Trib Talk: UACC’s Christel Swasey vs. USOE’s Judy Park on SAGE Tests

Provided by Whitne S:

“The Salt Lake Tribune invited UACC’s Christel Swasey to face off with Judy Park from the Utah State Office of Education regarding the increasing number of parents opting their children out of SAGE. Among items discussed were Ms. Park’s claim that Utah can make any “revisions, changes, or adjustments that Utah chooses to make” to the Common Core standards. See Christel’s polite disagreement based on the actual documents Utah signed. Christel even received an indirect answer to her long-awaited question regarding pilot testing. Ms. Park explains why she believes pilot testing is “not possible” nor necessary. Christel’s closing remarks make the whole video worth the time.”

12 thoughts on “Trib Talk: UACC’s Christel Swasey vs. USOE’s Judy Park on SAGE Tests”

  1. computer adaptive tests enable the tester to change attitudes and values and test those changes. Why would you give a test based on how a child answers a question. This is dumbing down. If they fail to answer a question correctly you then give an easier question? Are you kidding me. EVERY parent needs to OPT OUT of adaptive testing. This is how they test attitudes and values not knowledge. WAKE UP!!

    1. Computer adaptive tests test the skill level of the student more accurately. They allow the teacher to know what skills to focus on for each individual student and give teachers the results sooner so they can use them sooner to adjust their teaching. The old style of tests were a “one size fits all” solution that made testing easy but did little to gauge each student’s individual ability. Most students would say that the old tests were too easy.
      I don’t think there is an effort to test attitudes and values, it’s about testing their skills.
      The Utah State Office of Education, with the help of educators, wrote all but 651 of the 11,783 questions in its SAGE testing bank. Almost all the questions were developed by local people living in our neighborhoods. Can’t get much more local than that.

      1. As a parent, I am not against the concept of computer adaptive testing. The
        questions are more thorough and hands-on. I’ve seen the school board’s

        My problems are three-fold.
        1. The teachers aren’t allowed to see what is specifically missed. What if
        ten kids get the same concept wrong? If I am not mistaken, they are not
        allowed to see specific answers to specific questions.
        2. It does not judge kids fairly. They all receive a different test. It
        seems to be more of an aptitude test than an assessment of the aggregate.
        Aptitude tests don’t need to be a part of a child’s academic education.
        Those are better suited for job applications and entrance exams.
        3. I’m not comfortable with the data they are collecting. Nor do I feel
        reassured by the verbal promises from the board that our data is protected..
        I’m not even reassured by the so-called contracts in place to protect data
        that Ms. Park mentioned in the debate. Just the fact that my child’s data
        is being kept on a statewide database that is to be connected to other
        databases is enough to give me pause. Information is power. I see too many
        opportunities for corruption and misuse. I’m simply not willing to risk my
        child’s future on it all.

        1. If teachers are not allowed to see what questions were missed, then this completely obliterates the argument that this form of testing helps teachers in any way. Once again, if it’s not for the teachers, who is it for?

      2. Interesting you support SAGE Testing, yet remain Anonymous! It’s long been known the Tests & Curriculum were not created locally and a Patent held by a Fed agency/arm of it. You believe SAGE test questions are “written locally”, then please do share, or will these writers remain Anonymous too?-c

      3. “Computer adaptive tests test the skill level of the student more accurately. They allow the teacher to know what skills to focus on for each individual student and give teachers the results sooner so they can use them sooner to adjust their teaching.”

        Except that teachers are not allowed to individualize their teaching according to student needs. By contract, they may not add more than 15% of the curriculum provided for them and they cannot delete nor change what is given them. So, really, it doesn’t help teachers at all as they cannot use the information supposedly provided by these individual tests. So, if that information is not for the teachers? Whom is it for? Logic only goes so far unless you understand the big picture. And this big picture has nothing to do with education and everything to do with control.

  2. Anonymous. Prove it. I’m sorry, but the only way you can believe that is simply trusting what comes from Judy Park and the state board, which BTW has not been consistent. Ronald Reagan once said, “trust, but verify”. We sent in a 15 parent panel to do just that, but so far their recommendations have been ignored. How do we know what is actually on those tests? You can’t see the test. I can’t. The teachers can’t. The principle can’t. Spend a few minutes on the American Institutes for Research website. What do they say about themselves? AIR claims, “AIR is one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations.” Does this organization have an agenda? Yes, they do. Spend a few more minutes and find that they are part of the Clinton Global Initiative, they have ideas they have about LGBT “children” as young as 10. If you trust this group with your child, you have very different ideas about parenting than I do.

  3. Christel is an excellent spokesperson for this cause. I wish I could carry her around in my purse and let her do all the talking for me. She clearly won this “debate,” with substance, clarity and passion, coupled with respect for the others involved. Kudos to you, Christel!

  4. Great interview! Wow, really great interview. Thank you Christel, for all your research and work.

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