OKLAHOMA CITY – Thousands of sixth through 12th graders will have to retake their state required end-of-year tests next week all because of a computer glitch.
The company that provides the tests, CTB/McGraw-Hill, said a server issue caused students to be kicked off computers in the middle of taking the exams Monday and Tuesday.
Now the State Department of Education sais students who weren’t able to pass the exams before their computers crashed will have to retake the tests.
That’s why state lawmakers are calling for the Department of Education to throw out this year’s test results.
“We don’t need to make the child the loser in all this,” State Rep. Curtis McDaniel (D-Smithville) said.
Rep. McDaniel said students shouldn’t suffer the pressure of the high stakes tests twice.
“It’s a skewed test and you take skewed information and you discard it,” Rep. McDaniel said. “Now we’re going to also use that information to grade our schools, grade our teachers? I think it’s asinine to do that.”
However, that’s precisely why the State Department of Education said it can’t discard the tests.
“When scores come back, they [students] can see what they’ve achieved, teachers can use them for planning and our funding is tied to that, so that could hurt the state,” Spokesperson Sherry Fair said.
The Department of Education first signed a contract with CTB/ McGraw-Hill four months ago.
“They’ve had a very short window of time to get all testing pushed out,” Fair said.
Taxpayers paid the company $16 million to do that, $1 million more than the last test provider, Pearson.
So will taxpayers get a refund?
“When we do move on to discussing those issues, that will be at the top of the list to think about,” Fair said. “That this is taxpayer money and it needs to be spent as responsibly as possible.”
Troubles adding up, parents said get rid of the problem that tainted the test.
“They need to go back to paper and pencil and forget about computers.”