Springfield School Committee member and all-around good government crusader Antonette Pepe has issued the following press release about school tests that were so filled with errors they were nearly incomprehensible. Ironically, the press release itself is filled with typos as you can see in the verbatim reproduction below! But nevermind, the point is that when Antonette takes a shot at administrative incompetence, her aim is always true.
PRESS RELEASE: JUNE 15, 2010
FROM: SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBER ANTONETTE PEPE
TELEPHONE: 478-9207 OR 783-8593
DATE& TIME: JUNE 17, 2010, 1300 STATE ST. 10:00 AM
PLACE: PUTNAM HIGH SCHOOL
I will have copies of the tests with me
On May 25 I sent Dr. Ingram, Superintendent an email regarding the English Languange Arts 12th grade final exam 2009-2010
The grade 12 exam was riddled with errors (40 plus) especially on pages 5-7. I asked the superindent was aware of this problem and if the district was aware I requested answers to the following questions.:
1. Do staff members review these that reviews these tests before they are given to the students?
2. If all the students took the test?
3. Paid for the test?
4. Will be reimbursed?
5. Sent it throughout all the high schools?
Dr. Ingram emailed be back that," in their haste to get work done with the vendor, discrepancies did occur. However, the staff replaced corrected copies of the test the following day, and regret the errors that occurred and taken action to correct". He did not answer any of my questions listed above.
My email response was' " There were more than discrepancies that occurred regarding the final test." I asked, " Who is going to be held accountable for this major blunder? I know it starts at the top, but who is responsible for allowing this to get by them? Did someone from the school department re-copy this test or did it come in this way?
I again asked him to answer the above questions to me and the rest of the committee members his email response to me was, "NOTED".
I emailed Dr. Ingram on June 09, to inform him that I received calls from parents and staff through-out the system that another test given to the 10 and 11th graders and it was riddled with mistakes also,
Comments from teachers were: the students could not have been evaluated on the target content due to the fact that the questions were traps. The students needed to use a whole other skill to be able to comprehend what they were reading. Difficulties with taking the test had to be getting past the errors of the test and trying to understand what the test questions really meant. These tests do not properly evaluate the student.
Another concern of the teachers is that they felt embarrassed and and obligated to administer a test that had over FORTY errors, when their job is to have the students proof-read and master their own work. We are sending the wrong message we are saying,"It is okay to make mistakes and still get paid for it. People are rewarded for incompetence."
the most compelling comment from the teachers was, "If we received work in this manner from the students, they would have received an F for their work".
Parent's were so upset that the grade they would receive would count towards their child's final. I believe this is 10% of their grade but it could affect honor roll status etc. I want to have the parents assured this will not affect the children's grades and make sure the persons responsible for allowing this to happen are reprimanded as they should be.
UPDATE: Read what actually happened at the press conference by clicking here.
In other political news State Senate candidate Bob Magovern is shown here being interviewed by TV40 in this photo by Sheila Pecor.
A blast from the past - Former State Rep. Walter A. DeFillippi at the Magovern campaign kick-off.
I'm pleased to see that at Northampton's Haymarket Cafe they have put some handmade furniture out in the alleyway in back for you to sit outside. I've had to duck down an alleyway or two in my time, now I can do so with some Haymarket coffee!
John Sendelbach's metal townscape of Amherst is now on display in Raos. Stop by and see if you can identify all the landmarks!
Northampton artist Greg Stone as captured by Bill Dwight.
Downtown Springfield by Jason Burkins.
Demented country music and stuff in Turner's Falls last week.