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Test fiasco in your state



The CTB mess in NYCity has affected at least Tenn and Ind, perhaps S.
Carolina, and no doubt many districts.

Meanwhile, Harcourt (SAT9, MAT) messed up in California in several ways, and
Riverside (ITBS) messed up Washington's essays (have to re-score 410,000).
Advanced Systems lost the KY contract for errors two years ago.

Have one of the companies messed up your state or district scores? How would
you know? The companies' processes are all secret, and when pushed about
possible errors, the companies always say things are fine and they have a
great reputation. In both IN and NYC. the companies had to be pushed
repeatedly. Of course, should there be an error that becomes public, their
reputation does decline; and it costs them money, both to fix the problems
and perhaps in fines (Cal fined Harcourt over $1 million this year).

You should write to your newspaper, point out the many errors being made, and
ask for openness in testing and assessment. You should also use this occasion
to ask forcefully why high stakes are attached (if they are). Note that in
NYC, they will now use tests with student work, portfolios, grades, etc. to
make decisions (not that retention should be decided since it is a failed
policy).

PLEASE ACT NOW -- WRITE -- YOU MIGHT ALSO CONTACT LEGISLATORS, BOARDS OF ED.
The companies are really on the defensive, as is this obscene process. Demand
audits (as is being demanded in Ind and NYC), openness, changes in policies,
etc.

Monty Neill
FairTest

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