It’s always an away game for online school students
In my previous piece, I detailed many of the testing problems states have faced this year. Since then, things have only gotten worse. Controversy erupted in Texas as issues with testing continued to mount causing educators to express a total loss of faith in the STAAR standardized testing system. Tennessee’s much-hyped TNReady test was scrapped outright after the emergency switch from the online to paper-based test was botched so badly that the State Department of Education was forced to cancel Part II of testing.
[Quick digression: Perhaps these numerous problems and increased aversion to state testing from parents and teachers are part of what is fueling new debate around standardized tests and accountability, even among education reformers. Has the pendulum of test-based accountability and, in the words of Paul Peterson, the “regulatory approach to school reform,” swung too far?]
I noted how state testing delays, last-minute changes, cancellations, and other difficulties negatively impact all schools but have a much greater impact on online schools. I speculated that many, if not most, people have no idea the massive amount of time, resources, planning, logistics, and manpower it takes for online schools to fulfill state-mandated testing requirements, which is unlike anything traditional schools or district face.
I am now absolutely convinced that is the case.