Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monterey's testing expert Doug McRae's rankling feathers at CDE

Testing expert Doug McRae, a former top executive with a local testing company, was busy two weeks ago visiting schools in Monterey County to see how the new testing system is going. I accompanied him to a couple of the schools, and even though I did not include any of my observations in my story in today's paper, the visits informed it a great deal.

McRae put together his comments in a meaty report to the California Board of Education, which apparently did not sit well with California Department of Education administrators. They immediately called at least one of the schools he visited to find out whether he had signed a confidentiality agreement.

Yes, CDE administrators. Mr. McRae is as "by-the-book" as they get, and he signed an affidavit at every single school he visited. He made me sign two of them, one at each school I accompanied him to. Frankly, I though that was overkill, but now I know why.

Plus, we were not in the room when the actual test began. Mr. McRae pushed me out the moment the test proctor read out loud "you may now begin the test."

We did not see ANY of the questions students had to answer, which is apparently a bigger secret than  anti-aging cream formula.

Scientist that he is, McRae wrote a six-page analysis of his methodical observations. He chose different schools with different scholarly achievement, and ranked his commentaries accordingly. Here they are, for your enjoyment.

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