Error found in 4th grade math TCAP sample question

Error found in 4th grade math TCAP sample question

Posted:
6 News obtained an email from Knox County Schools sent from the Tennessee Board of Education’s Office of Assessment Logistics with the subject line “Correction on Spring 2014 4th Grade Mathematics Achievement Teacher Directions.” 6 News obtained an email from Knox County Schools sent from the Tennessee Board of Education’s Office of Assessment Logistics with the subject line “Correction on Spring 2014 4th Grade Mathematics Achievement Teacher Directions.”
“There's no accountability," Rebecca Erbaugh said. "It would be more helpful if somebody was checking the test makers." “There's no accountability," Rebecca Erbaugh said. "It would be more helpful if somebody was checking the test makers."
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A mistake was found in a sample question in the fourth-grade math TCAP test given to students this year.

This comes just a month after 6 News uncovered multiple mistakes found in two practice TCAP tests.

Previous story: Knox County parent finds mistakes in practice TCAP test

This time around, the mistake was found in the sample question, but the graded portion of the test is not available to the public for review as per state law.

6 News obtained an email from Knox County Schools sent from the Tennessee Board of Education’s Office of Assessment Logistics with the subject line “Correction on Spring 2014 4th Grade Mathematics Achievement Teacher Directions.”

The email says: “Please note that on page 44 of the Spring 2014 4th Grade Mathematics Achievement Directions, the answer choices for Sample B should be F, G, H, J. The text at the top of the page should be: Discuss Samples A and B with the student after they have had time to complete them. The correct answer for Sample A is choice D, and the correct answer for Sample B is choice H.”

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Education said the tests are reviewed before and after they are administered and said notice was sent to the districts once the error was discovered.

Previous story: Knox County parent looks for answers after discovering error in practice TCAP work

6 News spoke with a parent of a Knox County fourth-grader who said she worries about the accuracy of the rest of the test that is not allowed to be reviewed.

“There's no accountability," Rebecca Erbaugh said. "It would be more helpful if somebody was checking the test makers."

Erbaugh’s son Justin is in fourth grade at Fountain City Elementary School and recently finished the TCAP exams just like other students across the state.

She said the problem is that parents and teachers are not allowed to review the questions after the test has been taken. They only receive the scores. Erbaugh said the mistake in the sample question raises concerns about the accuracy of the rest of the test.

"If we can't go back and see or even the teachers go back and check it before the test is given to make sure the information on the test is correct, why are we taking it?” Erbaugh said.

Knox County Education Association President Tanya Coats said she would like to see the state move away from using publishing companies, in this case Pearson, to make the TCAP tests.

"I know we have some great teachers across the state, particularly here in Knox County, that can write some really great tests to make sure that we are pinpointing what students need to know," Coats said. "I would like to see in the state of Tennessee instead of investing in these corporations, they would galvanize teachers to actually write tests for the state of Tennessee."

Erbaugh said the current system leaves too many unanswered questions for parents.

"There's so many ifs about the whole thing," Erbaugh said.

In Tennessee, the TCAP scores account for 15 to 25 percent of a student’s overall grade. It also affects a teacher's overall evaluation score.

A representative of the Tennessee Department of Education said if an error is found after the testing window is completed, the question can be nullified.

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