[K12OSN] State Testing

Mark Goodridge mgoodridge at chelseaeagles.org
Tue Feb 28 12:43:33 UTC 2006

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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