LATE test scores may cause scheduling problems as classes resume

Monday, August 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Late test scores could cause scheduling problems and could hamper teacher and student preparation, officials said.

School districts and state education officials have been waiting for the state test results since May.

The state Board of Education fired Riverside Publishing Co. in June and canceled its $2.1 million contract when the company told education officials the results wouldn't arrive until this month.

Many schools use the results to determine if a child should be placed in a more advanced class or a class that needs special attention.

Riverside didn't mail test results until last week and with classes resuming at many schools this week, officials won't have enough time to evaluate the results before students return.

The late test results ``shorten our analysis time. When you do that, it can get kids in the wrong places,'' said Lynelle Burrows, director of secondary curriculum for Claremore Public Schools.

Burrows said Claremore uses the test results to determine if students need reading improvement classes. School starts Thursday, but officials haven't had time to see which students may need to be placed in the reading class.

``We would want to make sure they're in the correct class but here we are passing out schedules,'' Burrows said.

Broken Arrow officials use a student's grades and test scores to help determine if the student should be placed in advanced classes, said Brian Beagles, director of school improvement at Broken Arrow.

``Sometimes report cards are an indicator of their classroom performance more than their ability,'' Beagles said.

He said a student may get a lower grade in math class, but a test score could prove that the student understands the concepts and just needs to be motivated.

The scheduling shuffle will only affect students needing special attention or more advanced placement, said Owasso Director of Special Projects Marvene Johnston.

But Johnston said teachers use test scores to determine in what areas students need help. If an entire class struggled with a concept, a teacher can plan their curriculum during the summer to focus on that concept.

``If we had had test results back in May, we'd have time to work through the curriculum and say 'we need to hit harder on these areas because we didn't do as well on the tests,''' Johnston said.