After sharing what Alpine school district board member’s Brian Halladay and Wendy Hart wrote concerning the results of the validity test Florida performed on Utah’s SAGE test, Dave Thomas, a state school board member wrote several legislators a brief rebuttal. He stated:
I read the Independent Verification of the Psychometric Validity for the Florida Standards Assessment, Evaluation of FSA Final Report (Alpine Testing Solutions, August 2015) and came to an entirely opposite conclusion. The report expressly validated the SAGE test (see Conclusions 1,2,5, and 6). The problems noted in the report (see Conclusions 4, 7, and pp. 77-103) were not the result of an invalid SAGE test, but rather these had to do with Florida’s administration of the test (technology problems, login issues, head phone issues, insufficient training of the proctors, and late delivery of materials) and the fact that SAGE is aligned to the Utah Core Standards and not to the Florida standards (pp. 47-48). While the two sets of standards are similar, the Report notes that there are differences which make SAGE not fully aligned to the Florida standards. For example, Florida uses Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II, while Utah uses an integrated math model. Such differences present problems for the long term use of the SAGE test in Florida. Consequently, the Report rightly recommends that Florida get their own test. This discussion about misalignment is the reason I have long discouraged reliance upon NAEP, which uses its own standards to compile its test; standards that are not aligned with Utah.
I would highly recommend reading the Conclusions to the Report (pp. 118-121).. I would caution all policy makers to be careful about focusing on isolated comments in a 150+ page Report which may be taken out of context.
David L. Thomas
In response to Mr. Thomas’ statement, Dr. Gary Thompson wrote the following rebuttal.
Vice-Chair Thomas’s response…failed to answer many important issues vital to the economic, educational, financial, and moral health of our community. His non-response was a attempt to get stakeholders in education to focus on irrelevant “trees” at the expense of the “forest” comprised of our children. That is unacceptable to me as citizen, father, and local clinical community scientist.
This blog post is about the “forest”:
1. What exactly IS validity? (See below)
2. Did the Utah SAGE test undergo a validity study? (No. See below)
3. How important are validity issues in educational testing to your children? (Extremely. See below)
4. Will the next 9 pages be the most important education information considered for parents of Utah and Florida’s “divergent learning” students? (Probably. See below)
To continue, reading Dr. Thompson’s expert analysis, please go directly to his article here:
The Test Validity Trojan Horse: Utah and Florida’s Dangerous Game of Education Poker With Our Public School Children