Grace Tatter over at Chalkbeat has an informative interview with the President of Measurement Inc., the company charged with delivering TNReady this year.
As I read the interview, a couple of items stood out. First, the company had never delivered an entire state’s online testing program. Tatter notes:
It was also an unprecedented task for Measurement Inc., which had never before developed and delivered a state’s entire online testing program.
Despite this, they somehow won the bid to deliver Tennessee’s program.
Second, the magnitude of the failure. Tatter:
About 48,000 students logged on that day, and about 18,000 submitted assessments. It’s unknown the number of students who weren’t having troubles with the test, but stopped after McQueen sent an email instructing districts to halt testing.
“It was a failure in some respects because we were supposed to design a system that would take 100,000 students in at one time… We had a problem with 48,000,” Scherich said.
Read that again. Measurement Inc. was tasked with developing an online platform that could handle 100,000 students taking a test at the same time. The system they developed couldn’t handle 48,000 students. They didn’t even develop a system that could handle HALF of what they were contracted to provide.
The company president goes on to detail the challenges of printing the tests in a short timeframe. However, back in February, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen expressed confidence in the printed tests:
“I want to stress to you that the paper version of TNReady is still TNReady,” McQueen wrote of the new test aligned to the state’s current Common Core academic standards.
She said the paper tests are being shipped to each district at no additional taxpayer cost.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Phase I tests did arrive, albeit quite late. And Phase II tests were not delivered in time to be administered this year.
Now, the state is seeking another vendor who can deliver the test in the 2016-17 academic year.
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