Remember that? Last year, quick scores were not sent out in time for report cards so quick scores were more like slow scores. Then, Erin O'Hara, the Assistant Commissioner for Data & Research told everybody last year that quick scores were late because of the post-equating process. And everybody scratched their head and asked what is post-equating? That is when it hit most people that TNDOE was doing some behind the scenes manipulating of test scores prompting state legislators to call for open records requests, state comptroller investigation, and a Tennessee Attorney General opinion. Then, Erin O'Hara resigned and took off on a European vacation. Hmmm, we are guessing her work was done.
This year, the new fall guy, uh, we mean new Assistant Commissioner for Data & Research, Nakia Towns, showed up to answer questions. Towns took all the blame for the changes saying it was done to get the quick scores to the school districts on time. And the communication failure came about due to the transition of leadership. She apologized for the lack of timely information but stood behind the changes in calculations.
Although, we are more psychomoms than psychometricians, we think this whole TCAP quick scoring mess is nothing more than a hocus pocus game being played with our children's test scores. We may not be experts on the whole methodology of standardized test scoring, but we do know a few things about it. TCAP scores have only been included in student grades since the 2011-2012 school year. And it has been four years of nothing but problems. So, maybe we need to revisit this policy.
In 2012, the state had to explain the concept of quick scores to teachers. A memo went out from Zach Rosseley, the Assistant Commissioner of for Data and Communications. Zach Rosseley? Erin O'Hara? Nakia Towns? We are curious as to how many people have held that position since 2012? Sure does seem like a lot of turnover.
But back to the memo.... Zach included the formula for computing quick scores and gave some examples but told teachers to disregard all the mathematical calculations because the state will convert the raw scores to quick scores for them.
So, we took a couple of his examples and calculated them using the new & improved "cubic root" formula. One thing we noticed was that the old formula is much more time consuming. Tests had to be graded to determine proficiency levels before quick scores could be calculated. Under the new formula, you can plug in raw scores. It does not include the cut scores for proficiency so it is much quicker in calculating quick scores. But is the state sacrificing accuracy for speed?
Original Quick Score Formula used from 2012 to 2014
New Quick Score Formula for 2015
A student who answered 94% of the questions correctly would go from a quick score of 95 to 98.
Hmmm....we wonder if this is what the state legislature meant by students having "skin in the game" when it enacted the law including TCAP scores in student grades? Seems like the only game being played is by the TNDOE.
And hold on to your hats...things are going to get even more crazy next year when TN Ready divides up the TCAP into a series of tests and includes the writing assessment in TCAP quick scores. Click here for the new testing calendar for 2015-2016.