Testing Flubs - Again

K-12 Testing

States and districts which increasingly make major decisions about students and schools based on minor differences in test scores often do not administer accurate testing and reporting programs. Two more cases recently came to light.


Florida officials admitted losing 14,000 test documents from last spring’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) – the exam used to rank schools and determine which students are eligible to receive state-funded vouchers. As few as two missing tests can distort a school’s overall score. Officials admitted that the chance for error was high in shipping and processing 1.4 million testing documents statewide. One county assessment supervisor claimed that an entire school was still awaiting spring test results in November. “It all rests on the right person putting the right label on the right box at the right time,” he said. “Yet they give you less time to do it.”


When Minneapolis began alerting families that their children’s low test scores qualified them for a program providing special educational assistance for African American males, the notice was mistakenly sent to the parents of all 7th and 8th grade black males - including about 600 whose children were meeting expected achievement levels.