The Georgia Milestone Testing faced many hurdles and irregularities in Autrey Mill Middle School, where the one-week testing period was prolonged to three.
This was Autrey Mill middle school’s first year to use the students’ individual tablets for testing instead of the traditional paper packets. Unfortunately, this plan was the culprit behind the testing struggles.
“It was a nightmare when the tablet just suddenly shut down,” Aditi Shanbhag, and 8th grade Autrey Mill student, recalls, when kids had to reboot the devices under the ticking time slot. Furthermore, this issue was a frequent one, with devices going blank or freezing several times within the duration of a test.
One 8th grade student had completed forty questions, with ten more left, when his tablet shut down. “He was almost done, and he had to do the entire thing again, once more,” Shanbhag states.
Furthermore, the rigidity of the testing conduct was largely disrupted because kids had more time to reconsider their answers. Once the tablets were rebooted during testing, those kids had received another fifty minutes to redo their tests, meaning more time to think over previously selected answers. “It seemed unfair and stressful to have this happen,” Shanbhag explains, especially when some kids had unfair advantages with their time slots.
Even the four-hour testing period had lengthened to become a whole school day because every classroom was lagging behind in completion.
Shanbhag states how “we were almost done, when two tablets shut down, and those two students had to restart the entire thing again while the rest of us had to stare at the wall, with no bathroom breaks or snacks, or books…..nothing at all.”
Sometimes the tablets could not reboot completely during the testing period, and some classes had to take the test the next day when they had already seen some of the questions.
Despite the irregularity, the administration did make their best efforts to abide by the testing rules. Shanbhag explains how “the assistant principals and teaches monitored every corner of the room to prevent any cheating or talking…..they did what they could,” but they can’t really help with the technological issues at that point.
This year’s testing scenario is definitely a striking phenomenon, especially as many Fulton schools plan to integrate one-to-one devices for the 2016-2017 school year. “It was fun having our own device every day,” Shanbhag concludes, “but there are some tough expenses, and this year’s irregularities are a lesson for the future schools.”