Derby Wants SDOE Audit

A member of the House of Representatives is calling for an audit of the State Department of Education after a private software company was allowed to administer testing of software during school hours.

Earlier in the week, schools across the state underwent testing of online examination capabilities by CTB, the state’s test vendor for third through eighth grades. While the Department of Education provided notice of these tests about a week in advance, they were still very disruptive of the school day, said state Rep. David Derby.

“I’m having a difficult time when I hear teachers tell me that students are asked to take two hours of their day to test private company’s software,” said Rep. Derby, R-Owasso. “Did that happen and how is it an appropriate use of school resources? More importantly, how is it an appropriate use of our children’s time?”

Last year, testing errors created problems for schools and their examination schedules. This week’s test was aimed at alleviating any issues in the future, but Derby said diagnostics such as this shouldn’t happen during school hours.

“The problems related to this software should be fixed, not on our children’s or teachers’ time, but on the company’s time,” Derby said. “That’s why I’m calling for an audit of the department – to ensure our children have their school hours spent properly and to assure that our school districts across the state are being taken care of in a proper manner.

“Rather than ensuring that testing vendors taking millions of taxpayer dollars, our current state superintendent is forcing districts to do the heavy lifting. Janet Barresi is forcing compliance by threatening the funding of our schools and the licenses of the educators leading them. This is just another example of the bureaucratic overreach of Barresi.”

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  1. Eddie Huff, 31 January, 2014

    This is a lame claim. Last year the State DOE and Baresi were severely criticized for the testing failures. Now they want to complain that the Dept. wants to have a test of the system to try and avoid these problems. Sounds like Damned if you do and damned if you don’t to me. Derby and others are in the Hoffmeister camp and so I suspect more of a motive here than what is stated.

    With regard to the complaint of taking school time, if losing 2 hours of class time
    is cases kids to slip behind we have a amore serious problem.

    I think certain legislators are hearing from powerful or well financed entities that they need to get Janet out and not thinking this through.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    here is an blog post I wrote earlier this week regarding this same matter.

  2. Mary, 31 January, 2014

    Eddie, why should my 2 children be forced to use their minds to profit a corporation?

  3. h, 31 January, 2014

    By the way, it didn’t work at our school. I spent two hours with 30 students in a computer lab for a program that did not work. Good time was NOT had by all.

  4. Holly Stover, 31 January, 2014

    Eddie, I read your blog and you say you are in insurance? Well let me explain something since you are not an educator. Two hours may not seem like a big deal to you, but to an educator every second counts. At the middle school level students miss an hour here and an hour there for extra curricular activities, doctor’s appointment, etc. Those types of interruptions are sometimes necessary and a privilege some students have earned but they add up to lost time in the classroom. It is lost time with a teacher who is accountable for those students’ test scores. Hours add up.
    All this is beside the point which is it is unethical for students to be used as test subjects for a product which a company will profit from. Students should NEVER be responsible for making sure a company can complete the job in which it was hired to do. That the state department of education gave schools ONE WEEK notice, is yet again another example of their ignorance of what goes on in the classroom. Teachers are planners. Because of testing, we have been trained to map out the amount of curriculum we cover in a given time period in order to cover the testing material NOTE: I did not say we enjoy this rigid system but since the inception of NCLB, this process has been ingrained in us. It was irresponsible of the state department to give such short notice for something they had to have know about for months.
    Finally Eddie, I would never presume to tell you how to do your job. I would never assume because I have various types of insurance, that I am therefore an expert in the field. When educators speak out about what is wrong with public education in Oklahoma, you might want to listen to us. Believe it or not, we are here for the kids. We don’t care about anything but them. WE are with them day in, day out. WE are they’re surrogate parents, their counselors, their rescuers, their guardians and when we speak out for them, someone better start listening.

  5. PJ Keith, 04 February, 2014

    I am relieved to read that you are concerned. However if I understand correctly, your issue is based mostly on the lack of planning time provided to implement these tests. And although I am not an “educator” I do have an education (actually a BS IN Education). I also have three children currently in the Public School System and I have seen a very negative impact on one of them as a result of the school participating in what seems to be beta tests for software and/or technology companies. As it appears that in order to have real measurable results there is a certain amount of data being collected. So, just as your concern is with the lack of planning time provided, my concern is with the amount of instruction time spent reporting as well as the amount of personal data potentially collected by these personal software companies.

    What is the motivation for the school and/or the district to participate? Are there grants and/or equipment tied to participation?

    Ms. Stover, believe me, you are NOT a surrogate parent. From what I’ve experienced with 1/3 of the teachers my children have had is that they are far more concerned about politics and promotions than being an Educator, much less a surrogate parent. In fact, your complaint was more on the lack of time YOU had to administer these tests. Parents, whether Insurance Agents, Doctors, Attorneys, Administrative Assistants, Painters, Mechanics, whatever… have far more at stake in our child’s life than you do. If your message was toward your concern AGAINST this beta testing, it was lost in your rant about those of us who are not in the education “profession” having serious concerns about how OUR children are being exploited…not to mention how OUR TAX dollars are used.


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