AMP tests under scrutiny

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2016 10:39pm
  • News

Some legislators are seeking an end to the Alaska Measures of Progress and Alaska Alternate Assessment tests.

Representative Jim Colver, R-Palmer, sponsored House Bill 232, which would prohibit the Department of Early Education and Development from administering the assessments, which nearly 73,000 students in the state’s 54 public school districts took for the first time in spring 2015.

“According to DEED, we have a contract to implement AMP this year,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. “Our district does not want to waste state funds by not honoring this contract, but we also have many concerns with past performance of the AMP vendor.”

The state of Alaska paid $25 million for a five-year contract with the Achievement and Assessment Institute, which is based out of the University of Kansas and formed in 2012, to develop the assessments based on standards adopted by the state the same year.

Dusek said school district administration was in support of delaying the test following the official, second release of the first round of results in November. The initial set of results was released in October to public school district administrators only, and returned to the vendor after being deemed inadequate by superintendents and the department of early education.

Though Dusek did not elaborate, he said the school district is working with the Department of Early Education to improve the current assessment system, so that it “provides results that can be utilized to improve student learning.”

“Until the reporting and the instructional usefulness concerns are adequately addressed, the implementation should be delayed,” Dusek previously wrote in an email to the Clarion. “It makes no sense to take a test if results aren’t useful for instructional decisions.”

Families received their students’ results in December, but the school district test coordinator did not receive any calls regarding questions or concerns about the results, said Pegge Erkeneff, school district spokesperson.

Colver’s bill would require the department of early education to administer the Alaska Measures of Academic Progress student assessments offered by the Northwest Evaluation Association, “or a substantially similar system of assessments.”

The federally mandated Every Student Succeeds and No Child Left Behind acts require statewide assessments, Dusek said. He said he is hopeful the Department of Early Education will look for the ways to administer those tests that best address the needs of Alaska’s students.

The school district is currently planning to administer the AMP test this spring, Erkeneff said.

Colver’s bill was prefiled on Jan. 8, and will be addressed during the 2016 legislative session that began Tuesday. It amends Alaska Statute relating to education planning and reports.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Kyle Kornelis speaks at a public meeting about the Runway 7-25 Rehabilitation Project on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna airport unveils revamped runway

Runway 7-25 was temporarily closed earlier this year while it underwent renovations.

Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Redistricting proposals draw concerns from local residents

The state is seeking feedback on the best way to redraw the state’s legislative district boundaries in the wake of the 2020 census.

Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Ordinance seeks more funding for sports complex renovations

Approved for introduction by the Soldotna City Council during their Oct. 13 meeting, the legislation would put an extra $583,000 toward the project

Most Read