Lawmaker fired up over idea to use incomplete school test scores

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 5/01/2013 5:57 pm Published: 5/01/2013 3:49 pm

A state lawmaker is blasting the Department of Education's attempt to use partially completed math test results for high stakes testing.

As students work frantically to get all of their testing done, FOX23 has learned the Department of Education wants to score unanswered math test questions as incorrect and some lawmakers have a big problem with that.

Server issues have led to invalidated tests and an extension of testing deadlines due to errors preventing students from completing the tests.

Oklahoma lawmakers came out swinging Wednesday saying "no student should be penalized on their state test as a result of the failure of the State Department of Education or its paid contractor to properly deliver the online test".

This comes after the company that issues the tests, Mcgraw Hill's server crashed two days in a row. This forced thousands of students to halt their test taking.

Representative Ben Sherrer of Chouteau says in a statement sent to FOX23 News quote: "The testing scores under the proposal would be grossly different from what the students would have achieved on the test."

FOX23 caught up with Andrea Mohn, who is a local business owner. While she deals with the stresses of making her business successful, she is also frustrated with how much stress high-stakes testing causes her daughter.

“Kids are already stressed out enough as it is, and then they have the pressure to do this again and that's just not good."

Like many other parents, Andrea wonders how the testing server could crash in the middle of student testing. "Yeah, it's shocking and I would think they would have it backed up or they would have something in place to help with those kinds of things."

Oklahoma schools get a grade of A-F depending on how many students complete the tests. Sherrer says he can't believe State Superintendent Janet Barresi would propose to solve this recent testing malfunction by using incomplete testing results and rating unanswered testing questions as incorrect.

FOX23 checked with Mcgraw Hill, the company that administers the test, and they say they are doing everything in their power to make sure testing will go forward without any more problems.

Some high school students are dependent on these test scores to meet their graduation requirements to get their diploma. TPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard calls the online testing debacle, “disastrous.”

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