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Supt. Barresi: School testing disruptions ‘absolutely unacceptable,’ searching for solutions

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UPDATE 2 p.m.: State Superintendent Janet Barresi said at a news conference the disruptions in state standardized testing are “absolutely unacceptable.”

Supt. Barresi said about 8,100 students were affected by the testing disruptions today.

She said about 11,000 were able to complete their tests.

The issues started at about 8:30 a.m. when the testing vendor, CTB/McGraw Hill, reported “scattered disruptions.”

At that time Supt. Barresi decided to suspend testing for the day.

Barresi said they are now searching for a solution for students, including the possibility of switching to pencil and paper.

She said this outage had nothing to do with the schools, it was only the testing vendor.

The disruptions were different from the issues reported last year.

“We will certainly hold this company accountable,” Supt. Barresi said.

UPDATE: The State Department of Education has suspended standardized testing today after students encountered issues similar to last year’s delays.

The same company, CTB/McGraw Hill, is involved again this year.

“We certainly share in the frustration that students and school districts feel,” State Superintendent Janet Barresi said. “It is of paramount importance that CTB finds the nature of the problem and resolves it as quickly as possible.”

According to the Board of Education, about 6,000 students in grades six through eight and high school end-of-instruction exams were disrupted as a result of a system-wide problem with testing vendor CTB/McGraw Hill’s network.

This did not affect third grade reading tests which are still done with paper and pencil.

School officials said CTB technicians working to determine the exact nature of the disruption.

Officials said students completed their exams if they were in a district where the testing was properly working.

At least 6,000 tests have been disrupted today alone.

The testing issue has affected thousands of students in Oklahoma City and Edmond.

MORE: School standardized testing failures cause long delays, students to retake tests

EDMOND: 

Memorial High School:
100 students affected
Testing for Algebra II

Santa Fe High School:
125 students affected
Testing for Algebra II

Sequoyah Middle School:
135 Students Affected
Testing was for 7th grade reading

Letter sent to Deer Creek parents: 

Intermediate, Middle School, and High School Parents,
As you may be aware due to statewide media coverage, CTB/McGraw Hill, the testing vendor hired by the State Department of Education, has experienced technical problems today throughout the state, Monday, April 21, 2014.  On-line Testing in Deer Creek for grades 6-8 and EOI’s was disrupted due to CTB’s technical issues.  A total of 57 Deer Creek students were affected as they had begun testing when the technical issues occurred.  Many others were in the middle of sample testing when the testing was suspended.  The 57 students who were taking tests will have the opportunity to continue testing at a future date. 

Below is the statement that districts across the state received from the State Department of Education:
“As a result of online testing disruptions for students in grades 6-8 and end-of-instruction on April 21, State Superintendent Janet Barresi has directed testing vendor CTB/McGraw Hill to suspend online testing for today”

 We want to assure everyone that this is not a Deer Creek School District issue but again a problem that is occurring throughout the state from the company we are required by the SDE to use for our testing.  Deer Creek is highly disappointed that this occurred and frustrated for our students. We will continue to support them in any way we can and communicate with parents and students when future testing will occur.  As we are advised about future testing, we will keep you informed. 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Public Schools officials have confirmed more issues with the website the state uses for standardized testing.

Officials said about 6,000 tests have been interrupted today because of the issues.

School officials said the State Dept. of Education is working with the vendor, McGraw Hill, to find out what happened and to fix the issue.

McGraw Hill is the same group involved in last year’s standardized testing.

Last year’s malfunctions caused long delays and forced some students to even retake tests.

We will keep you updated on this story as soon as authorities release more information.

MORE: School standardized testing failures cause long delays, students to retake tests


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