[K12OSN] State Testing

Paul VanGundy vangundypw at sau14.k12.nh.us
Mon Feb 27 15:30:27 UTC 2006


Generally speaking, the only way to ensure that you get platform
independent programs/applications is to go web-based. I've really
encouraged our state to start focusing on web-based testing and
applications because that really is the only way to be platform
independent. Besides, it's generally less expensive (both labor and
time) to create a web-based application versus creating a Windows
executable and the numerous install options Linux offers
(.deb, .rpm, .bin, .tar.gz, etc...) and the Mac .sit file. About a week
and a half ago I was on here talking about PowerSchool and how it's
web-based (as is Centre...I don't want to go there again. :)) and how
because it is web-based we aren't tied down to one operating system on
our client side. We can use Macs, Windows, and Linux clients to view our
student information system database. In my humble opinion, web-based is
the way to go if your district and state can go that route.


On Mon, 2006-02-27 at 06:46 -0700, Ken Grant wrote:
> Hi:
> 	Thanks for all your wonderful responses!  It is good to know, in a
> bizzare sort of way, that other states have tried and failed at
> implementing testing in this way.
> 	I'm going to talk to anyone I can at Harcourt and the state to make
> sure that all platforms are considered when implementing this type of
> testing.
> 	Bandwidth issues were mentioned and the public schools in Wyoming are
> having a devil of a time with this issue.  The whole thing has been
> poorly thought out and implemented.  
> Cheers,
> Ken
> On Sun, 26 Feb 2006 11:45:23 -0700
> Ken Grant <kmgrant at actaccess.net> 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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Paul VanGundy
Information Technology Director
Epping High School
Epping Middle School
P: 603.679.5452
F: 603.679.2966
vangundypw at sau14.k12.nh.us
Registered Linux User #398783

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