MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

August 21, 2013

Barresi: State will retain many computer test scores


— An independent study to determine if student tests scores had been compromised by two days of disruption this past spring is complete, according to a media release.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced that the independent study of the HumRRO Statistical Investigation of Oklahoma Disruptions indicated that students appeared to do as well on the test as students not involved in the disruption. Based on the result of this study, State Superintendent Janet Barresi determined the state will retain all scores of impacted students who scored proficient or advanced.

Hilldale Superintendent Dr. Kaylin Coody said students were stressed by “disruptions in what was scheduled and planned.”

“It was totally disruptive,” Coody said about last spring’s computer problem.

While students as a whole did not experience depressions in scores, it is possible that some individual students did not perform to their highest potential during the period of disruption. Therefore, Barresi will not report the scores of impacted students who scored limited knowledge or unsatisfactory.

Muskogee School Superintendent Mike Garde said Barresi made a fair decision in not reporting “limited knowledge” or “unsatisfactory” scores of impacted students.

“It’s a fair compromise,” Garde said.

He said the district has received preliminary test scores from the state.

Fort Gibson Superintendent Derald Glover said he has not taken time to study Barresi’s finding.

“I know it was disruptive,” he said, adding that Fort Gibson officials are more concerned with their own initiatives and programs.

Barresi said the testing period was very difficult for students, teachers and testing coordinators. “The difficulties they experienced were unacceptable,” Barresi said. “It was a high priority for everyone to commission an independent study to determine what effect the disruptions had on the student test scores. Now that the study has concluded, we will work with the districts to take action on behalf of students and schools where the disruptions merit such action.

“Even though this study suggests no systematic impact on test scores, not reporting the scores of students who scored limited knowledge or unsatisfactory will ensure there is no lasting impact on student performance. This is the right thing to do for students and for schools.”

Server capacity problems by testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill on April 29 and 30 caused a number of students to be interrupted during their testing experience, making it necessary to determine the extent to which the disruptions impacted students’ test scores. The State Department of Education asked HumRRO to conduct a third-party independent study to investigate the impact.