Saturday, October 13, 2007

After News Article on Test, Michigan Orders Retesting

The following article clearly shows how schools need to test more. We should pretest, then test. How are we supposed to know if these kids are smart? How are we going to separate the smart kids from the dumb kids? I'm glad 5th and 6th graders are being introduced into this stressful situation early, this way they are weeded out by HS. (if all this sounds absolutely ludicrous read on):

DETROIT, Oct. 12 — Michigan’s Department of Education is making thousands of fifth- and sixth-graders retake a part of the state’s standardized writing test because a newspaper published a brief article about the test that revealed the topics of two questions.

The retesting is expected to cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” a spokesman for the department, Martin Ackley, said Friday, at a time when Michigan is entangled in its worst-ever financial crisis. State lawmakers this month narrowly avoided a government shutdown by voting to raise taxes to help close a $1.75 billion budget deficit.

State officials say the article, published Tuesday in The Jackson Citizen-Patriot newspaper, could give an unfair advantage to students who had not yet taken the test. Not all schools administer the examination on the same day. The test, which determines compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind law, has to be identical for all students.

The decision to retest has outraged parents and school district officials across the state, who say it wastes time and could lead to lower scores. The state is considering penalties against the Jackson Public Schools, which apologized for allowing a reporter inside a classroom during testing.

The situation has embarrassed The Citizen-Patriot, which has a circulation of 32,000 in south-central Michigan. The paper’s editor, Eileen Lehnert, said that the reporter, Chad Livengood, “did everything right” and that there was no intention to disclose sensitive information.

Ms. Lehnert also questioned the logic of schools’ not testing simultaneously in an era of text messaging and online social networking. “I feel awful,” she said. “But I can’t see, knowing what we knew then, what we possibly could have done differently.”

The three-week window during which schools can administer the test, known as the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, began Monday. Officials are unsure how many of the state’s 260,000 fifth- and sixth-grade students have already taken the section being recalled.

In past years, schools that violated testing protocol gave their students an emergency replacement version, Mr. Ackley said. But because people anywhere in Michigan could have read the article on the newspaper’s Web site, officials decided to give all schools a new writing test.

Published: October 13, 2007 NYTimes


Ms. Mayo said...


You mean the kids could've found out the topics ahead of time AND actually have known what they were being tested on?! Oh my! Wouldn't want that to happen! It's a writing test. So...they could pre-write or actually use the writing process to help them? And of course all the tests must be identical-- aren't all kids?

And the 5th and 6th graders who are "socially networking" are talking about standardized test questions?! If so, I say all electronics should be allowed in school. They're being used for good after all!

When are schools going to catch up with the world? When will we realize that we do, in fact, have access to information-- and that's a good thing!

All the time and money we waste on this crap makes me think.
What are we doing?

Anonymous said...

I wanted to post my own view on this until I read Lori's. I cannot possibly add to Lori's well stated response. I am in total agreement with Mayo.

Superfly said...