Arizona: Error by National Computer Systems caught in grading of AIMS test math portion : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Error by National Computer Systems caught in grading of AIMS test math portion

Associated Press

Mar. 17, 2000 14:32

The company that grades the AIMS test made an error on one question and correcting it means that some students will not have to retake the math portion, the state Department of Education said Friday.

National Computer Systems confirmed that it incorrectly scored one math question on the 1999 AIMS test, the department said.

Correcting the question's scoring means 12,000 students will see incremental increases in their math scores, the department said.

That includes 142 students who were incorrectly graded as not passing the math portion. The changes mean the 142 students actually did pass the math portion and they will not have to retake it in May.

The department also said it will not penalize the 4,000 students who were incorrectly graded as getting the right answer. The 4,000 includes 13 students whose correct scores now dip below the passing score but who will not be required to take the math test again in May.

Mandated by state law, AIMS is a test that measures state curriculum standards in math, reading and writing. Starting with current sophomores, the graduating class of 2002, high school students must pass the test to get a diploma.

The error was caught by the department's testing director, Kelly Powell, and confirmed by the NCS, department spokeswoman Laura Penny said.

The department said it is sending notices about the error and the students involved to high schools and that new calculations of passing rates for schools and districts also will be provided.

It is not unusual for national testing and grading companies to make mistakes.

CTB McGraw Hill, the Monterey-Calif.-based company which provided the state with AIMS, notified school administrators in Nevada, South Carolina and Wisconsin last September that their national percentile rankings were wrong.

-- Carl Jenkins (, March 19, 2000

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