Test Prep Software in Connecticut
What asked for accountability with specific questions, Blue Ribbon steps back and offers analysis with the hope of a "better product tomorrow..." This program was sold to our school district (CT) as a 'pilot.' The many flaws identified by classroom teachers were waved off because the scores were for classroom use only.
And now all data is collected on a district data base...flaws and all.
When I challenged this Blue Ribbon program last year, as a teacher, and my concerns were verified by the company, (student responses could ramble and if student used embedded language, the answer would be deem correct, students with extensive vocabulry, who had written well developed responses, were scored as providing wrong responses because the vocabulary used was not embedded in response code), all communications regarding the issue stopped and I was informed by administration that they had made a decision.
As Mr. Bush and CO. push for a technological data base that will 'spread sheet' national education, companies, like Blue Ribbon will continue to pursue school $$$$$ that would be better spent elsewhere, while offering a product that promotes built as self check for students and quick results for staff, without acknowledging the inaccuracies and the NEED for oversight by staff to check every child's response.
NCLB certainly is having an impact on curriculum and how we teach children to think. Programs such as Blue Ribbon are frightening because they remove the human element and bind the thoughts and expression of children to a few preprogrammed catch phrases.
K. C. Pierce
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