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In Miami Herald, Gregory Cizek critiques Florida testing

Gregory Cizek, professor of educational measurement and evaluation, was interviewed extensively for the Miami Herald as it took at look at how the state of Florida

Gregory Cizek
Gregory Cizek

administers its standardized testing for schoolchildren.

The story described how the state does not have enough computers for all children to take the computer-based test at one time. As a result, children take the test over several days.

That creates a problem, Cizek told the newspaper.

“These testing windows are the Achilles’ heel of computer-based tests,” Cizek said. “When there’s not enough computers for every kid, we have to widen the time frame to have kids cycle in and out of the test. I refer to it as a gaping door. It’s far too much time to allow a secure test to be exposed to the entire state full of students and educators.”

Cizek explained that students are likely to talk about the test questions with friends who hadn’t yet taken the test, giving those students an advantage.

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which NCS Pearson holds a $250 million contract to administer and score through 2013, is required of Florida students at several grade levels. Students must pass it to advance to the next grade level.
The Miami Herald story is available here.

The Miami Herald story and Cizek’s points were also discussed by Washington Post higher education writer and blogger Valerie Strauss. The Valerie Strauss blog post is available here.