You heard it first here
Meanwhile, some New York lawmakers are fed up with scoring problems and may vote to regulate testing in the state, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Then on Friday, the Times reports that there aren’t enough test experts around, which has created a bidding war among the companies for the experts that are out there. New psychometricians are leaving graduate schools and walking into high-paid, high-ranking jobs with little experience.
The Times piece on test experts reminded me of a story one of our test industry sources told us when we were reporting the series. The source was consulting with a small state (think South Dakota, Wyoming, etc.) that was considering bids from testing companies to create and score its new state tests to comply with NCLB.
The consultant described how small teams from the testing companies gave presentations. It was embarrassing, he said. The teams couldn’t answer many of their questions. The bottom line was that the test companies, focused on big states with lucrative contracts like California, New York, Texas or Ohio, send not the B or C team out to the small states, but the rookies — inexperienced recent graduates.
Our source said the capacity problem pushes more inexperienced people into key posts, just one of many problems now evident as the industry buckles, as predicted, under the weight of NCLB’s testing requirements.
OK, so we’ve been writing for two years that these problems would come, and now they are here. The interesting thing is to see lawmakers and state officials — even U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings — now beginning to demand improvements. But there are no easy solutions to the problems of capacity in the test industry.
On the other hand, if you’re good at math you might consider a graduate program in psychometrics. If you can get the degree, you can’t lose.
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