Georgia is among handful of states that didn’t learn from online testing mistakes

This color-coded map shows states that had significant technical issues in the first or second years of online assessments. Only four states — in red — experienced problems in their first and second year. Georgia is one of them. (Source: Tennessee Office of Research and Education Accountability.)

When the state of Tennessee ran into problems this spring in its first year of online testing, its lawmakers did something that Georgia’s did not — they asked what happened in other states that adopted online testing.

The state’s Office of Research and Education Accountability produced a nifty color-coded, interactive map to answer that question.

I have shared the map above, but you’ll need to go to the OREA site to use the interactive feature and also see detailed tables explaining how states responded to computer snafus and whether they changed testing companies or policy. (A dozen states have changed vendors or are considering changing, some because they have changed their tests.)

The seven states in gray — Iowa, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania (online testing exists but is optional), South Carolina Wyoming —  don’t test online. The 29 states and the District of Columbia in blue had no serious problems in their transition to online testing; The 11 states in yellow had significant problems their first year; the four states in red including Alaska had significant glitches their first and second years.

Most states began to test students online in 2014-2015 and just completed their second round of online testing. It appears the majority learned from their mistakes.

Only Georgia, Alaska, Indiana and Kansas experienced problems both years. (Alabama and Utah are in their third year of online assessments. Tennessee and Texas are in their first.)

On the site, the Tennessee Office of Research and Education Accountability explains how it created the map and assigned the color codes:

OREA made decisions about how to categorize states’ online testing experiences by analyzing news accounts and information from state government education websites. Media reports of states’ experiences with new online assessments varied, with many citing software or server problems, vendor-related issues, and logistical challenges related to the large-scale nature of the tests. In other states, some technical glitches occurred, but assessments overall went well.

OREA confined its review of states’ online testing systems to include only testing required by federal law in order to be able to make state-to-state comparisons. The federally-required tests include English Language Arts and mathematics for grades 3-8 and high school. Many states have conducted online testing in other subject areas

 

Reader Comments 0

5 comments
AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Its all good. can't you see we're a red state?

jerryeads
jerryeads

Georgia seems to be among the most worst in any number of categories - - -: among the worst in public transportation, among the worst in traffic congestion (golly, could those two be related??), among the highest in incarceration rates, among the lowest in law enforcement salaries, among the least restrictive in concealed carry (you do NOT need to know which end to point, you only need to not have been caught AND CONVICTED of a felony), among the lowest in public school funding, and, golly, no surprise, among the least competent in public school test administration.

I keep hearing that the state dept of ed is in abject chaos. Our system for electing state education leaders has no criteria - and no one in their right mind with any semblance of demonstrable competence (like an experienced school system superintendent) will run for the office. Congratulations, you're left with teachers who've never seen anything but upper middle class white kids, or assistant principals. And you expect them to know how to run a state education system.

And why would anyone who had any clue at all about testing work for state ed when those with the requisite expertise can make 3-5 times as much working for one of the testing companies? So aside from my usual arguments that this sort of testing has made absolutely no difference whatsoever in student progress for the last fifty years (actually, that's not true - it's worse), HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU POSSIBLY EXPECT IT TO BE DONE WELL?

Congratulations, folks, you've elected governors and congresscrooks who've cut the knees out from under your schools for the last eleven years. You get what you pay for.

truth2power
truth2power

We should be proud to be only one of four states.

Laurie A. Carroll
Laurie A. Carroll

I thought Georgia used DRC this year?? That was the name on the online test that I administered to the students.

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

Georgia did not change companies; Data Recognition Corp. bought portions of CTB/McGraw-Hill last year.