Thursday, April 26, 2007

Testing Tangle

We finished the new online testing yesterday. This was a high maintenance journey to comply with a new testing instrument specifically for ELL (English Language Learners). The first day last week was filled with issues, but the succeeding days everything smoothed out. Yesterday, my lab ran virtually flawlessly. The other, larger lab, hit some bumps at the beginning of the process, but later smoothed out to complete the task.

It appears that other districts had far greater problems than we had:
Computer problems forced the shutdown of the new online statewide test in Minnesota this week, when one-fourth of the school districts using the test couldn't run the program.

The problem involved the alternative state math test for 26,000 English as a Second Language students.

The test malfunctioned in 26 of the 99 school districts using it, according to Minnesota Department of Education spokesman Randy Wanke.
The instrument itself is a great concept, but poorly designed. The very rudimental process of scrambling the questions so students weren't sitting next to each other on the same question was not in the code. Maybe when the government imposes these mandates they will include some Educational techno geeks to be part of the process. Education Commissioner Alice Seagren, have your people contact my people, I have some changes and adjustments in mind.


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