Test-Scoring Error

K-12 Testing

When the Indiana statewide reading comprehension test scores in grades 3, 6, 8 and 10 were released in early January, they arrived at the district offices with one glitch - they were all scored incorrectly.


In what he calls the "biggest debacle" in a state testing program he has ever seen, Thomas Fowler- Finn, superintendent of Ft. Wayne Community Schools discovereed the errors in cooperation with John Kline, director of Planning, Assessment and Technology. They noticed among other things a noticeable drop in percentile scores despite an overall rise in the number of correctly answered questions. After his first attempt to investigate the error was rebuffed by the test's maker, CTB/McGraw Hill, he asked district leaders in Evansville and Indianapolis to compare results, and found a similar pattern in all three districts. Together, these officials convinced the state education department to order that the scores be re-examined, resulting in the admission of error by CTB.


According to Fowler-Finn, CTB claims that a wrong norming table was used to convert raw scores to norms. It is now in the process of re-scoring the reading comprehension section of each test at every grade level. The superintendent maintains that he has found additional problems with the test that have not yet been addressed.