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Jefferson County school districts receive Common Core tests with missing questions

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WATERTOWN — Four Jefferson County school districts were among more than 100 statewide that received Common Core math assessment tests with missing questions Thursday.

“There was a moment of shock,” South Jefferson Superintendent Jamie A. Moesel said. She said the problem went unnoticed until right before the test was administered because it remains secured until then. She said when the test booklets were opened, there were blank pages where there should have been questions. Two of the district’s four third-grade classes received tests with missing pages, Mrs. Moesel said.

Jeanne Beatie, spokeswoman for the state Education Department, said there was a printing problem with one version of the third-grade test.

The Jefferson County school districts receiving incomplete tests were South Jefferson, Carthage, General Brown and Indian River. Spokesman Thomas Dunn said the Education Department received complaints from about 100 of the state’s 3,000 school districts saying they obtained incomplete tests.

“While an unfortunate mistake, and no mistakes are acceptable, it was quickly resolved,” Mr. Dunn said.

After the department started getting complaints from the school districts Thursday morning, it quickly sent out a notice informing school administrators how to give the missing questions to students.

“They could get another copy of the test, make a copy of the missing page or delay taking the test till a makeup period,” Mr. Dunn said. He said he had data only for schools that notified the Education Department.

About 210,000 students take each of the assessments in grades three through eight. Mr. Dunn said the printing error showed up in only a few of the 50,000 copies of the third-grade test for the second day.

Common Core assessments in mathematics were given to students in grades three through eight. The testing took place from Wednesday through Friday. Schools have two makeup days designated for students to take the test.

Dawn D. Ludovici, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services assistant superintendent, said BOCES serves as the regional depository for the county. The board provides additional tests if a school doesn’t receive enough or there is a problem with the exams.

“We get extra tests for just this sort of situation,” Mrs. Ludovici said.

Marie L. Western, Lowville Academy and Central School curriculum coordinator, said the academy, which serves as the repository for Lewis County, saw no sign that Lewis County schools were given an incomplete test.

“We were able to take care of one classroom because we had extra tests,” Mrs. Moesel said. “The other classroom, we had to call BOCES for more tests.” By the time district officials had everything sorted out, it was too late to administer the test to the second classroom. The class will take the test’s second portion on the makeup day Monday.

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