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Delayed Test Booklets Put Strain On Oklahoma Educators, Students

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Superintendent David Garroutte said the delay is causing them to cram more tests into a shorter time period. Superintendent David Garroutte said the delay is causing them to cram more tests into a shorter time period.
At Justus-Tiawah Schools, standardized tests are coming in April. At Justus-Tiawah Schools, standardized tests are coming in April.
Computer teacher Dawna Watkins is usually helping children do online practice tests, but that's been delayed, too. Computer teacher Dawna Watkins is usually helping children do online practice tests, but that's been delayed, too.
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma's public schools will spend a good part of the next month focused on testing.

Right now, they just hope they'll have the tests in time.

About half the tests are done online right now, but the rest are still on paper. This year, the state changed companies that provide the tests, and several problems delayed the printing and mailing of them, so some schools still don't have the tests they'll be giving next week.

At Justus-Tiawah Schools, standardized tests are coming in April. The problem is they're late. coming in the mail. The school is just one that's been waiting and waiting on the 8th grade writing test.

Superintendent David Garroutte said the delay is causing them to cram more tests into a shorter time period.

"It's frustrating when you're moving one test from February to April, when you're doing other tests, and then the materials are late that we usually have early, and not being able to practice online," Garroutte said.

Computer teacher Dawna Watkins is usually helping children do online practice tests, but that's been delayed, too. She said she's been on the phone tracking down test booklets, because before students get the tests, the teachers have to do a lot of paperwork.

"And then the time crunch, of getting all that ready to administer to your students, it puts such a burden on your teachers, on your administration, and that filters down to the students," Watkins said.

Justus-Tiawah has 550 children in kindergarten through 8th grade. The school system has two computer labs now, but it will have to add a third to handle the increasing load of testing, which, in another year, will all be on computers.

The Superintendent is concerned about that, because every testing day is one less teaching day.

"I think you get to a point when you test too much, and it's going to take up quality class time, instruction, that you need," Garroutte said.

The test booklets for Justus-Tiawah schools finally arrived Wednesday, leaving a week to get ready for testing day next Wednesday. The writing test is the first one - it's just for 8th graders - but tests for several subjects and many grades will quickly follow in mid-April.

All of these tests for students figure into the school performance grades for schools.

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