By Cheyenne Mathews
Editor in Chief
Kayhi underclassman have lucked out of the Alaska Measure of Performance testing this week due to an accident at the AMP distribution headquarters. Kayhi counselor Bob McClory said that a problem with the fiber optic line, a special high capacity internet line, prevented the test from being properly administered in Alaska .
“[AMP is] out of University of Kansas and it is all online and apparently some contractors were working near the University of Kansas and their backhoe ripped out the fiber optic line,” said McClory. “They didn’t have the online capacity to fix it.”
The state of Alaska, along with every other state, is required by national law to evaluate students on an annual basis in order to receive federal money.
“There are federal regulations requiring that states provide annual data, on how all their grades are performing,” he said. “It’s a federal law and funds can be withheld from states that don’t comply with federal laws. The state was required to do AMP, that was the agreed upon test.”
McClory said that he was not notified that the test was canceled until last Friday afternoon. In order to confirm the cancellation, the state of Alaska had to petition the national Department of Education for an exemption on this year’s testing.
“What happened was the state of Alaska went to the federal department of education and said we’ve got a situation which we wanted to comply with all federal guidelines,” he continued. “However the only test that was in place is not working well. They got permission to go ahead and cancel all of the annual state testing requirements.”
The AMP was first used in Alaska last year to set a baseline. The AMP test was slow in sending out data and analysis of scores and so the Alaska legislature decided to terminate their use of AMP in Alaska. AMP was supposed to be administered for one last year this year but recent complications have expedited its termination. McClory said the test was also judging students at a level that was inconsistent with past data.
“The tests results were not favorable compared to any of the previous results,” said McClory. “We don’t know if it was the transition from paper pencil tests to online, or if it was the questioning, or the development of it or the implementation.”
Vice Principal Mike Rath said the lack of test results will not really negatively impact teachers next year.
“It will have, I think a minimal effect, for other indicators of student performance, primarily grades, and relationships with teachers and anecdotal evidence,” said Rath. “If I have you in class for a year in math I know as much about how you do math as a test.”
McClory and Rath both pointed out the negative consequences the lack of testing will entail.
“The negative of this is the money and time that goes into it,” said Rath. “The state spent $25 million for every district to do it and what’s been lost is reasonable indicators of how schools perform.”
Sophomore Mey Tuinei said the sudden lack of testing this year doesn’t really bother her.
“Last year it was pretty much just a standardized test that we were forced to do,” said Tuinei. “It was like yea we get to skip class but I am actually glad it is [canceled] because it puts me on the same schedule.”