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What if the Testocrats Staged a Quality Review and Responsible Professionals Refused to Participate?

Ohanian Comment: Here, the International Reading Association proves itself to be a big part of the problem, determined to be part of the action--even when that action is part of the oppressive power structure. When teachers participate in so-called "quality review" of test items, they are hurting children.

Instead of lining up to have a look at CTB/McGraw-Hill's proposed test items, CCIRA members would do well to visit the website of the Coalition for Better Education. Once there, they might read Angela Engel's 3/9/06 op ed. Angela points out that Colorado-style standards and testing work for appliances, not children.

It is both nonsensical and abusive to compare children who differ biologically, culturally, socially, intellectually, emotionally, economically, and so forth and so on. Opportunity is the greatest indicator of achievement. Schools reflect the communities they serve and are as equally unique and dynamic.

Reminder: Here are the stated purposes of the Colorado Council of IRA:

  • To promote the improvement of the quality of reading instruction at all levels

  • To encourage the development of permanent interests in reading, the formation of lifetime habits of reading, and an appreciation of the value of reading

  • To support local councils in their efforts to promote literacy

  • Funny, there's no mandate there for CCIRA members to become handmaidens of CTB/McGraw-Hill in preparing secret tests to rank and sort children.

    What if "knowledgeable teacher leaders" in Colorado stood up as responsible professionals and refused to collaborate in the state testing enterprise?

    TO: CCIRA members

    Below is a note from Maria Bagby from CDE inviting Colorado educators to participate in an item review for CSAP. Since it's important that we participate in this process, I hope you'll consider participating and that you'll pass this on to colleagues.

    Also don't forget that if you're planning on attending IRA, we would love to have you join us at CCIRA's night out at Andy's Jazz Club. I've attached the form that needs to be sent to me just as soon as possible since I do need to place our order soon.


    From: Bagby, Maria [mailto:Bagby_M@cde.state.co.us]
    Sent: Friday, April 14, 2006 2:17 PM
    To: Colorado Language Arts
    Subject: FW: June 22 and 23 - New Development of CSAP Items

    Importance: High

    Please forward this invitation to all teachers in all content areas!

    Colorado Educators,

    We would like to invite you to participate in the review of new CSAP items developed in what is called the "Content Review" on June 2 2 and 2 3 to be held in the metro-Denver area.

    We are in the phase of developing new items for refreshment and ongoing development of the CSAP tests and this is an important time when Colorado educators are involved in the quality review of newly developed items for the approval, re-writing or non-approval for use on future CSAP tests.

    We look for representation of knowledgeable teacher-leaders and administration from around the state - rural, urban, front range, western-slope, southwest, San Luis Valley, eastern plains and all other possibilities.

    Please let me know of your availability for participation on June 23 and 24. We recognized this to be an important part of the ongoing quality development of the CSAP.

    >Because you will be reviewing actual test items which may be used on future CSAP tests, you will be asked to sign an agreement of confidentiality to protect the security of the test itself. We will ask also or a bio or resume upon your registration for this event. Certificate of participation will be available for hours of recertification. This is a rare opportunity for application of any coursework re: assessment and the "drilling down" into measurement objectives relative to Standards Based Education.

    The following information will be necessary for submitting application to participate in this event:


    School and District:

    Preferred mailing address:

    Work Phone:

    Home Phone:

    Emergency Phone (cell):

    Preferred email address:

    Colorado Representation: rural or urban? front range, western slope, San Luis Valley, eastern plains, other?

    Representation of the following: ELL/ESL, students with disabilities, visually impaired, ethnic considerations, other

    Content expertise: math, science, reading or writing

    Grade level(s) expertise: (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10 or HS)

    What CSAP activities have you participated in before? When?

    Education/Experience that qualifies you to participate in this important work:

    Attach an electronic resume/vita with your application

    Maria Bagby and Holly Baker


    Office of Learning and Results
    Unit of Student Assessment
    Colorado Department of Education

    (303) 866-6634

    (303) 907-8966 cell


    — memo
    Colorado Council International Reading Association




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