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Why On-Line Tests Don't Work in Schools

All right, everyone!  Today we're taking the Federally Unwritten Core Knowledge test.  Yes, Collin, you don't need to point that out.  Neither do you, Gretchen.  The test is projected to take at least 45 minutes, and our class periods run 60 minutes, so we have to get to the computer lab right away in order to--

No, you don't need a pencil, Collin.  This is an on-line test.  Yes, Gretchen, you should take your stuff with you.  Let's get down to the lab.  Harold, you're supposed to take this test with your study skills teacher, so you head down there now.

No, Collin--you may NOT go to the bathroom on the way to the lab.  We have to get down there NOW or we won't have enough time.  Quickly, now!

Okay, everyone, let's--oh, hello, Mrs. Roberts.  Why is your class in here?  We're testing today.  The lab is signed out to us.  Yes, I can see that you only have eight or nine students who need to finish up their assignments, but the test rules are strict--no non-test takers present.  You'll have to leave.  We can call the office about it if you've got a question, but we're under a very strict--thanks.  NO, DON'T TURN OFF THE COMPUTERS!  THEY TAKE A LONG TIME TO REBOOT, AND--crud.  Let's do our best, then.

Grab a computer, please.  No, Gretchen, you sit over there.  You and Leanne may not sit next to each other. You know that.  Collin, you can't sit next to Pete.  Kevin, you can't sit next to Lawrence.  Terry, you can't sit next to Laura.  Move now, please.  NOW, please.  NOW!  Harold, why are you here?  You're supposed to be down in the special ed room with Mrs. Grindleshwarz.  Go now, please.  NOW, please.  NOW.

Log in with your student ID.  Not your Google ID.  Your student ID.  Collin, which ID did I just say to use?  Then why are you logging in with your Google ID?  Log out and log back in.  No, you may not go to the bathroom.  You haven't even logged in yet.  Laura, go back to your seat.  You are not allowed to sit next to Terry.

Call up the Firefox browser.  Do NOT use Chrome or IE.  I repeat: FIREFOX only.  Do NOT, NOT, NOT use Chrome or IE.  NO CHROME OR IE.  Which browser should you use?  That's right--Firefox.  Go to the site--Collin, why are you using Chrome?  Which browser should you use?  No, you may not go to the bathroom--you haven't even gotten on-line yet.  Laura, GO SIT DOWN.

Go to the web site www.fucktest.gov.  Then--yes, we all know what it spells out.  Just do it.  Is everyone at the site now?  You should see a smiling kid waving at you.  Yes, Kevin?  How can you not know your school login?  We're in the fourth marking period and we've logged into the system five hundred times since school started.  No, I don't believe you when you say you "forgot."  We were in here just last week.  Get logged in.  Fredericka, can you help him?

Is everyone at the test site?  Yes, Pete?  It froze?  Let me see.  Uh oh--blue screen of death.  Okay, move to a different computer.  No, don't wait for this one to reboot.  It'll take too long.  Oh, all the rest are taken.  Try the teacher station.  The login is weird, though.  Hold on--I'll get you in.  There.  LAURA, SIT DOWN!

Okay, at the test site where it says "Login" type your first intial, middle initial, and the first five letters of your last name.  Yes, Ann?  I don't know what to do if you have no middle initial.  The instructions don't say.  Try it without.  Yes, Fredricka?  That's right, your last name only has three letters.  Try all three and see what happens.  Yes, Ann?  It CRASHED?  Close the browser and try again.  Yes, Fredericka?  Error?  What kind of error?  Huh.  I have no idea what that means.  Let me see if the instructions say anything.  "If the student's last name has fewer than five letters, fill in the remaining letters with the letter Q."  Try that.  Ann, are able to get in?  Oh, good.

No, Collin, you may not go to the bathroom.  You haven't even logged into the test yet.

Is everyone logged into the site?  What time is it?  Holy--okay, let's get moving.  Click where it says BEGIN READING TEST.  Once you begin, I can't give you any help.

Yes, Collin, now you may run to the bathroom.  Hurry up.  LAURA, SIT DOWN.

Yes, Ann?  Let me see.  What is that--three-point font?  I can't read it, either.  Is there a view function that lets you change it?  The timer is running.  I can't do--crap.  The time on the question ran out.  Try this.  There we go.  Well, you missed the first question, but do your best with the rest and--no, don't cry, dear.  I'm sure the test will take that into account.  Somehow.

Is that the bell?


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