Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

May 1, 2013

Glitch delays state testing for Rogers County schools

State extends testing deadline for students

CLAREMORE —

The State Department of Education reported Wednesday more problems with online assessments for students in grades 6-12. Nearly 1,000 junior high and high school students were booted out of online programs because of a technology failure.

Students experienced similar problems Monday when testing for more than 2,000 Oklahoma students came to a stop after a network server crashed, preventing tests from being finished, according information from the State Department of Education.
Students in Rogers County were among the thousands affected by the server malfunctions.
“Difficulties with online testing almost makes me wish the state would return to paper and pencil, fill in the blank-style testing,” said Claremore Superintendent Mike McClaren. 
Verdigris Superintendent Michael Payne said grades 3-8 lost Monday as a testing day and experienced a shortened day Tuesday.
“The interruption was unfortunate to say the least,” said Payne. “Even though it took some time students were able to finish their tests on Tuesday.
Currently, local schools are waiting to hear from the state department on how the problem will be fixed.
According to the report, problems occurred when the company that administers state exams, CTB/McGraw Hill experienced server malfunction while uploading student testing results. The department made one proposal to use partially completed test results and score the unanswered questions as incorrect.
State Rep. Ben Sherrer said the proposal is “intolerable.”
“The interruption of the test should invalidate the test. No student should be penalized as a result of the failure of the State Department of Education or its paid contractor to properly deliver the online test.”
Sherrer said the testing scores under the proposal would be grossly different from what the students would have achieved on the test.
“I find it offensive that this proposal is deemed by the State Department to ‘. . . assist in a small way with the disruption.’ The algebra EOI test is high stakes for our students. Our local schools A-F grades depend upon student performance on these tests. I can’t believe the State Superintendent would propose to solve testing malfunction problems by using incomplete testing results and rating unanswered questions as incorrect.”
The state department extended test dates Wednesday for elementary and junior high students until Tuesday of next week. End of instruction exam deadlines for high schools have been extended until May 14, finals week.

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