School board may hire consultant | RecordCourier.com

School board may hire consultant

Lorna McDaniel

The Douglas County school board may hire an achievement level testing company to test its revised curriculum.

The district paid for Allen Olson of the Northwest Evaluation Association in Portland, Ore. to come to Douglas County to give presentations on the testing system to board, teachers, school administrators and parents.

However, Pendery Clark, Douglas County school superintendent, said the district has not yet decided to hire the testing company.

However, “We are seriously looking at adopting that type of test,” she said.

Janice Florey, school district coordinator of assessment, grants and projects, said retaining the company would depend on grants and funds available.

“We can’t spend what we don’t have,” she said.

She said the system can be used to test students in reading, math, language usage and science – all of which the district plans to use except science.

Florey, a former teacher for the gifted and talented, said, “I see a use for the test for all kids for better targeting kids’ strengths, abilities and needs, so teachers can target instruction.

“That’s what we’re all about.”

Principal Roger Gerson of Carson Valley Middle School, said the test would be implemented within the next two years as part of the new curriculum’s assessment strategy.

Clark said the revised secondary curriculum will be implemented in the fall and the curriculum revision process for primary schools will begin in June.

Olson called the level tests a better measure of a student’s abilities. He said that educators tend to teach for mastery, “but if a child gets all the items right, then it’s a bad test.”

Students are now tested by the norm-referenced state-required test, the annual criterion-referenced test and teacher’s own classroom evaluations.