Purdy school officials critical of state tests

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Parents as Teachers program makes a successful revival

With school now out for the summer, Purdy school district officials are reviewing innovations during the school year, including their assessment of state standardized tests this spring.

Principal Janet Boys, who oversees elementary and middle school grades, called this year's Missouri Achievement Program (MAP) tests extremely difficult, with 80 percent of the questions focusing on higher-level thinking.

"Sometimes, they would direct you a different way to get to the answer," Boys said. "It will take some adjusting. They'll do better next year."

"Next year will be a different test," said Superintendent Steven Chancellor. "This was a Smarter Balance test. Next year, we don't have any idea what they will do."

"Are we just throwing a dart?" asked school board member Mike Bennett.

"Absolutely," Chancellor said. "It could be 2017 before we have measurable data for accreditation. We can't do any worse than we did last year. If we do poorly this year and next, they still take the highest score.

"While they're trying to decide on a test that doesn't change, we have to put our head down and work hard to figure out what we have to do in the classroom."

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