Last updated: August 23. 2013 11:53AM - 42 Views

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LAFAYETTE — Guidance Counselor Steve Smith was already running late getting Allen East special-education pupils tested, but then luckily the awaited box of Achievement Test forms arrived.Hold on. They weren’t all there.“When they came in yesterday I had put together my testing schedule,” Smith said. “But then I opened the box and found it was a partial order, so that schedule had to get thrown back a little bit.”Fifteen fifth- and seventh-graders continue to wait to take the test. Most of the third- through eighth-grade tests, including makeup tests, have been completed and will be shipped later this week.The shortage of tests for special-education pupils and English-as-a-second language pupils is affecting about 450 school districts around the state, the Ohio Department of Education said. It has not affecting too many local districts.Officials aren’t clear what happened, citing a combination of errors. Stan Heffner, the state’s associate superintendent of curriculum and assessment, said some districts didn’t order enough forms perhaps because of unclear instructions, while others seemed to have overordered and the Education Department erroneously lowered numbers on its own.Smith said he ordered the forms a little late because he did not see a memo saying all special-education pupils had to use a certain test form, which districts needed to order. The district began receiving some forms Monday.Allen East needed nearly 30 test forms. Along with not getting any tests for fifth- and seventh-graders, the school received partial batches for some other grades. Another batch of tests, for mainstream pupils, was shipped to Elida schools.Elida had enough testing forms, but Bath schools is still waiting for forms for the seventh- and eighth-grade tests for about 20 pupils. Tom Schaaf, testing coordinator, said they are expected Friday and the tests will be given next week. He said the state contacted the district about the shortage.“It does create a little bit of a problem,” Schaaf said, saying finding personnel to read the tests to the pupils can be tough.The Lima schools was able to correct its problem, said Jackie Blosser, district testing coordinator. Only short test forms in one area, the district was still able to administer the tests.“We worked around it and regrouped our kids,” she said. “But I know there are many, many districts still waiting to test their special-education kids.”The Associated Press contributed to this story

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