Unfortunate California Testing Errors

As many of you may have already heard, Harcourt Educational Measurement, the company retained by the California Department of Education to administer and analyze the Stanford-9 STAR tests to California students late yesterday evening announced that it had made a computer mistake, and that the scores for Limited-English students, scheduled to be released yesterday, were incorrect.

This same problem had applied to the test scores of those districts whose results had been announced over the past couple of weeks, including those of Oceanside, which had shown astonishing rises of 100% or even 200% over last year.

Obviously, we are extremely disappointed that this error occured, and that the numbers which have been publicly released were unreliable. However, Harcourt claims to have located the error, and promises to release the fully corrected test scores within the next two weeks. Given the nature of the error, we are cautiously optimistic that the corrected scores will still show remarkable advances for those school districts which most closely followed the provisions of Prop. 227, although not perhaps at the rates earlier expected.

One very positive sign is that early news reports indicate that Oceanside has now corrected its test scores for the computer error, and found that rises of 100% or 200% still remain in the corrected numbers. Ironically enough, in some grade levels the corrected scores show a greater rise than the previous, incorrect scores. Final conclusions must await the release of the official statewide numbers within the next two weeks.

We will keep you informed as the corrected scores are released.

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