Tuesday, February 24, 2009

HB 508 on assessment (and more) (UPDATED)

Update: I've revised the post and the bill summary to say "constructed response" instead of "open response." The difference is an important one.

House Bill 508, filed on Monday, calls for:
  • revising all academic content standards by the end of 2010.
  • testing the new reading, math, science, social studies, language, and writing standards with constructed-response, multiple-choice, and on-demand items and using both criterion-referenced and norm-referenced testing elements, starting in 2011-12.
  • using program reviews to check quality of school programs in writing, arts & humanities, and practical/vocational, also starting in 2011-12.
  • requiring school council policy on writing programs and continued use of writing portfolios that will not be part of accountability after 2011-12.
  • continuing the CATS assessment through 2010-11.
The bill also contains strong requirements for alignment with postsecondary and teacher preparation programs, and other changes.

You can download my three-page PDF summary here and the full bill here.


  1. A careful read of the proposed legislation indicates that "constructed response" items will be part of the criterion-referenced component of the assessment. There are major differences between "open response" items (often including multiple parts and requiring a paragraph or so to respond)and "constructed response" items (can be answered in a few words or a sentence or two). NAEP has used "constructed response" items for many years. I see this as a positive change.

  2. Anonymous,

    You're right that the bill uses "constructed response" and that the term may mean items that work differently than the "open response" items we've been using. Thank you for that clarification, and please do include your name with future comments. (I waived the rule because your note was so helpful.)

  3. For the reader with download difficulties, I think it's working now. If you go to the top right corner of the blog and click on my name, you can e-mail me and we'll find a a solution.


Updates and data on Kentucky education!