/Education task force named to examine state testing

Education task force named to examine state testing

Mississippi Department of Education announces a group of educators, legislators, and other education officials to the new task force that will study student testing. The department released the names of the Mississippi Student Testing Task Force members. State Superintendent Carey Wright stated last month that the task force will study state and local testing. The task force will also include high school seniors. However, they must apply via this link. According to the release, the Department of Education will select four students from each of Mississippi’s congressional districts to participate in discussions about “ensuring the state prepares them to college, the workforce or the military.” The members of the task force will review the type, quality, number, and frequency of the tests taken by students at the district and state levels. A report with recommendations and findings will be created by December. Krystal Cormack (chair of the state’s Charter School Authorizer Board) said that she was honored to be part of the task force. She said the group was formed as a result parents and communities asking questions about the appropriate amount of testing. Cormack also said that she hopes the taskforce will examine how testing data is collected to better inform the state about students’ experiences. Members of the public can send their comments on testing to testingtaskforce@mdek12.org. Mississippi First, a non-profit advocacy group, released an April report calling for more transparency about how students are tested and for what. Four anonymous school districts were examined and the report found that grades 3-8 spent most time on state testing. It was also discovered that testing time does not reflect how much effort districts put into preparing students for standardized tests. Rachel Canter, Mississippi First Executive Director, is also a member of the task force. She said that she would like to see the report’s findings and determine if any of the recommendations can be adopted. One suggestion was to have the Department of Education create a guideline for parents on state testing. Also, to press state vendor state test vendors to speed up score reporting so that teachers can analyze students’ data more efficiently. The group will meet their first meeting on June 19th at 9:00 AM. The task force will meet for the first time on June 19th at 9 a.m.