacing it.
Senate Republicans have long favored abolishing the state's Commonwealth Accountability Testing System, known as CATS. They contend that it's costly and time-consuming and doesn't provide students with information about their academic progress.
Others are now joining them, saying that the system should be scrapped or at least changed.
"If I were going to paraphrase our members' feelings, it would be that CATS testing needs a complete overhaul," Sharron Oxendine, president of the Kentucky Education Association, said in an interview.
A Senate bill sponsored by Education Committee Chairman Ken Winters would replace the current test with a national test such as the ACT and would supplement it with a locally created multiple-choice test that matches Kentucky's curriculum. It also would de-emphasize writing portfolios required under state law.
"It's time for a change," Winters, R-Murray, told the committee yesterday. "It's time we begin to adjust."
The committee didn't vote on the bill, but Winters said he expects it to win approval next week...
...House Education Committee Chairman Carl Rollins said in an interview yesterday that there is widespread agreement that changes are needed in the test. But he said he doesn't like the Senate solution.
"I think the bill needs work," said Rollins, D-Versailles.
He also said an overhaul of the test may need to be done as part of a broader attempt to revisit KERA.
"The Senate plan tries to do this in short order, and I don't think it can be done in short order," he said...
Friday, February 06, 2009
This from C-J: