Someone at Pearson Vue must have gotten wind of me, that is – after I failed the reading subtest of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTELs). Because last week, I got a phone call from one Cindy Wills and a new cast and character, Caroline Bertrand. Both women were pleasant and thoughtful as they told me all about the work their’ engineers and programmers had undertaken to meet my testing needs. Of course I still had the option of taking a human scribe/human reader test again – and that accommodation would always be offered to me. But they were trying. They would call me back in one week.
I let the first call go to voicemail as I sat in Diesel, my favorite coffee shop in Davis Square. I had someone take a message for me the second time, trying desperately to hold on to my sunny Wednesday disposition. This afternoon I called her back. No direct line, so I waited 12 minutes for customer service to reach my call in the queue. A few confused hums and haws before Caroline Bertrand answered.
Hello? Hi. Yes it’s me. Yes you have an update. Ok. Let’s hear it.
I can take the test! Hurray! I can take it the first week in June! Because the engineers must first do usability testing! Hurray!
Except not really.
I can read the test on one computer using [brand name] speech-to-text software. On a separate computer will sit a proctor scribe who will input my answers. Because I can’t both read and respond to an electronic test myself. Not after five months of work!
I sent her back to the drawing board. It makes no sense. Any programmers out there think they can convince Pearson Vue and team that an accommodation does not mean what they think it means?