Oklahoma State Superintendent Calls Nixing Field Tests 'Simple Step'

Sunday, February 8th 2015, 9:17 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister calls the decision to eliminate field testing on this year's writing exam critical for students.

On Sunday, Hofmeister told News On 6 she made the move after consulting with experts and the testing company, which said the Oklahoma State Department of Education could make this change and still have valid testing for the spring.

When a student takes a standardized test, the student reads a passage, then answers one of two prompts. One of those prompts is considered a field test. The PTA said the information from the field test is not given back to the teacher to help educate the child, but it instead goes to the testing company.

That data is then used by the company to develop new tests that will be sold back to Oklahoma, according to the organization.

Hofmeister pointed out that the field tests add an entire extra day of testing for students.

With its elimination, that means a full extra day of classroom instruction instead.

"Our focus has been teaching to the test,” Hofmeister said. “We are so focused on test results which are a snapshot in a day. We need to focus on learning and this is one simple step we could take."

Fallin also praised the decision, calling the field tests "excessive.”