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DepEd Test Issue
« on: March 05, 2018, 06:28:40 PM »
REP. FREDERICK W. SIAO
Lone District of Iligan City
Vice Chair, Committee on Tourism
Member, Appropriations, Economic Affairs, and 8 other committees                                                                   
Facebook: /congressmansiao Twitter: @freddiesiao 0917-719-0000                                                                   
                                                                                                   
DEPED ALS EQUIVALENCY TEST SHOULD ALSO BE IN CEBUANO, FILIPINO, SAYS REP. SIAO

DepEd officials failed the fairness test when they made the ALS equivalency exam much harder to pass

DepEd Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners who did not pass the accreditation and equivalency test given in November last year have been allowed to take the test again this March. To pass the test, they need to get a passing score of 60 percent.

I commend Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones for taking swift and decisive action on the injustice committed against learners who took the ALS accreditation and equivalency last November but failed to pass it because of, among others, the sudden use of English instead of Filipino in the tests on Math and Science.

Secretary Briones was right in lowering the passing rate from 75 percent to 60 percent because the test last November 2017 was more difficult than previous tests.

The DepEd Secretary proved yet again her integrity and courage as an educator when she admitted, on behalf of the DepEd, that the test given last November was “impaired” in terms of fairness.

However, I urge Secretary Briones to, at the very least, issue a written reprimand to the DepEd officials and personnel responsible for subjecting the ALS examinees to the injustice, not mere unfairness, of the test they took last year.

Those officials are supposed to be highly educated and highly trained, yet they failed to serve the public, the examinees in particular, with FAIRNESS.

I appeal to Secretary Briones to direct the DepEd personnel under her to have the Math and Science tests in Filipino, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Cebuano and other major mother tongues or languages of the Philippines, so that the examinees can understand the questions and respond accordingly.

The DepEd can enlist the technical support of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the Surian ng Wikang Filipino for this undertaking.

If the DepEd needs a higher allocation for this specific purpose, I will support that budget request when the DepEd budget is heard in Congress at committee and in plenary. (END)

BACKGROUNDER

(Excerpt from March 2, 2018 Statement of Secretary Briones)

Based on my evaluation, in consultation with all our relevant officers and personnel, the following are the contributory factors that made the current test more difficult than the previous ones, and impaired the fairness of the test:

1. The language used in test questions for Math and Science were changed from Filipino in the previous tests to English in the current test. The negative impact of this was very pronounced in the elementary level examination.

2. The time gap between the time of completion of ALS interventions and the current test was prolonged because of a number of postponements in test administration.

3. There was a change in the technical reference of, as well as significant increase in, the passing score for the test.

4. An initial comparison of the test questions show a higher degree of difficulty in the present test than the previous one.

5. There were shortcomings in adequately communicating the assessment changes to ALS implementers.

Given the above, I am announcing the change in the passing score from 75% correct answers (relative to total test questions) to 60% correct answers in the November 2017 A&E Test. This is to align the present test with previous standards, as well as to mitigate the unfairness to the examinees brought about by the circumstances mentioned. This same passing score shall be applied to the March 4 and 11, 2018 A&E Test.

A 60% passing score in examinations is generally acceptable.

The November 2017 A&E examinees who still did not make the new passing score shall be allowed to take the March 4 and 11, 2018 A&E Test as walk-in examinees, provided they accomplish the required registration documents at the site immediately prior to taking the exam.

PRESS RELEASE from DepEd Secretary Briones

DepEd Statement on the recent Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test: Announcing the change in passing score from 75% to 60%

When I received the initial results of low passing rate of the November 2017 Alternative Learning System (ALS) Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test compared to the previous year (from 38% to 16.5% for elementary and 57% to 15.6% for Junior High School), and feedback from ALS examinees and implementers, I immediately directed our Curriculum and Instruction bureaus to submit all pertinent data and information about the current and the previous tests. My intent was to ascertain the reasons for the drop in performance, and to evaluate whether there were factors that affected the fairness of the tests to learners.

Based on my evaluation, in consultation with all our relevant officers and personnel, the following are the contributory factors that made the current test more difficult than the previous ones, and impaired the fairness of the test:

1. The language used in test questions for Math and Science were changed from Filipino in the previous tests to English in the current test. The negative impact of this was very pronounced in the elementary level examination.

2. The time gap between the time of completion of ALS interventions and the current test was prolonged because of a number of postponements in test administration.

3. There was a change in the technical reference of, as well as significant increase in, the passing score for the test.

4. An initial comparison of the test questions show a higher degree of difficulty in the present test than the previous one.

5. There were shortcomings in adequately communicating the assessment changes to ALS implementers.

Given the above, I am announcing the change in the passing score from 75% correct answers (relative to total test questions) to 60% correct answers in the November 2017 A&E Test. This is to align the present test with previous standards, as well as to mitigate the unfairness to the examinees brought about by the circumstances mentioned. This same passing score shall be applied to the March 4 and 11, 2018 A&E Test.

A 60% passing score in examinations is generally acceptable.

The November 2017 A&E examinees who still did not make the new passing score shall be allowed to take the March 4 and 11, 2018 A&E Test as walk-in examinees, provided they accomplish the required registration documents at the site immediately prior to taking the exam.

I wish to emphasize that these measures are applicable only to the said tests. I am directing our officers and personnel concerned to undertake a thorough review of our A&E examination standards, including their alignment to existing learning resources and instruction delivery, and to consult external experts. In the meantime, the provision in DepEd Order No. 55, s. 2016 setting the passing score at 75% is suspended pending this review.

I reiterate my, and the present administration’s commitment to intensify and expand the Alternative Learning System (ALS) programs in order to reach our out-of-school youth and adults who have failed to finish basic education and provide better opportunities for them. We will closely work with stakeholders, consult them, and strengthen partnerships to achieve this goal.

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