Prior to the testing for Common Core, the district made sure that we were aware that their curriculum would be different (implying “better”) than other districts because blah, blah, blah.

But the scores turned out to be pretty bad. In Newport, they were just OK. In many Costa Mesa schools, the results were a train wreck. In an effort to spin the results, the Super said the district was “encouraged” by the results and added that there was more work to do. But he didn’t specifically say what kind of work or when it would be accomplished because he doesn’t have to. As I reported in my last post, accountability for academic improvement is not one of the 11 “duties and responsibilities” listed in the Super’s contract.

Even with the atrocious scores (at CdM High, only 64% of the test-takers met the state standard for math), one would think that the results would be posted in a prominent place on the district’s website. One would think that after all of the time, money, and resources invested in the special version of Common Core that the results would be easily accessible to taxpayers.

But one would be wrong. I tried more than six search options on the website and could not find the Common Core test results.

If the results are on the website, they are hard to find. They should be easy to find, though, because that is part of being transparent and accountable. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to dig for important information like Common Core results, it deserves its own button on the home page. But the closest you’ll find to anything is “Parent Resources for New SBAC Testing” which leads to information about the tests but not to the scores.

And the acronym “SBAC” on the home page is poor judgment. Parents don’t know what SBAC stands for so why not just spell it out? Why not just state “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium?” Why? Because the people who run the show don’t care to think like the parents who visit their website, that’s why.

Are the scores not readily available because the district is embarrassed? That’s the first thought that came to my mind. Was it an oversight? Perhaps, but that doesn’t excuse anything.

So, parents and others, as a service, I am providing a link to the website where you can view all of the scores of all the schools: http://schools.latimes.com/test-scores-2015/q=newport-mesa

Check out the results. And if you don’t like what you see, call the Super – I’m sure they’ll get right on that.

Steve Smith

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