It's over 100 mistakes.
Superintendent of Schools Alan J. Ingram has decided to continue to do business with the New York-based company that provided error-filled exams last month, but said precautions will be taken to avoid another embarrassing final exam period next year.Since they've all got cushy union protection nothing will happen to anyone and besides, they're now all just starting a 10-week vacation.
"I can assure you this will not happen again," Ingram said Monday at a School Committee subcommittee meeting, responding to questions by member Antonette E. Pepe.
The exams were made public this month by Pepe, who noted that they were riddled with spelling, grammar and factual errors.
The gaffes ranged from misspellings of words such as "truning around" and "For God's skae," to confusing instructions, to a page that read "This is the end of the Test" when there were actually two more pages.
Pepe said she was alerted to the sloppy tests by teachers, and has since received a strong response from parents who wanted to know how the mistakes could have happened.
"This is about accountability," Pepe said, after Ingram had taken the blame for the incident during the meeting. "The superintendent didn't make these mistakes, but we still don't know who did."
The test provider, CTB/McGraw-Hill of New York City, was hired in January under a $374,000 contract to help develop and help implement final exams for the school system, Ingram said.
While numerous errors occurred in tests for high school students, none were reported for the lower grades, school officials said.
Ingram said the blame - which he described as a failure to proofread the final version of the exams - belonged more with local school officials than the New York company.
He said last-minute changes in formatting resulted in changes to texts that were not double checked by English and Language Arts administrators. To complicate matters, the tests were not shown to teachers in advance, eliminating the opportunity for errors to be spotted before reaching the students, Ingram said.