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CMS will use state summative tests in most subjects

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will use state-developed summative tests in nearly all subject areas, Interim Superintendent Hugh E. Hattabaugh announced Feb. 14. The decision means that the district will no longer work toward developing its own tests, as it has been doing since 2009, except in four areas: fine and performing arts, physical education and world languages.

“We remain committed to measuring student achievement and using that data to strengthen our schools. Assessments are a key component of that,” Hattabaugh told the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education at its first meeting in February. “We will also continue to work on developing more effective ways to measure the quality of teaching.”

CMS developed 52 summative tests that it planned to use in the current school year and was working on others for next year. The district wanted to use summative testing in areas that were not covered by the North Carolina End-of-Course and End-of-Year tests. There were multiple uncovered areas, particularly in high schools which offer a wide range of elective courses. Summative tests measure what a student has learned over the course of a semester or a year.

The state has asked CMS to collaborate in development of state-wide summative tests, which the state is calling “common exams,” because of the work the district had already done, Hattabaugh said. The North Carolina State Board of Education voted in early February to proceed with the development of statewide summative tests, and the state summatives are expected to begin in the 2012-2013 school year.

CMS will continue its work on summative testing in fine and performing arts, physical education and world languages because the state is developing tests for those that do not require student performance for assessment.

“The state encouraged us to continue our work in this area,” said Chief Information Officer Scott Muri, who oversees the CMS accountability department. “We wanted to continue the work because it reflects the way we feel students should be assessed in those areas.”


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