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Assessment tests alone are not apt to measure student skill level

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A state law passed last year which will cause assessment tests to no longer be the sole means of placing students into math and English classes could reduce the amount of students placed into inappropriate courses for their skill level.

The Channels Editorial Board supports this change in our placement policy because it will positively affect the large majority of students, but there are a few exceptions where the system will not work which needs to be addressed.

The new measures for placing students into these core classes have not been finalized yet but high school completion has emerged as a major factor in placing most students with some possible exceptions. If a student lacks a transcript they would “self report” on which courses they completed in high school and which class they would like to take.

It is not uncommon for someone who is intelligent and dedicated at school to not be as strong when it comes to tests, particularly standardized. This sometimes leads to these students being placed into costly courses which are purely review for them or are not transferable classes.

These students are placed into low courses and may spend a year or two paying for classes which they should not necessarily take based on their skill level.

While this policy overall has a positive effect there are exceptions and special circumstances which would need to be addressed in which high school completion would not be an accurate judge of where a student should be placed.

Because of differences in educational resources and funds for high schools based on school and district some students may have not had been provided the same high school education as others who may have gone to a private school or highly funded public school.

This same issue could arise if someone finished high school through the GED or the CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam) for state locals.

Students who have been out of high school for a significant amount of time may need to review some material or at least take some sort of assessment test to see how much information they have retained over time.

English as a second language students may also need a more complex measuring system than high school completion because students may be placed ahead of the level which is appropriate for them.

A teacher may sometimes feel that they have to go slower than they or some of the fast paced students prefer ir order to not leave behind slower students in that subject, the new law around placement measures could help this issue or make it much worse depending on how it is implemented.

For students who must self report and possibly for others this new process would put more responsibility on them to determine which classes they are well suited.

This worries some people that many of our students are 18 or 19 year old and may not be as skilled as assessing their abilities and honestly reporting them.

Counseling offered or required for the exceptions could help reduce students being placed into classes which are too hard for them.

As long as City College and other school changing their placement policies address and make plans for the exceptions where more than a high school transcript is needed to assess where a student would perform best, this change could reduce stress coming to college for many students.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Assessment tests alone are not apt to measure student skill level”

  1. S.J.P on April 14th, 2018 6:53 pm

    I agree. If a student has placed fairly high and beyond in high school and or taken some AP courses in this process and has the ability to pass. Math and English there’s no need to continuously exhaust the student with repetitive work to bore them with the same subjects in college. if they’ve proven there competence is a little above average. I agree that students test results alone don’t show the students full potential. Especially with emotional cognitive IQ factors that California placement test don’t seem to emphasize on
    There’s also a High possibility of curriculum and placement testing ,not meeting everyone’s Social and emotional intelligence with the variety of personalities , different learning styles ,cultures and various factors to consider. In how the student Learns the Best and in what type of setting, environment ”school climate ” that can gauge the concentration of placement value better. Without the possibility of get bored, discouraged, distracted or unmotivated causing more decline in success for the school system .
    to have students prove this, in city college while paying tuition at the cost to the students efforts and families paying tuition .shouldn’t be the only way to access there placement/level. I suggest giving them, a variety of placement test to not waste there time and the teachers I suggest an emotional IQ test, . ”The Intrest Profiler Test ”a ”Personality Assessment Testing ”based on a variety of interesting fields of work They can major in. Another important factor that can be included, since every student learns differently in terms of auditory, kinesthetic, visual or analytical these should have an influence in testing where the student’s interest score high .not to base the test solely on academic but to truly. Identify where their strengths are and to include their cultural background and assess the proper channels to identify that subject .it’s hard for students to adapt or people in general if they’re not accustomed to a new school environment. This is the new year of computerized technology and advancement. Schools should have that in mind as well, meaning to update curriculum on campuses and online classes that incorporates technology pedagogy to engage new students.

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Assessment tests alone are not apt to measure student skill level