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Education

July 19, 2013

Duncan school board examines EOI testing issues

DUNCAN — The results of the End of Instruction exams should be in by the end of the month, but Duncan Public School officials aren’t sure what to expect from the results.

During Tuesday’s Duncan Board of Education meeting, Stacey Harris, who was among the district’s employees to work with testing, talked to the board members about testing issues that took place in the district, around the state and in Indiana. The primary issue was students being bumped off the testing site as they were taking the EOI exams.

“The issues were statewide,” Harris said. “One thing I was really pleased with was when the issues began, we started trying to figure out what we could do.”

In the district, the issues were primarily at the Duncan High School, although there were some middle school students impact, too. The school district made calls to all the schools in the district that weren’t testing and made plans for no one to be on the Internet, despite having a strong bandwidth.

Harris said one of the biggest concerns for the district and those working with the district’s testing is the impact having to restart a test would have on the students. She said testing can be stressful enough, but having to restart a test, in some cases multiple times, could increase the stress of the testing process on those students.

“We did not want to have the kids frustrated,” Harris said.

This is the first year the district, along with all other Oklahoma school districts, has used CBT McGraw-Hill for EOI testing. When the testing servers crashed, the school district did what it could to offset the issues, Harris said, although the district didn’t know of the problems outside Duncan Schools immediately.

Harris said the system did have some kinks in its first year of use in Oklahoma, but she said the process will hopefully go smoother next year.

“Any time you change testing vendors, there will be some issues,” Harris said. “It was something that was out of our hands. We’re not sure how it’s going to effect test scores.”

Although some students did get bumped off their tests, those who didn’t complete a test at the high school did get an opportunity to complete their tests later in the day. Harris said those students were bused over to the Duncan Middle School to take their tests.

She said the thing she was proudest of during the difficult testing time was how the school district’s personnel pulled together to get all students tested.

Eric Davis, school board member, said the hard work of the students, teachers and staff members may go overlooked by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Davis said the issues with EOI testing more than likely will not be taken into account when the EOI results are released.

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