Looking for a More Forceful Response
I had a Facebook message from a reader this afternoon letting me know that his/her district was having more difficulties with CTB/McGraw-Hill today. I also saw it on Twitter. As I always say, wherever two or more have problems interfacing with a server farm, I’ll be there.
This hasn’t been a constant problem; things definitely improved after the first few days. Still, the SDE has not been very open in discussing how they’re pursuing reparations. I’ve heard bits here and there, but really, they haven’t released anything official.
That’s why I found this story published in the Gazette today interesting. Joel Robison, chief of staff to the state superintendent, has the unfortunate job of trying to calm legislators and districts alike after this fiasco:
We believe there may be a clause that allows for a 10-percent penalty to be assessed. We are discussing if the best way to receive that penalty is through a cash payment or for the vendor to provide, at no cost, supplemental curriculum materials for students and teachers to use next year….The best avenue right now is to get the damages we should and move forward working to assure, as best we can, the process will go smoother next year.
We believe? There may be a clause? You’re not sure about this? And only a 10-percent penalty for a comprehensive system failure?
I understand that as of last week there were only 9,100 invalidated tests and that this is a small percentage of total test-takers. However, it threatens the integrity of the entire process. In any other experience as a consumer, you would not ask for a 10-percent discount. You’d refuse payment.
Even more interesting will be the details as they emerge about how the penalty will be enforced. The promise of materials to schools (that the schools didn’t ask for) isn’t enough.