Local educator screens state tests

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Roy Dukes, assistant director of schools for Marshall County, has become a mentor for new members of a state committee that keeps bias out of questions on statewide tests administered to public school students.

Marshall County's assistant director of schools was among educators from across the state last week in Nashville where they removed cultural bias from questions in annual tests taken by Tennessee's public school students.

"We have to be sure that we're testing the skill that students are supposed to know," said Dan Long, the state's executive director of assessment, evaluation, research and e-learning, while explaining state officials' work to make tests fair.

Fairness is considered from the perspective of the student's gender, ethnicity, handicap and other circumstances.

Roy Dukes, the assistant director of the county school system here, has been repeatedly asked to help in this task. During March 12-14 at the Sheridan Hotel near Nashville's airport, Dukes was among 120 educators removing bias from state test questions.

It could be as obvious as making sure that a chart is large enough so a visually impaired student could see that information needed to answer a question, Dukes said.

See Wednesday's Tribune for the complete story.