"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, December 08, 2006

Harcourt and the Mangling of the Mismeasurement

Business is so good at Harcourt Assessment that they just can't keep the orders straight or the presses from jamming. It was probably not a good omen of things to come when tests arrived last spring at Illinois schools, with tests forms missing pages or with duplicate pages. Special charter flights had to be hastily arranged to make sure that everyone had a test with all the same questions.

Now having waited since late October for 2006 state testing results, Illinois citizens will now wait "several" more weeks while Harcourt continues the FUBAR piecing together of student test forms and answer sheets. Forget about the tutoring, the transfers, or analyses of individual strengths and weaknesses, Illinois officials are now just hoping to get 2006 tests back before the 2007 tests begin. From Ed Week 12/06/06:

The Illinois Standards Achievement Test, or ISAT, is the test given to students annually in grades 3 to 8 in reading and mathematics, and in grades 4 and 7 in science. Generally, the state releases results before Oct. 31.

Although scoring is complete on the Illinois tests, the testing company, San Antonio-based Harcourt Assessment, must do clean-up work because hundreds of tests still can’t be matched with the appropriate students. Once the data are complete, it will be four or five weeks before student-score reports are done and the school and district report cards can be completed, according to state education officials.

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