US DOE Working to Keep Up With Technology

On September 25th, 2015 the U.S. Department of Education released their “Peer Review of State Assessment Systems” with guidance and recommendations for Elementary and Secondary education assessments. Not surprisingly, the report shows that test security is an increasingly important issue with technology playing an ever increasing role in potential threats to that security.

The U.S. Department of Education calls for states to provide detailed security procedures, such as “maintaining the security of test materials,” and “documentation of established consequences for confirmed violations of test security.” However, they also stress the importance of having documented procedures in place that mitigate the likelihood of cheating “via technology such as smart phones.” Further recommendations are “documented policies and procedures for districts and schools to address secure test administration challenges related to hardware, software, Internet connectivity, and Internet access.”

While these federal regulations on testing are clearly a step in the right direction, it’s uncertain how well-prepared government officials, state departments of education, and school administrators are in securing assessment exams. Cheating technologies are becoming more prevalent in the market, more advanced in their sophistication, and more easily concealed from those who administer exams. These days, it seems that test regulators need to be masters of technology, not just educators. This is just the beginning. Access to technology around the globe is becoming more ubiquitous. It will take seriously-trained technology professionals providing the needed support to thwart the efforts of those willing to go to great lengths to subvert the system to take tests honorably.

For more information about the report and the requirements for states, contact, or view a full copy here. US DOE assessguid15 (2)

Christie Zervos

Director of Operations, Caveon Test Security

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