Friday, May 15, 2009

Lesson Plan review for May 18-22

Please read the text below from Dana Wrights and spend some time today to review your PLC colleagues lesson plans for accountability.

First - A message from the state (5/13) in regards to allowable instructional activity on test days:

"Be reminded that school systems shall prohibit local staff from conducting any type of instructional activity related to the content being tested on the morning of a state test administration (i.e., Regular administration, Retest 1) or during the state test administration. However, LEAs may elect to have review sessions in the afternoon after a test has been administered. In these instances, teachers must not jeopardize the security of the test forms. Test administrators are not permitted to (1) discuss specific items from the tests with students or colleagues prior to, during, or after the test administration or (2) ask students which test questions were difficult. For example, students might approach a teacher and ask questions about test items. Teachers must not discuss test items with the students and should discourage students from sharing test items with other students. Teachers should not use test items or information from students as the basis for additional instruction or review. Instead, teachers should provide instruction/review on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Excerpts from the tests must not be used at any time during classroom instruction or in resource materials such as study guides."

The above are the non-negotiables and are in the manual. But here are our additional suggestions:

I know instruction can't stop once testing starts, but from the standpoint of trying to protect teachers, afternoon instruction once reading and math testing begins should be carefully planned. Once test books have been distributed, it opens the doors to potential issues. Teaching during this time has led to more than one teacher having to defend him/herself in an investigation for allegedly teaching test items. Use caution and help your teachers protect themselves from such allegations by:

Advance preparation of lessons that follow EOGs (submitted prior to testing) OR refrain teaching the subject to be tested the next day

Emphasizing to your teachers the high stakes nature of testing and what can and cannot occur

Tell students ahead of time that they should not discuss test items with the teachers or anyone else

The whole point to the above rules is to protect our teachers by avoiding unnecessary situations that open the door to investigations.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Dana Wrights
Director, Accountability Services

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