Claremore Daily Progress

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July 12, 2013

County superintendents react to Barresi’s remarks on tests


State Superintendent Janet Barresi recently faulted Oklahoma school districts for difficulties with the statewide testing in April, saying besides server failures, “almost every bit of the rest of it was due to district issues.”
Claremore Superintendent Mike McClaren said Claremore schools made sure the district’s network had the highest connection speed with cyber security installed to prevent any corruptions from occurring.
“Some of the smaller districts who have funding issues may have had bandwidth problems, but (Barresi’s) statement was blanketly not accurate,” he said. 
McClaren said the problem came about because vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill was not able to handle the capacity of students taking the test at one time.
“I can’t speak for every school but we made all of the necessary updates we needed to make for testing,” said Verdigris Superintendent Mike Payne. “We’ve had problems with McGraw-Hill in the past, so the decision to renew the contract is questionable.”
Barresi’s decision to renew the agreement came after deciding not to challenge McGraw-Hill legally for the state-wide system failures.
“State schools are still under the A-F rating system and the scale for that system includes key components from the EOI testing under optimal conditions,” said McClaren. “How valid are the results from last year with all of the distractions that occurred? Kids get to a point where they really worked hard on a math problem and then his/her screen goes down.”
Barresi announced last week that the State Department of Education would develop their own standardized test and not join 20 other states in the consortium Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
She said the reason being is because she is concerned about the technological readiness of most Oklahoma public schools.
Oologah Superintendent Rob Armstrong said the district was already prepared to implement the PARCC testing. 

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