Ohio Roundtable: The Public Square - State Proficiency Tests / Temporary Grading I
State Proficiency Tests /
Temporary Grading I
How important are the state proficiency
tests to your childs future? Several years ago the Ohio General Assembly decided to
define accountability for our public and private schools. They decided to mandate a
proficiency test for all students. If you pass it you can graduate. If you dont you
must stay in school.
Then for some unexplained reason the
lawmakers decided to set the test at the ninth grade level. So to graduate from high
school you have to pass the ninth grade test. Most schools start giving them in the eighth
grade so that students will have at least five years to pass every section of the test.
There is an essay portion to the test. Thats right its not all multiple
choice. So every year several hundred thousand Ohio students take the ninth grade test.
Problem is somebody has to read through all those essay questions.
Imagine a pile of 275,000 essay questions
staring you in the face. Where would you begin to conquer such a mountain of reading and
grading? How many people would it take to properly grade such a vast array of written
responses? To solve this problem the Ohio Department of Education has gotten outside help.
In a little shopping center near Greensboro, North Carolina a company called Measurement
Inc. hires temporary workers for $8.50 an hour to grade your kids proficiency tests.
The temporary graders are expected to
read an average of 30-35 essays per hour. They get a bonus dollar if they increase their
speed. You heard it right your childs state proficiency test the one
the teachers sent all those letters home about the one he or she studied so hard
for the one that determines graduation is being processed by temporary
workers in Greensboro, North Carolina.