Students frustrated after testing trouble for second year in a row

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma’s Superintendent of Schools is suggesting the State Board of Education not renew the contract of testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill for the next fiscal year.

The children started the end of year standardized testing Monday and more than 8,000 computers went out in the middle of it all.

“I would preferred if they got the problem fixed before they had us take the test because it was so distracting,” Kayleigh Vaughan said.

Vaughan said she and her classmates were concentrating on the algebra test when computers started shutting down.

“I mean all the teachers were running around trying to fix it,” Vaughan said.

Despite the glitches, she managed to make it through the test because she said school leaders warned problems were a possibility.

“They explained it to us in the beginning. They told us they’d been having problems and what to do if it happened,” said Vaughan.

Still, the State Department of Education stuck with the test creator, CTB/McGraw-Hill.

That’s the same company that had computer glitches during last year’s testing.

Superintendent of Schools Janet Barresi addressed the issue saying, “It is an understatement to say I am frustrated with McGraw Hill.”

While she suggests the education board no longer use the company, she said students can finish this year’s exams.

“I hope that if the scores aren’t accurate or if it even looks like there might be a problem with scoring, they’ll let them take it over,” Misty Hensch said.

Hensch is Vaughan’s mother.

She just moved her girls to Oklahoma from Washington where they took end-of-year tests on paper.

“You can see your work and you don’t have to deal with the computer,” Vaughan said.

She said, cut out the computer and cut out the problem.

CTB/McGra-Hill has not returned calls for comment.

Last year, when the company had computer glitches it ended up paying the state more than $1 million in damages.

Some of that went directly to the districts.