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RTTT: Testing Companies "Streamline" Scoring, Oversight

image from www.nypost.comMonday was a big day in standardized testing, although it probably wasn’t the sort of big day the testing industry wants you to hear about as we scurry from NCLB to RTTT. 

First, the NY Post told of an “outraged Brooklyn teacher” who turned whistle blower after being hired to score open-ended student responses on the New York state math test (NY passes students who get wrong answers on tests). That teacher was aghast to discover students were being given credit for partial or incorrect answers. In other words, wrong answers were being credited for being sorta’ right. Those scores were recorded and counted towards the students’ final test results.

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reported on the failures of NCS Pearson to both administer the state’s FCAT test and to return the scores on time (Glitches delay FCAT scores). The story also revealed that NCS Pearson changed a decades long policy of having two scorers read each student essay and instead are having just one temporary employee read them, eliminating any scoring oversight from the process. 

Interested in reading more about the testing industry?  Check out this interview with Todd Farley, a testing insider who wrote a funny, scathing book about life inside the testing machine. 

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FL scores have been delayed for the second time this year. Originally, going to one scorer on the writing was to save money. Now, because the scores were not what FL wanted there is "validation of the scores". The money saved earlier is now being spent anyway. Also, Pearson has had problems in other states that resulted in multimillion dollar payback to dept. of education's in those states.

Once again, Pearson shows Florida that our $254 million testing contract was well spent. Thanks guys.

nice posting about the need to validate site changes (whether front-end or back-end driven). There are lots of pieces to the puzzle of understanding user behavior; serving a controlled experience and tracking behavior by site treatment and customer segment are essential.

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