Friday, February 06, 2009

A hundred million here, a hundred million there

Two witnesses to the Senate Education Committee meeting Thursday came away with different numbers but the same story about the state's massively wasteful CATS school testing program.

Lexington Herald Leader education reporter Ryan Alessi reported:
"Sen. Dan Kelly, R-Spingfield, also said the CATS test has been sucking up too much valuable classroom time as the state spends $17 million per day on public school instruction. With 10 days of preparation, 10 days of testing and 10 days for mentally-spent students and teachers to recover, that's nearly a half-billion dollars lost, he said."

And Bluegrass Institute education analyst Richard Innes got this:
"At one point, Senator Dan Kelly outlined the full costs of CATS public school assessments, including the opportunity costs of instructional days lost to both administer the tests and conduct all the overly focused test preparation that we hear about so often. Kelly’s bottom line cost for CATS -- $700 Million."

Either way, Senate Bill 1 would get rid of the CATS program.