03/18/17 — Rosewood test score mistake explained

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Rosewood test score mistake explained

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on March 18, 2017 11:47 PM

The clerical error that caused the results of more than 40 Rosewood High students' American College Testing tests to be rejected was an issue of improperly recorded test times, according to email correspondences between Wayne County Public Schools and ACT officials.

In the emails, dated March 8 and 9, Brenda Dobbs with ACT test administration notified the school district that specific test times were missing from some ACT time verification forms submitted as part of the testing process.

According to ACT regulations, such information must be properly documented in order for test results to be considered valid. David Lewis, WCPS assistant superintendent for accountability/information and technology, said that while there was no wrongdoing on the part of the students taking the tests or the teachers who gave them the filing error was enough to render the tests unusable.

Individual test coordinators are typically responsible for making sure that kind of information is filed correctly.

In the emails, Wayne district test coordinator Tammy Kantenwein said that the tests were administered by the correct time guidelines, but that she understood why the scores would be canceled.

"Based on what we had, we felt this would be the outcome. However, we wanted to be truthful about what we were able to collect," Ms. Kantenwein wrote in the emails. "We know all timing requirements were followed but also understand that as part of ACT procedures, this information must be documented accurately."

A second set of timing information was also incorrect, according the emails, as the start times for two test did not match up across all submitted material. These two timing inaccuracies combined causes the tests from two homerooms to be rejected, resulting the students having to retest.

The retest is set for March 21, an ACT-designated retest date across the state.

In the emails, Ms. Kantenwein mentioned that the district would take steps to make sure that the problem did not happen again. Lewis explained that, while seven of the eight high schools in the district did not encounter issues, it would still need to be addressed.

"It's too early to know if this is something we'll need to look at in terms of policy, but the documentation of timing will definitely be a point of emphasis during next year's training," he said. "We also like to reach out to the individual test coordinators to find out what they did where they may have avoided these kinds of issues, and see if we can spread that around."