State severs its ties with MCA administrators

  • Article by: Kim McGuire , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 31, 2013 - 10:58 AM

After months of contention, American Institutes for Research says it will not try to renew its $61 million contract with state.

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bellamn16Oct. 30, 1310:05 PM

Which means teachers will need to waste more teaching time teaching students how to take yet another version of the online test using a new software interface for the third time in four years. Can we go back to paper/pencil...PLEASE?

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bzladyOct. 30, 1310:54 PM

Seriously? Minnesota Department of Education spends 20 million dollars a year to conduct the MCA tests? I think the money could be better spent to hire more teachers and reduce classroom sizes.

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rlwr51Oct. 31, 1312:08 AM

$20 million a year, just from Minnesota? No wonder there is such an advocacy for standardized testing.

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jennydaleOct. 31, 1312:33 AM

Why do we accept "testing season" anyway? When do students get to focus on learning?

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comment229Oct. 31, 13 5:23 AM

I bet most teachers would still love to just give the ITBS (Iowa Basics) which told them everything they needed to know about each student. In the school our kids attended, a strip was placed on a sheet each year the test was administered in elementary school and you could see the progress made year after year, and the areas where the kids were good and where they were bad. Now we generate mountains of data, that are stored somewhere, and people get paid for doing this. And if you don't believe that, go back and study "testing" in our Minnesota schools for the last 25 years. Where is all that information? What good did it do? To think that testing is the panacea for education to thrive in this country is something that too many people buy into. The simple solution to our education woes in the country, is to make it a priority for all families, and make sure the responsibility for learning is a 50-50 proposition; teachers teach, students learn. What all politicians and think tank executives fail to understand is why kids fail; the first step to problem solving. Put 10 dropouts and 10 wannabe dropouts in a room and let them tell you why they are failing. And then, ADDRESS those problems. Every teacher in America, without attending that meeting with the dropouts, can hand you that list right now, and "because I needed more testing apparently" will be no where to be seen on that list.

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tonyrozyckiOct. 31, 13 5:32 AM

MN shouldn't be wasting time & money on unnecessary testing. On the other hand we need intelligent well-administered tests.

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etwansherlewOct. 31, 13 6:29 AM

You do have to wonder what AIR, a non-profit, does with all of its money. One AIR VP is Mark Schneider. He gave a very offensive talk at a meeting I attended 2 years ago. An offshoot company he started, CollegeMeasures.org. Why AIR non-profits?

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norselandcOct. 31, 13 6:43 AM

$20 million is about $24 per pupil if allocated evenly across the state.

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mujerincreibleOct. 31, 13 6:56 AM

Unbelievable. As a retired teacher, I can only imagine with 20 million dollars a year could get spent on for students, more books in the school library, more physical education, arts, science classes, dictionaries, music education. Big business and corporate profits overwhelm student learning. Great

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lrnmthOct. 31, 13 6:58 AM

It's time to take a stand in Minnesota and end the testing mania. Ask any classroom teacher. The MCA is low on their list of data used to decide anything about curriculum, what they teach, or how they teach it. STOP throwing money at the testing, it takes time and financial away from instruction. Stop the testing NOW, before teachers and students have to adapt to a new test format from a new vendor.

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