By Jacob Mathias
Data from a the mandatory Badger Exam assessment for students in grades 3-8 will go unused in state reporting, despite having cost the district over $68,000.
Superintendent Attila Weninger reported the news at Monday night’s Stevens Point School Board meeting.
“We talked about the cost of the ‘one and done’, meaningless, useless test,” said Weninger.”Plain and simple, the test failed…without any test in place we have no way of knowing, this year for example, how our students performed. So, we’re without an assessment for grades three through eight.”
The Badger Exam was implemented in 2010 as a means to determine whether students were on track to meet long term career and college goals. But the exam’s roll-out was unsuccessful, leading a series of delays and changes to the test itself.
Weninger said implementing the new test forced the district’s hand with $68,560 in expenses, to include $40,000 dedicated to staff training. Statewide, he said, cost estimates range in the $12-$13 million region. By comparison, costs for the more once-common ACT exam were $7-$8 million.
Board Members were less than thrilled with the news.
“We should send a bill to them,” said Board Member Trish Baker. “It’s really aggravating.”
Weninger said even more startling than the cost was the 24,000 hours of instruction the district lost while trying to implement the new test.
The board agreed to send information on the district’s cost to local and state legislators, area superintendents as well as officials in the Department of Public Instruction.
The next scheduled regular Stevens Point School Board is at 6:30 PM on June 8 at Bliss Educational Services Center.