Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

Standardized Test Questions Released Accidentally

The Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — The company that runs Texas' standardized school tests is acknowledging it accidentally released to test scorers two English essay questions before the exams were given.

Officials at the testing firm Pearson told The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1mXpxIg ) the mistake was theirs and expressed regret.

The English tests were given March 31 and April 1, and the two questions appeared a few days earlier in emails sent to scorers.

Officials with the Texas Education Agency said the likelihood is small that the information reached students but they will be examining scores in districts where the scorers who obtained the questions teach.

The questions normally are given to scorers but not until after the tests are given.

The TEA said emails were sent to 650 scorers, 98 of them in Texas. Of those in Texas, 15 teach in middle or high schools and seven teach in elementary schools. Some of the other scorers are retired Texas teachers.

Related Articles
Group of students outside exploring and taking notes with two teachers.
How do you prepare modern students for real-world scenarios? Learn how to...
Open book on a desk next to a Christmas tree, stack of books, and cup of pencils.
While it may be the season of cheer, not all students experience a joyous...
Young students sitting at a table in a classroom using tablets.
With rising education costs and the integration of tech in classrooms, digital...
Female teacher helping a student writing in a notebook at their desk.
Learn about why students forget material they’ve covered in class and tips to...
Teacher standing in the front of a classroom holding a tablet with students at their desks with tablets.
Using technology when teaching can help engage students and get them excited...

"There is no evidence that this situation represents a systemic problem with Pearson's management of the testing system," TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said.

Pearson took responsibility when contacted Wednesday by the newspaper about the breach.

"The mistake was ours, and we regret it," said Dave Clark, Pearson's vice president of state services. "Assuring the highest security of test materials is of the utmost priority, and one error is too many. We immediately reviewed the matter and took swift action to help prevent the issue from recurring, including adding technological changes to further safeguard against any potential untimely release of any test item."

Pearson declined to say whether this had ever happened before with one of its tests. It declined to explain how the mistake occurred.

Texas pays Pearson about $90 million a year for testing services. The current contract is up next year.

The company is the world's largest education company and book publisher.

___

Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

Today's Poll

Which types of articles would you like to see from us in 2020?
Classroom Management
22%
Classroom Activities/Games
44%
Teaching Strategies
11%
Technology in the Classroom
17%
Professional Development
6%
Total votes: 18