DCAS is rotten to the (Common) Core

I just stood over a student’s shoulder, being the active test moderator that one must be. Naturally, I couldn’t help but read the question the student was on. Fifth grade math. I looked at it once. I looked at it again. I couldn’t figure it out. Was this a reading test or a math test? Buried somewhere in the reams of blathering text was a math problem. I eventually found it but thought it so complex for a fifth grader.

I called over another adult in the room. That adult who specializes in math thought the question was just as inappropriate. Sharing the question details would be a violation of the rules, so you won’t be seeing the question here. All I will say is this test is bad. Very bad. And our students and teachers are being judged on it.

Time for a real conversation dissecting this test. Open up the books, DoE. Let the sun shine in. Gov. Markell, what say you?


12 comments on “DCAS is rotten to the (Common) Core

  1. John Young says:

    I say that test and those test questions are bought and paid for by Delaware tax dollars why are they not public?

  2. John Young says:

    Reblogged this on Transparent Christina.

  3. Jack says:

    John: I agree with you they should be made public.

  4. […] DCAS is rotten to the (Common) Core. […]

  5. 4equity2 says:

    My eighth graders just took the Smarter Balance pilot. It was administered by Guidance, so no chance for me to personally assess. But this, I can say, they returned to my classroom completely done in. Defeated.
    This is where we are headed.
    I did have the opportunity to see some Smarter Balance release items, and they are ridiculous! Questions with Multiple parts, requiring ALL correct responses. Lengthy text, requiring sustained attention, interest, and comprehension.
    Would love to see everyone at DEDOE, and our governor sit down with this test and allow their scores to be published.

  6. 4equity2 says:

    I should add that this was the math portion of the pilot.

  7. Jack says:

    Are teachers test similar to DCAS?

  8. 4equity2 says:

    I took the math praxis in 2005, and there were no contrived stories about ski trips, etc. It was a “traditional” math test.

    And what ever happened to concern cultural bias in testing. One of my students told me about a problem that had a “huge” story about going on a ski trip– all the expenses, etc., then several related extended response questions.

    A ski trip?? Seriously? In schools with >50% free and reduced lunch? ??

  9. Jack says:

    Did teachers have input into test? If not who did?

  10. 4equity2 says:

    I attended a workshop in Dover on the development of the math DCAS, where teacher input was sought. What is done with the input, we never know.
    The Smarter Balance is based on the Common Core, and will be coming to DE in 2014, I think. This was not developed locally, and I am not aware of teacher input.

    Ask any teacher how much their input, opinions, and expertise are truly valued. Not only at the national, state, or district levels, but even at building level. Here’s an idea, take a survey! It would be a real eye opener.

  11. John Young says:

    Survey? been there, failed that.

  12. 4equity2 says:


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