[linux-elitists] Closed Source Tests damage careers, schoolchildren

Ron Guerin ron@vnetworx.net
Mon May 21 14:10:37 PDT 2001


The NYTimes has a lengthy expose of the actions of a company that 
creates and administers standardized tests, one destined for RISKS
Digest very shortly. A bug in their software sent students to summer
school and resulted in teachers and superintendents being fired from
their jobs, even though the company was notified of problems early.
It's a fascinating story of the risks of going with a closed source
vendor - how the company acts to perform damage control, lies, stalls,
compartmentalizes the damage by telling each complainer that they are
the only one experiencing problems, and finally, most of a year after
being notified of the problem, fixes the bug. (It's a two-part series
- the first part discusses problems with human scoring of tests.) 

When a Test Fails the Schools, Careers and Reputations Suffer


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