[K12OSN] State Testing

Todd O'Bryan toddobryan at mac.com
Mon Feb 27 01:23:16 UTC 2006

Kentucky tried to pilot a program last year. Apparently the bandwidth  
was way too high. Which only goes to show you that the program was  
written really badly.

What really annoys me is that some of my brightest students and I  
could write a program that would handle most of what they want in a  
summer. Just create a Java app that downloads questions and uploads  
answers when students need them (so everyone's not hitting the server  
at the same time). The only challenging part is making sure that  
students can't quit the program or otherwise use another program  
while they're testing.

And how many millions are we spending on stuff that a developer would  
do for  less than $50k and could be released as open source so that  
all the states could then use it?


On Feb 26, 2006, at 8:08 PM, Doug Simpson wrote:

> All I have to say is "Good Luck!"
> We have state testing here for some of our programs and it is  
> attempted to be administered online.
> We have yet to have one work reliably and efficiently yet and we  
> have been doing it for several years already.
> doug
> Ken Grant wrote:
>> Hello All:
>> 	This may or may not be the best place to address this issue, but I
>> figure there are enough tech/educational experts here that someone is
>> bound to have encountered it.
>> 	My problem: Our state, Wyoming, is converting all standardized  
>> testing
>> for compliance with the "No Child Left Behind" law to computers.  
>> Starting in about six weeks, children in grades 3-8, and grade 11,  
>> will
>> be taking our state test online.  The test is designed by the  
>> state but
>> admisistered through Harcourt Assessment.  To ensure that students do
>> not have access to other parts of the computer they are working  
>> on, all
>> testing must be done with a "secure browser." To get the browser to
>> be secure a program called SiteKiosk is used. And you guessed
>> it, it only runs on Windows and sometimes Macs.
>> 	At this point the state is still dealing with many tech issues,
>> including getting SiteKiosk to run on Macs.  I've been assured by
>> people at the state level and at Harcourt Assessment that no  
>> testing has
>> been done with Linux.  Since K12LTSP is being used by school  
>> districts
>> across the nation, this seems to me to be a terrible oversight.
>> 	I realize that the bigger school districts have the funding for  
>> Windows
>> systems; however, we are a small Catholic school with very little
>> resources to invest in IT.  K12LTSP is the only way we can get  
>> computers
>> in the classroom.
>> 	All that said, have any of you been faced with a similar issue?  If
>> so, how have you dealt with it?  How many schools with K12LTSP are  
>> using
>> it as their only platform?
>> 	I plan to make as much noise as possible with both the state and  
>> with
>> Harcourt so that this situation can be corrected, but in the meantime
>> any ideas on how to get SiteKiosk to run on Linux would be great.   
>> Does
>> anyone know if a Linux-based program exsists to make a  browser  
>> secure?
>> 	Thanks for reading my rant and for K12LTSP...it's an awesome OS!
>> Cheers,
>> Ken
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