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Re: [K12OSN] State Testing

Ken Grant wrote:
Hello All:

	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.

Maine is going through a somewhat similar program. The state Department of Education is trying to convert our Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) test to an on-line format. How can I say this delicately? It's been a disaster. I don't have an insiders view of the problems (I'm one of the "customers," a computer tech in a small, rural elementary school) but I suspect that a large part of the blame lies with the good bureaucrats at in the state government who wrote the goals for the contract. Our state government has a poor record when it comes to designing and implementing IT programs. If this project is going to be jammed down your throat with no option but to comply, then you have my entire sympathy. The saving grace here in Maine is that the program is voluntary. After three years, most of the schools have opted out. The sad part is that we do a different on-line testing program (NWEA) in our district twice a year. No fuss, no hassle, runs on everything I can boot up, no technical problems at all after the first year.

Mark Goodridge
The Computer Guy
Chelsea Elementary School

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