Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

State wastes time, money grading tests

For many years, I have taught math to high school juniors and seniors who have not yet passed the state-mandated proficiency exam. For many years, I have also experienced mind-boggling frustration regarding the grading of these tests.

I think most taxpayers and parents would be amazed to learn that the Nevada Department of Education sends students’ completed tests to a company named Measured Progress in New Hampshire to be graded. I have never understood why no one in Nevada could grade a Scantron test, those bubble tests that have been filled in with No. 2 pencils for decades.

I have absolutely no expectation that the gross waste of time and money used to send these tests out of Nevada will end before the proficiency exams are phased out in the next few years, as mandated by the Nevada Legislature in the past session. If we require excellence and accountability from teenagers, we certainly deserve it from adult bureaucrats. I argue that taking six weeks to grade a Scantron exam can hardly be labeled excellence.

My students, the future of Nevada, deserve better. Nevada’s teachers deserve to be able to teach more effectively and with immediate results.

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