Today I was at a meeting at the Intermediate School District. I am part of a group that meets monthly to look at data and make decisions about how the data is presented to schools, what data we want to be in the data base, etc.
Today we were looking at results from a multiple choice common math assessment taken by all 7th and 8th graders in all middle schools in the ISD. One thing we noticed is that some students (a very small number) marked answer choice E, even though each question only had 4 choices (A, B, C, D.)
I thought I was probably asking a stupid question, but I asked it anyway. "Why are we giving them a scan sheet that has five options when they only need four?" Apparently, that is the only scan sheet option. And NOBODY else seemed to have a problem with that. There were comments like, "Well, that is how the MME is, so it is good practice." or "It gives us a chance to teach good test taking strategies."
I don't get it. With all that we can and should be teaching our kids, we have to now spend time on the tricks of taking this one specific test? Because we can't find a scan sheet to match our needs? And nobody else can see how ridiculous that is?