The story begins when Joe Reed,a 25 year veteran teacher, transferred from an elementary school in Burbank, California to a local middle school. At the middle school he was asked to administer midterms and finals using a scantron format. Most teachers at elementary schools do not have much experience with scantron type tests. Mr. Reed then ran the answer sheets through the scantron machine. As he passed back the answer sheets, several students came to him and told him that the machine had incorrectly scored their test. Mr. Reed looked at the answer sheet and could clearly see that the students had bubbled in the correct answer, but the student had also erased an incorrect answer. The machine had sensed TWO answers for ONE problem and marked the student wrong. As any good teacher would do, Mr. Reed explained that students needed to erase thoroughly in order for the machine to score the answer sheet correctly. He then dutifully marked several answers incorrectly, erased them, bubbled in the correct answers and ran them through the machine. To his great chagrin, the machine mis-scored several of Mr. Reed's erased answers! Needless to say, the student was thrilled and Mr. Reed had egg on his face!
This started the thinking process with regard to this simple incident and standardized tests. Could this be happening to other students? Was it possible to adjust a machine so that this would not occur? If not, was there an eraser that would solve the problem? Mr. Reed contacted the California State Department of Education and the company that is contracted by the state to score the over six and a quarter million tests that are administered in California each year. It turns out that the tests in California are scored using the very same technology that middle and high schools use to score their tests. Namely, optical character mark recognition machines. He was told that no matter how carefully a machine is calibrated, if an incorrect mark is not COMPLETELY erased, and if the new mark is not dark enough, ALL machines will mark that answer as wrong! Even though, to the naked eye, there is NO doubt that the student has marked the correct answer, they will be judged as having selected the wrong answer!
Well, if there is no way a machine can differentiate the corrected answer on an answer sheet, that only leaves one good option. Is there an eraser that will solve the problem? It turns out that the good news is that there IS such an eraser! The Erase-Right eraser has been shown to cut the error rate by 70% and more! Testing with general education students, GATE students, and Title I students shows that the Erase-Right erasers can reduce the error rate by a minimum of 70% and often more!
Administrators and teachers are doing a great job of identifying standards and making sure that students are prepared for these high stakes tests. Strategies are varied and well targeted. Teaching is frequently differentiated for all learners. As schools move toward the API state goal of 800 and beyond we need to make sure that all of this good teaching is assessed correctly. We want to make sure that just as we give our students the educational tools for success, we also give them the mechanical tools for test success. The Erase-Right eraser is such a tool!
Mr. Joe Reed
Phone: (818) 970-3276