School testing company faces Board of Ed. after malfunctions, takes full responsibility

OKLAHOMA CITY – The company responsible for statewide school testing malfunctions faced an angry state board of education this afternoon.

More than 8,000 students were forced to stop standardized tests Monday, thanks to glitches in the CTB/McGraw Hill system.

State educators say the company’s apologies do not make up for Monday’s frustration.

Putnam City North teacher, Bethany Lorenz, says, “They show up and they’ve been prepared, they’re mentally prepared, they’re physically prepared and they get there and they can’t do it. Talk about frustrating.”

It was the story echoed around the state as educators saw disappointment on their kids’ faces.

All of the technological chaos has her thinking about the good old paper and pencil days.

“It’s a part of their world and it’s what their used to and I don’t think we should go backwards,” says Lorenz. “But I do miss the fact that you can’t mess up a paper and pencil test.”

The testing company responsible for the fiasco faced the music Thursday and tried to explain how a small piece of hardware in their data system triggered the widespread delays.

The malfunctions were not limited to Oklahoma.

Board member William Shdeed says, “There’s a lot of people who don’t want these tests. So they thrive on what you just did. They shove it down our throats. It’s all our fault. Why would we stay with you?”

A good question since millions of tax payers dollars are spent for them to get this right.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi says she spoke with the company multiple times a week, coming up with “what if” scenarios to prevent something like this from happening.

But the CTB/McGraw Hill president, Ellen Haley, still hopes the board will look past the glitch and remember the thousands of hours the company has spent with each district developing these tests.

“We have integrity and we want to do a good job. This is a hardware failure that could happen in any infrastructure, in any company, in any industry in the world,” says Haley. “I would be angry at us but I would renew the contract.”

Superintendent Barresi still advises against the board renewing their contract in the future.

MORE: Thousands of students disrupted during state testing second year in a row