New test scoring problems for Pearson
On the heels of a major problem with the scoring of standardized tests in Florida, NCS Pearson finds itself with another scoring mess, this time in Minnesota.
According to the Pioneer Press, results for Minnesota’s science standardized test aren’t being released on time because Pearson incorrectly scored two questions on the fifth- and eighth-grade tests. The delay is expected to be at least a week, which would be far shorter than the recent delay in Florida.
The Florida delay has become a huge problem for Pearson. First there was a months-long delay in scores of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, earning the company at least $3 million in fines. Once delivered, the scores have been challenged by more than half of the districts in the state.
Following is a history of problems Pearson has encountered with scoring of standardized tests. The concern isn’t primarily that delays and mistakes occur but that school districts continue to use standardized test results for high-stakes purposes.
Remember that these are the errors that we know about. Surely there are plenty we never uncover, making the high-stakes use of these scores unacceptable.
This isn’t just my opinion. As Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the nonprofit National Center for Fair & Open Testing, or FairTest, notes, it is in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing distributed by the American Educational Research Association, the National Council on Measurement in Education, the American Psychological Association and other organizations.
Here's the list, compiled by Schaeffer:
1998 -- California – Test score delivery was delayed.
1999-2000 -- Arizona – Twelve thousand tests were misgraded due to flawed answer key.
2000 Florida – Tst score delivery delayed resulting in $4 million fine.
2000 --Minnesota – Misgraded 45,739 graduation tests sparked a lawsuit with an $11 million settlement. A judge found "years of quality control problems" and a "culture emphasizing profitability and cost-cutting." (Note: FairTest consulted with plaintiffs’ attorneys.)
2000 -- Washington – 204,000 writing Washington Assessment of Student Learning exams rescored
2005 -- Michigan -- scores delayed and fines levied per contract
2005 -- Virginia -- Computerized test was misgraded and five students were awarded $5,000 scholarships.
2005-2006 -- SAT college admissions test – 4,400 tests wrongly scored; $3 million settlement after lawsuit (note FairTest was an expert witness for plaintiffs)
2008 -- South Carolina --“Scoring Error Delays School Report Cards,” The State, November 14, 2008
2008-2009 -- Arkansas -- First graders were forced to retake exam because real test was used for practice.
2009-2010 -- Wyoming – New computer adaptive Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students flopped; state ordered Pearson to repay $9.5 million for “complete default of the contract.”
2010 Florida – Test score delivery was delayed by more than a month and fines were imposed. More than half of the superintendents in the state questioned score accuracy.
2010 Minnesota -- Results from online science tests taken by 180,000 students were delayed due to scoring error.
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| July 19, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
Categories: Standardized Tests | Tags: FCAT results delayed, FCAT scores delayed, FairTEST, fairtest, minnesota test scores delayed, ncs pearson, pearson and FCAT, pearson and minnesota tests, pearson and scoring tests, standardized tests, test results delayed
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