D.C. invalidates science exam scores after discovering errors

Perry Stein:

The science exam given annually to District students was so error-ridden that the superintendent announced Friday that she is throwing out scores for the past two years and canceling this year’s test.

The decision puts the city in violation of federal law, and the superintendent’s office said some federal funding could be in jeopardy.

Under the law, school districts must test students in science once during their elementary school years, once in middle school and once in high school. Tests vary by district, and state and local school leaders determine how exams are administered.

D.C. State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang said she had little choice but to cancel the District’s $370,000 contract with WestEd, a national education company that developed the citywide exam known as the DC Science Assessment. The two-hour, computerized test is not used to determine whether students can advance to the next grade.