EGHS To Participate In Pilot International Test Program
East Greenwich is one of four R.I. communities that will participate in the test this spring.
East Greenwich High School students will participate in the international OECD Test for Schools this spring, one of only six schools in four Rhode Island communities to be chosen.
“We applied back in the fall,” said EG Supt. Victor Mercurio. “The commissioner’s office had contacted us to see if we had any interest. I said, ‘Absolutely we’re interested.’”
According to a press release from the R.I. Department of Education, “The goal of the pilot-test project is to provide schools with assessment scores in mathematics, reading, and science that they can use to estimate how well they would do on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the largest school-based international assessment in the world.”
“It’s going to give us a nice set of data to look at how we are doing compared to other schools around the world,” said Mercurio.
“We want to compare our schools not only with the best schools in the country but also with the best schools in the world,” said education commissioner Deborah Gist. “I commend the school leaders in Central Falls, Chariho, East Greenwich, and Pawtucket for stepping forward to meet this challenge. This pilot test will provide a model for a new international assessment, and it will help our own schools recognize their strengths and shortcomings as measured against international standards.”
Schools in the pilot of the OECD Test for Schools will select three testing days falling between May 1 and June 15, according RIDE. The tests will be administered by OECD contractors, not school staff. The school will select 100 students who are 15 years old will take the pilot tests, which will last about 2½ hours. The district will get a school-level report; no individual student scores will be released.
Mercurio acknowledged some in the district are feeling testing fatigue, but he said the benefits are worth it.
Among the potential benefits for participating schools cited by the OECD is an opportunity to benchmark how well students compare with peers on an international level, which could lead to establishing higher expectations and instigating discussion of school practices and policies.
The other schools participating in the pilot test are Central Falls Senior High School, Chariho Regional High School and three schools in Pawtucket: The Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Shea Senior High School, William E. Tolman Senior High School.