Re: Ohio graciously allows parents opportunity to purchase opts.
- Subject: Re: Ohio graciously allows parents opportunity to purchase opts.
- From: Victor Steinbok <Victor.Steinbok@VERIZON.NET>
- Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 00:20:23 -0400
- In-reply-to: <B7D52087.E93Cfirstname.lastname@example.org>
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
OK, now that I have a better grip in the situation, I can respond. It
is disturbing that NCS has found another way to leech money off
parents with the blessing of the state. But it's worse than that.
Everyone's equal in the eyes of the state when it comes to obtaining
actual test response sheets--everyone pays the same amount for the
privilege. On the other hand, if you only want a copy of the test
booklets and/or answer lists (or scoring guides for writing), you are
in luck with a computer--you can download one (or 10) for free and
print it as your heart desires. However, if you don't happen to own a
computer or have access to one (which, generally, puts you in the
more impoverished category--still it's over 35% of the US), you are
out of luck--you have to shell out 5 cents per page for each and
every test. Apparently, the state applied the same rules to these
tests as they do to FOIA requests by journalists (and others)--sure
you can have access to it, but we are not spending tax dollars on
copying it for you. Of course, 5 cents a page is only about a buck
per test (per subject), but it's still money someone has to spend.
The first problem I encountered with Ms. Missy's note was that the
web page for Proficiency tests was incorrect--if you've dealt with
state government web pages, this fact might be obvious from the URL
given. It's missing an ".oh" after "state". So the complete URL is
Second, not all tests are created equal. For graduation tests, there
are no past tests to rely on--only selected sample questions. On the
other hand, past 12th grade tests are not available because they are
no longer administered (so if your kid took one, and you want to see
what the questions were, you're out of luck). The 9th, 6th and 4th
grade tests are available as PDF files. I had no difficulty
downloading and printing any of them, although I only took a limited
sample. Perhaps Mary O'Brien's difficulty was with a Acrobat Plug-In
in IE--it is known to cause problems. I bypassed the situations by
simply downloading the files instead of displaying them in the
browser. So there should be no alarm on this one, but I'd like
further elaboration on the printing difficulty for grade 6.
Next, I looked at some of the "reports" of the tests. They are
completely disorganized. Test results are reported under wrong
headings, clicking grade 8 gives the results for seniors (all on a
Ninth Grade Test), etc. But there are some interesting observations
that can be made. For example, I pulled a couple of reports at random
and here's a summary of one of them, apparently data for seniors
(grade 12) on a ninth grade test in May 2000. This means that this is
the results after repeated testing, with most students having passed
all tests prior to May.
According to the report a total of 2200 students failed out of over
130000, or about 1.66%. This, by itself may look encouraging,
compared to the results in MA, TX, WA or VA, where failure rates can
be over half the population. But take a closer look at the numbers.
The failures are distributed as follows:
Obviously some students failed multiple tests.
Either Ohio breeds people who are truly bad in math and may even be
bad citizens, or there is something really screwy going on here.
There is no objective reason why more than 2/3 of the failures are in
math, and only a handful are in writing. I've checked the 2000 report
for non-public charter schools (0.25% or 38 out of nearly 16000
failed, distributed, as 1, 2, 32, 5) and the one for 2001 and the
results are similar, with an added caveat that science is nearly
equal to math in failures in 2001 (no science in 2000).
There are several possible explanations for this: math teachers are
bad, English teachers are good; more students lack innate ability to
do math, nearly all students can write; the tests are poorly
designed; failure cutoffs are arbitrary; someone designed the tests
to fit their preconceived notions of math and science being harder.
Obviously, the list can go on, but I would like someone in Ohio to
ask the state about this discrepancy. It makes little sense. Perhaps
they can explain it.
If I have time this week, I'll look at some math tests.
At 5:40 PM +0000 9/24/01, Sean and Mary Obrien wrote:
This just came home in my 2nd grader's back pack. There seem to be some
unanswered equity questions here. Not everyone can afford to purchase these
tests. You also cannot print off the actual copies of the sixth grade tests
from the ODE website. Printing is blocked.It is very tedious to read these
tests on the computer which raises another equity question: If one could
scrape up enough money to pay for tests (I have 5 kids, could be pricy for
some parents) they might not own a computer. Computer time at libraries is
usually limited to 30 minutes at a time.
I find it odd that the 'scored' student responses are not given to parents.
I also wonder if NCS sends copies of tests that students have thrown up
A Message From: Missy Gordon, District Test Coordinator:
PROFICIENCY TESTING RESULTS
Parents are now being given the opportunity to purchase their child's
proficiency test responses which were administered during the 2000-2001
The 4th grade proficiency documents contain the test questions and student
responses.Since these students responded directly to the test questions in
the test booklet, the parent will receive a copy of the test with the
For grades 6 and 9, students responded to the test questions in a separate
answer document. The 6th and 9th grade proficiency documents are the
student's response WITHOUT the test questions. The student document will be
a copy of the student's actual written reponses to the test questions. None
of the answer documents, for any grade will contain marks that would
indicate a correct or incorrect reponse.
To view the test questions for the 6th grade and 9th grade tests, you will
need to go to the Ohio Department of Education's web site:
Parents must order their child's proficiency test responses through the
Upper Arlington City Schools. THE FINAL DATE FOR ORDERING ANY STUDENT ANSWER
DOCUMENTS FROM A TEST ADMINISTERED DURING THE 2000/2001 SCHOOL YEAR IS,
Upper Arlington City Schools will be placing orders for parents on Sept.
15th, October 15th, November 15th, and December 15th. If you are interested
in receiving your child's proficiency test response, please complete the
form below and return it TO YOUR CHILD'S SCHOOL OFFICE WITH A MONEY ORDER
MADE OUT TO NATIONAL COMPUTER SYSTEMS, INC., PRIOR TO DECEMBER 15TH.WE will
process the requests as they are received. In 4-6 weeks after processing,
you can expect to get your order. Questions should be directed to Missy
Gordon, District Testing Coordinator @ 487-5138 or email at
Student's Name:_____________________________ School Building______________
Parent's Name:______________________________ Phone Number_________________
Home Address and Zip Code:__________________________________________________
PLEASE MARK THE TEST(S) THAT YOU ARE REQUESTING:
FOURTH GRADE _____ MARCH 2001 $20.00______
SIXTH GRADE _____ MARCH 2001 $20.00______
NINTH GRADE _____ SUMMER 2000 $12.00______
______OCTOBER 2000 $12.00______
_______MARCH 2001 $12.00______
_______MAY 2001 $12.00______
MONEY ORDER FOR TOTAL AMOUNT SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO:
NATIONAL COMPUTER SYSTEMS,INC.
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