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DCAS “window” opens next week!

March 9, 2012

DCAS is here again, for Red Clay at least. I’m not sure about other districts so please check.

According to the Red Clay District Calendar, the “DCAS Window” opens next week on Monday March 12, and stays open until June 1! (I think that June end date must be a goof – it probably ends before then).

That means your child’s DCAS tests could happen ANY DAY beginning Monday!

I just checked my child’s online school calendar and it still says “Check with your school for exact date.” Last fall the day of the DCAS tests was a surprise to us.

So check your individual school calendar, website, and any printed material for clues on when your child’s DCAS tests are. If you can’t find anything, call the school NOW for your child’s DCAS testing dates!

  1. NCS insider
    March 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    That June 1 date is no goof. All students will be tested twice in this large spring window. Parents were upset that kids tested 3 times and only 1 (the spring) counted. So what did the state do? Did they say that a student who scores proficient in the winter can count that score? Nope. They added a second round of testing in the spring, bringing the total times tested to four, two of which (both springs) wll count. High score of the two springs counts.

  2. March 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks… yes, I caught that last night on Kim Williams’s blog, after I put up this post. I was planning to update by Monday morning but haven’t had time yet.

    Before I post again though I want to look at the reasons. I think it has something to do with normalizing against national scores, but I need to look into that.

    Still, the point is that when there is a two and a half month window, the schools need to be extra diligent in informing you when your child’s test is. Mine has not been.

  3. concerned parent
    March 11, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Whoa – this is the first time I heard that! I was told that the 2nd Spring Test was just to give kids who didn’t score proficient in a previous test a chance to do so before the end of the year. Is this just a Red Clay thing? I’m in BSD we haven’t heard anything about mandated 2-DCAS’s in the Spring or the chance to opt out of one!

    Mike thanks for doing the research on this one!

  4. NCS Insider
    March 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    All of the districts greed to do the two tests with DE DOE. You are forgetting that with the new teacher evaluation system, 1/5 of each teacher’s performance is tied to student scores ( groups of as low as 20 students). Students (or parents refusing to take the test could result in a teacher getting tehrminated. So the state decided that all PL1and PL2 students are required to test a second time. The RTTT application submitted by Delaware put an emphasis in increasing the amount of students scoring at the PL4 level. So the mandatory testers became all students with scores of 1, 2, or 3. A PL4 may opt out of the fourth test with written notification from the parent. And remember, only the higher of the spring scores counts.

    PS-DOE is looking at bringing back some type of sanctions for students who score below PL3. Retention and summer school are ideas being tossed around.

  5. March 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks, NCS Insider… that sounds very likely.

    I stlll like to run down the original documents if I can though. I’ve found some previous mentions of possibly having two spring tests as far back as July 2011. So far I can’t find when the “go” decision was made or who made the decision. Hopefully there was some meeting that recorded the decision and rationale. As far as I can tell the first announcement was the DCAS scores mailer from a few weeks ago.

  6. concerned parent
    March 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Hi again – I’ve checked with BSD – they seem to be a bit more enlightened and all students will not be taking both DCAS tests this Spring. They are concerned about test fatigue and those students that have shown mastery will not have to take it a second time weeks after the first Spring test. I wish they could’ve told the DOE “NO” to the second test outright but at least they fought and got something.

  1. March 12, 2012 at 9:27 am
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