Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – For three straight years now, Oklahoma will not provide a standardized writing test this coming spring that will count on the score of the students or the letter grade of the school.
Because of this, the state is paying merchant thousands of dollars for something that generates no results.
Last August 24, the state Department of Education bulletin addressed to the coordinator of the school district test says that the state writing exam will be considered a field test. A field test is used to make test questions for the upcoming school year.
The state can forfeit as well a state writing test that is supposed to be taken in the spring of 2017 as the 2016 field test is to be based on the recent academic standards that are due to be changed. Another field test that will be based on the new norms may need to be completed in 2017 before they offer a writing test in 2018 that is valid.
The redone suspensions of a writing test that can be graded have triggered concerns among several lawmakers regarding whether or not the Education Department is going against the state law. They also emulated the complications the state had with the writing test, which has been rejected twice already due to the issues about the genuineness of the scores of the test.
Joy Hofmeister, who is the State Superintendent, said that she rather have the writing test get rid of and use the money to aid in paying salary hikes of teachers.
The estimated amount the state pays for the English language arts and math exams is around $8.8 million, which already includes the writing exam, given to those students from third to eighth grades. The writing exam is only given to students from the fifth and eighth grade, and the Education Department admitted that they don’t know the amount that would be saved by getting rid of the exam.
Meanwhile, the state continues to pay a test merchant, Measured Progress, the complete amount for the contract for not giving a test that can be graded. The state did not provide a field test last spring, and later dumped the portion that can be graded of the test due to the issues of the authenticity of the test.
The writing exam in Oklahoma is among the seven matters needed by the law to be examined among third and eighth graders. Other matters are geography, U.S. history, social studies, science, math, and English. Writing is the sole exam that requires to be manually graded. State law requires a well different field testing to progress the exam.
Jason Nelson, the State Representative of Oklahoma City and a member of the House Common Education Committee, stated that there are issues in the legislature that only the part of giving a field test failed to follow the state law.