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Friday, May 15, 2009

Rendell Does It Again/ Is He Nuts?

Education department awards contract for graduation tests

by JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News
Although the debate over whether Pennsylvania should institute high-stakes graduation tests is far from settled, the state Department of Education executed a contract on Tuesday to begin developing the tests.

It awarded a $201.1 million contract with Data Recognition Corp. of Maple Grove, Minn., that extends over seven fiscal years to develop the testing series called Keystone Exams, a model curriculum, and diagnostic tools to monitor students' progress.More...

6 comments :

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone in this administration with any commonsense or competence?
Mike Fowler
Austin, PA

Anonymous said...

Doubt it!

Anonymous said...

What would be wrong with finding a company IN Pennsylvania to develope the tests?

Anonymous said...

Having read the entire article,I'm commenting on how such testing is done elsewhere. Benchmarks for success are measured @ GR.3,5,8,10 and 12. The tests are lengthy (several days), sequential skills are heavily hit on, as well as thought processes measured. It's possible for some answers to be only partially correct, and partial credit is given. A student w/fair grades on periodic report cards may NOT pass to the next grade w/o passing these tests. Extenuating circumstances may allow for a 2nd chance, but a different form would then be used. It's mandatory summer school for those who fail these tests ... then the summer students are re-tested. Passing this time means one can go on to the next grade. Not passing means the entire grade is repeated. Summer classes are intense and only a half-day long. Teachers must be hired of course. Parents provide the transportation. At the end of each school year the teachers @ each grade level performing at or above grade level are given a bonus (meaning @ least 1 full year of growth has been documented per student). These are tough standards. Teachers spend a great deal more time testing and correcting tests, than in the old days. Some years they work extremely hard to achieve such growth, but if it's a "lemon" year there's no bonus. Increased responsibility falls on parents to get involved w/the learning process. That's not so bad! The children learn from grade school on that school is not just a social experience, it's their job.

Anonymous said...

The company located in Minn. probably has ties to Rendell directly or his staff!

Anonymous said...

Well let's have "High Stakes Learning" in the first place. This is an outrageous amount of money. PA residents need to be vocal!! Seems Rendell is riding on the coat tails of Obama's horrific spending spree... boy are we gonna pay... and so will our kids - that is, if they are actually allowed to graduate and get jobs! How can voters stop this madness...? By next election, irreversable damage will be done.