Testing Results Flawed

A national school testing company's error that may have accidentally sent almost 9,000 New York City children to summer school or held them back a grade has also affected results in four other states.

The Associated Press reports that school administrators in Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin were informed last week that their national percentile rankings were wrong. Past errors in other states by CTB McGraw Hill have had similar results.

"This was a regrettable error, but we have 6,000 customers around the country, the overwhelming majority of whom get very valuable information in assessing how much and what their students have learned," said Steve Weiss, vice president of New York City-based McGraw Hill, which owns CTB testing company in Monterey, Calif.

CTB scores more than 20 million tests each year. The results of CTB's tests are used in some districts to decide whether students will graduate, fail, go to summer school or get tutored.

In another mistake last fall, CTB rated individual Missouri students higher than they were supposed to be. A testing company official said at the time, "I don't believe in blaming computers, because people program computers."