The Department of Education has a message for Nevada, Montana and North Dakota over Common Core assessments - get it done. Even though, all three of those states experienced - thru no apparent fault of their own - massive vendor problems that led to a shutdown of testing last month and this week.
From the AP:
Federal funding could be at stake as Common Core testing problems
continued in Nevada, Montana and North Dakota, state and U.S. officials
The state of Montana offered waivers Wednesday to the mandatory
assessment for this year, which could put millions of dollars in federal
funding at risk.
What does ED say?
"We expect states to hold Measured Progress accountable, just like we
expect the states to hold the districts accountable" for testing, said
Dorie Nolt, a Department of Education spokeswoman.
The U.S. Department of Education said in a statement: "The department
has not had to withhold money — yet — over this requirement because
states have either complied or have appropriately addressed this with
schools or districts that assessed less than 95 percent of students."
A likely exhausted response from North Dakota:
North Dakota said it is prepared for any consequences, given that some
districts are ending the school year in as few as 20 days.
Officials encouraged finishing the computer test or ordering the
paper test. Any school system that can't get it done will document
attempts in what could be a plea for leniency later.
"I think the Department of (Education) will look at the effort we
give in," said Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota's state superintendent.
"Did they give up the second week of April or was it a substantial
This week's debacle was the second technical problem Measured
Progress has had in recent weeks with the computerized English language
arts and math tests for selected grades. In March, testing was delayed
because of a coding issue.
The company said its servers couldn't handle the number of students
even though it increased capacity beyond what was indicated by the
tests' creator, Smarter Balanced.
Are districts and states going to get some kind of rebate/money back for all this time and effort?
North Dakota said it's not clear how it will deal with the company.
Its three-year contract started this year and cost $4.68 million.
"When the dust settles and our students are taken care of and the
school year concludes, then we'll begin to look at what happened here,"
Meanwhile, Montana's limited testing Thursday was successful and full
testing begins again Friday. The state also defended Measure Progress,
calling it a victim to the initial coding problems.
A victim? Bad HAL.