It is our position that the technical glitches that occurred during the implementation of the recent statewide mandated ISTEP test are merely a symptom of the superfluous nature of standardized testing. While technical difficulties come with the territory when tens of thousands of computer users are simultaneously logging into the same website, CBT/McGraw-Hill was grossly negligent in its failure to prepare for the anticipated onslaught of users.
In the totality of a school year, what’s the big deal if ISTEP is delayed? The big deal is that the botched implementation has created a domino effect with far greater implications beyond upsetting the students’ schedule. Teacher evaluations and ultimately their income depend on the students’ ability to perform on the test. Schools depend on the outcome for earning an A through F letter grade, affecting their funding and viability.
If the intent is to measure student learning on a level playing field, the field will never be level unless all the students have the same school calendar, same school setting, same cultural learning opportunities outside of school and same home life. Isn’t there a more productive way to spend $95 million on the public education of our children?