T.C. Weber recently penned a great guest column in the Tennessean on the whole Huffman/TCAP fiasco. Read the whole thing.
Here’s our favorite part:
How valid can we now really consider these scores to be? You may call it “post-equating,” but to me it sounds like manipulation. It’s a well-known fact that “cut scores” change annually, but with every aspect of testing so clouded in secrecy it was easy for administrators to defend their policies. However, this latest debacle blows a hole in the argument that scores aren’t massaged — sorry, I mean “post-equated.”
Added to the “post-equating” defense is some mumbo-jumbo about making sure questions “align with Common Core.” To me, that sounds like arbitrarily looking at questions and throwing a few out. Anybody who’s ever looked at these tests in-depth is aware of how much just changing one or two variables can change the whole narrative. Back home, we call it cooking the books.
Here is another truism that I’ve lived with my whole life in the customer service realm: Perception is nine-tenths of reality. That’s why these results have now been corrupted beyond redemption. There will always be a question of their authenticity. This is inexcusable, and someone needs to be held accountable.
Weber goes on to say Huffman needs to resign – and we agree. But just one problem: Until someone holds somebody accountable that ain’t gonna happen. Instead, the Haslam administration is circling the wagons and running the cover-up with a level of obfuscation that would make John Mitchell and Richard Nixon proud, all the while screwing over our teachers and denying students a fair assessment of their educational progress.