Holliday: If ACT Inc. can’t prove online testing issues fixed,
Kentucky students will take paper & pencil exams
This from KSBA:
Education Commissioner Terry Holliday continued his tough talk Wednesday about this year’s problems with online, end-of-course testing, telling the Kentucky Board of Education he’s ready to return to paper and pencil tests next year.
“Last school year, we used ACT QualityCore for end-of-course exams online and everything went smoothly,” Holliday said at the outset of today’s KBE meeting. “This year, ACT sold QualityCore to Alabama and Ohio schools. Our vendor had not adequately prepared for the number of students taking the test at the same time.
“We had about 2,000 students who had their online tests interrupted; some by a few minutes, some by two days. All students were able to complete the either online or using paper and pencils. We will ensure that no student, no school and no student is adversely impacted by this interruption with the online testing. We feel we should apologize to these students and teachers for the disruption,” he said.
Holliday, who said last Friday during a KDE webinar that he was prepared to seek a new testing vendor if ACT couldn’t provide assurances it had addressed the capacity issue, went even further in his update to the state board.
“Trust me. The vendor is hearing about it from me and our team here. If we can’t get this addressed, we will consider a new RFP for a new vendor,” he said. “We can’t get it done by next year. It’s already summer and it sometimes takes six months to get through an RFP process. But if we don’t get assurances by this fall that this has been addressed, we’ll go all paper and pencil next year, and then go to an RFP process to possibly select a new vendor for the 2014-15 school year.”
Later today, the KBE is slated to take action on proposed new common core standards on science. It’s public comment period Wednesday morning was almost exclusively focused on those standards. Also on today’s agenda is action on the first proposals for relief from some state regulations and statutes under the new Districts of Innovation law.