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Re: [K12OSN] State Testing



Next Monday and Tuesday there is a state wide education conference here in
Wyoming and on the agenda is Microsoft, eagerly hawking their wares.  How
can we get state education departments to consider - be aware of -
open-source?

Ken

> What we've found in Maine is that not all web-based apps are created
> equal.  This is primarily because many companies are LAZY and thus
> choose to make a web app that requires Active X or some other
> proprietary plug-in just to work.  So, yes, they can tout it as
> web-based.....but......only with IE...or whatever.  Maine has a student
> information database called MEDMS (Maine Educational Data Management
> System).....in which all students are entered thus making online
> testing, Federal child
> count....etc.....much easier  (supposedly).  In fact, when one kid moves
> to another school in-state....a simple change is made in the database
> and their record is reassigned to the other school.  Anyway....this
> project has been long in development and in the beginning is was an
> abyssmal failure due to the company they contracted with initially
> developing everything using Windows tools and thus making it so it would
> only be supoported with IE.  Well.....the shit hit the fan when many of
> us (primarily Mac and Linux schools) went nuts!  What the hell were we
> supposed to do?  In the end the company relented and agreed to port it
> to any 128bit capable browser.  Anyway....next thing we know...the
> "Windows" company can't deliver the product (after millions had been
> sunk into it) so the State pulls out and is now working with someone
> else (or developing in-house...not totally sure).  Now it's online and
> working (yes it has bugs, but not big ones).  AND...it works with most
> if not all browsers.
>
> Maine also works with a company called Measured Progress for the MEA
> online testing.  This is another case of silly ideas and poor planning.
> At least in Maine we have a choice whether or not to use paper tests or
> online.  We choose paper as it's too high stakes to risk it.  The MEA
> uses a Java based TDS (Test Delivery Server) at each location that
> supposedly talks to the primary server at Measured Progress...along with
> a Java client (using Java Web Start).  Problem is that there are way too
> many points of failure.  Computers that sleep, (Students that sleep),
> broken connections between the TDS and the client, broken connections
> between the TDS and Measured Progress....etc.  Thus we've had some tests
> that were never recorded.....etc.
>
> What I don't understand is why we can't use something similar to Moodle
> to deliver tests?  Worried about server overload?  Assign one server to
> "x" schools.....or schedule the test so everyone isn't taking it at
> once.  There are a myriad of things that could be done in that manner.
> PHP, Perl, MySQL....have any of these testing folks ever heard of this
> stuff?  !!!   (Can anyone tell I'm pissed?)
>
> *Stepping off soapbox*
>
>
>
> vangundypw sau14 k12 nh us on Monday, February 27, 2006 at 9:57 PM +0000
> wrote:
>>Mark,
>>
>>Most web-based applications now are browser independent. Again,
>>PowerSchool (works in IE, Safari, Opera, Firefox.....).
>>
>>-Paul
>>
>>On Mon, 2006-02-27 at 10:37 -0500, mark ehle homelinux org wrote:
>>> That's fine as long as you get them to make web-based applications
>>> that
>>run on
>>> ALL browsers instead of just IE.
>>>
>>> Mark E.
>>>
>>> Quoting Paul VanGundy <vangundypw sau14 k12 nh us>:
>>>
>>> > All,
>>> >
>>> > 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.
>>> >
>>> > -Paul
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > 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 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
>>> > > >
>>> > > > _______________________________________________
>>> > > > K12OSN mailing list
>>> > > > K12OSN redhat com
>>> > > > https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn
>>> > > > For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>
>>> > >
>>> > > _______________________________________________
>>> > > K12OSN mailing list
>>> > > K12OSN redhat com
>>> > > https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn
>>> > > For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>
>>> > --
>>> > Paul VanGundy
>>> > Information Technology Director
>>> > Epping High School
>>> > Epping Middle School
>>> > P: 603.679.5452
>>> > F: 603.679.2966
>>> > vangundypw sau14 k12 nh us
>>> > Registered Linux User #398783
>>> >
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > K12OSN mailing list
>>> > K12OSN redhat com
>>> > https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn
>>> > For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>
>>> >
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> K12OSN mailing list
>>> K12OSN redhat com
>>> https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn
>>> For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>
>>--
>>Paul VanGundy
>>Information Technology Director
>>Epping High School
>>Epping Middle School
>>P: 603.679.5452
>>F: 603.679.2966
>>vangundypw sau14 k12 nh us
>>Registered Linux User #398783
>>
>>_______________________________________________
>>K12OSN mailing list
>>K12OSN redhat com
>>https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn
>>For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>
>
>
>
> David N. Trask
> Technology Teacher/Director
> Vassalboro Community School
> dtrask vcsvikings org
> (207)923-3100
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> K12OSN mailing list
> K12OSN redhat com
> https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn
> For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>




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