Saturday, June 17, 2017

Scorer screws up scores.

The Mississippi Department of Education issued the following statement.


State Board Ends Assessment Contract with NCS Pearson Due to Score Reporting Error

The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) today voted to rescind the renewal of its contract with NCS Pearson Inc., for 2017-18 and terminate the remainder of its 10-year contract.

Also, the SBE voted to secure a one-year, emergency procurement to contract with Questar to administer the 2017-18 U.S. History assessment, as well as assessments for Biology I and 5th and 8th grade science. NCS Pearson has administered those assessments for Mississippi since 2000.

The emergency procurement is necessary to have the required tests in place for students who need to be tested in December. Questar has a multiyear contract with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to administer the Mississippi Assessment Program (MAP) English language arts and Mathematics assessments for grades 3-8 and high school.

“The decisions made today are in keeping with the Board’s duty to act in the best interest of students. Continued errors that directly impact students are unacceptable,” said Rosemary Aultman, Board chair.

The score reporting error on the spring 2017 U.S. History test is the third time that NCS Pearson discovered an error that impacted students. The first error occurred in 2012, when the answer choices for one question on the Biology I test were transposed, which caused 126 students to receive failing scores. The second error took place in 2015, when online testing was interrupted for grades 5 and 8 science.

NCS Pearson’s U.S. History error affected 951 assessments that were scored early to provide results to seniors before graduation.

Approximately 27,000 high school students took the spring 2017 U.S. History assessment. To date, scale scores have been reported only for the 951 seniors who needed their results to determine whether they met graduation requirements.

Because emergency procurements are limited to one year and the MDE will require similar services to continue beyond any emergency contract, the SBE will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) by Aug. 1 to seek multiyear bids for the administration of assessments for U.S. History, Biology I and 5th and 8th grade science starting in the 2018-19 school year. State law requires testing in U.S. History, and federal and state laws require Biology I and the other science assessments.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Jimmy Carter that invented the department of education at the national level that is the source of all this testing madness to begin with? These testing instruments are totally meaningless except to the eggheads who salivate when they see a metric board or some kind of chart they can populate and drool over.

If not, and it's the fault of Carey Wright, we need to fire her ass and move on.

How many people working today, who have excelled at their professions and lit up the sky had suffered through all this damned testing crap years ago?

Anonymous said...


When a single question causes 126 students to fail, I don't think the issue is the test company. Test company made a single question mistake. In other news, MDES has 126 borderline biology students

Anonymous said...

12:58, evidently the old system let people out of school with no more comprehensive ability than you have expressed here. But I'm not sure the lack of testing or the kind of testing is the question.

Jimmy Carter didn't "invent" anything; it was in his administration that Education was made into its on, separate department. Before that, it was the "E" in "HEW" (Health, Education and Welfare)

I am not in any way in favor of a separate Dept of Education and the increased bureaucracy that comes along with it. BUT, I think it is perfectly reasonable to test students to determine their level of learning subject matter. I guess under your system, we should go back to the 'good ole days' and one room schoolhouses, everybody in the same room, and after you have spent "X" number of years there we declare you a graduate. Why the hell even bother with mid-term exams; or finals; or achievement tests (you know, the predecessor before the current system of testing, but that had been around since at least the 50's.)

Anonymous said...

12:58 Actually the testing regime in place today is a direct response to Republican's demand for accountability after the Reagan Era report called "A Nation at Risk" (1983). It is hard to objectively judge what isn't objectively measured. Dems were happy to go along to show how disparate all the subgroups are from each other and get all apoplectic for more money.

Anonymous said...

How many times can the same egghead post on one link (see above)?

Meanwhile: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/06/17/betsy-devos-education-department-moves-to-reduce-civil-rights-i/22423084/

No state needs/should have its education programs either dictated or under a microscope by federal authorities.

Anonymous said...

3:17 - There's a wide expanse of difference between a one room school house and the amount of testing we see in public schools today. Meanwhile, private schools in this state are turning out exceptionally well prepared students. Find out how much of this insanity they have adopted.

The testing overkill has done one thing for sure. It's created a whole new stratosphere of school employees, consultants, test developers, test sellers and oversight matrons.

Anonymous said...

I am more concerned about those who missed maxing the test by one mistakenly graded question than I am about the ones who failed by missing one additional question. If you can't get closer than one question to pass this thing, you probably deserve to fail it. Apparently, the Ole Miss athletes managed to answer it correctly.

Anonymous said...

If, as was reported, 'answers were transposed', then more than one answer was affected, therefore ONE ANSWER didn't cause a failure. But, if 'that's what the report said', then I must be wrong.

But maybe I just 'interrupted' the report wronger than those who interpreted it. Anyway, the correct answer is 'B', for bullshit.

Anonymous said...

What about the ones who passed because of this error? Will they rescind their "passing" grade?

Anonymous said...

"No state needs/should have its education programs either dictated or under a microscope by federal authorities."

No state has to. Seriously, every state volunteers for scrutiny. The Feds are largely powerless to dictate testing standards. Let me put it in terms the JJ crowd will understand: St. Andrews. St A doesn't give a test that's blessed by the Feds. Why? Because they don't accept federal dollars.

The 'microscope' is only tied to the acceptance of federal education dollars.

You take the money, there are strings. Don't like the strings? Don't take the money.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a wrong question.

It was using the incorrect raw scale to scale score conversion or concordance table, I believe.

Anonymous said...

10:00; is there a public school that doesn't accept some form of federal money? Is that why they call them public as opposed to private?

The point here is not WHY we have federal strings. The point is THAT we have federal strings. Thus the madness.

PS: There's a new sheriff in town, even if you're a driving a BMW with one of those neat StA stickers on the window.

Anonymous said...

10;03 thank you for that clarification (or in your vernacular clearfication) please communicate in English so we can understand your dribble.

Anonymous said...

9:57 - This is not the basketball thread. The word you are trying to use is drivel, not dribble. (jest to clearify)

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