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State voids test scores

Posted: Friday, Jul 5th, 2013

LA JARA — The North Conejos School District this week received the results of the Colorado Department of Education’s investigation into the 2011 TCAP violations.

Test security and improper test proctoring are some of the focus points of the CDE report, but the board stated it feels there was oversight by the CDE in their investigation.

As a result of the violations, the scores from the 2011 tests are voided.

The board stated it is unhappy with the report, citing that investigators for CDE failed to acquire important documentation and did not interview some key people that were involved in the situation.

Issues with proctoring the tests were emphasized by the CDE report. Proctors for the tests were allegedly improperly trained. Assistant Superintendent Carla Archuleta, who was formerly head of the District Accountability Committee, wants to submit some paperwork to the CDE that was not taken by them during their investigation. The documents are signed[1] training logs stipulating that proctors for tests had been properly trained, and that training protocol was followed. According to Archuleta, the 2011 report is inaccurate and she wants to submit the documentation that showed that proper protocol was followed.

“I verified that these are documents that show that information regarding improper proctoring is inaccurate, and I would like to send this in to the CDE,” said Archuleta.

Several proctors for the tests said they were not trained, and were just given handouts to read themselves. This was denied by Archuleta. It is the responsibility of the DAC to provide hands on training for the SAC and proctors.

The report filed by the CDE put blame for the test violations on the DAC. It is the DAC’s responsibility to train the SAC on how to administer the test taking protocols to the teachers. There was allegedly a breakdown between the DAC providing training and information regarding tests to the SAC. The report described the issues as a culture in the district. The report indicated that one individual was responsible for the violations. The board felt that a culture is not something that is derived from a single individual, but by a group.

In addition to test proctor violations, there were test security issues. Some teachers had talked to Superintendent Kevin Schott and told him that tests were being kept in classrooms all day long. The tests administered to high school students take four weeks to complete. The tests are allegedly left in the school for those four weeks. The tests according to Schott are kept behind locked doors. Whether the tests that had been turned into Schott were kept in the same manner was not mentioned.

The violations are the result of several TCAP testing materials that were discovered and turned into Schott, who reported it to the CDE in 2011. The tests were from previous testing years, but it is mandatory to contact the CDE about any possible violations. The CDE came down several times earlier in the year to investigate the violations.

“The big thing that we need to remember is that the report really concerns test misadministration prior to this last school year,” said Schott.

Board President Robert Chavez and Schott contacted the CDE and planned a meeting with them.

[1]were not contracts, they were just a training log per se.

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