The State Department of Education informed district testing coordinators and superintendents on Wednesday morning to begin online testing again after receiving word that the CTB/McGraw-Hill system was operational after two days of disruption due to out-of-state server problems.
After a conference call with the president of the testing company Wednesday morning, State Superintendent Janet Barresi commented, “As I’ve said before, I am extremely frustrated by this situation and am focused on the students being able to complete their assessments in an optimal environment. I will explore all the state's options in the contract to ensure the students, districts and state's needs are fully met. We must have a smooth, stress-free assessment atmosphere so students can perform at their peak ability, and parents and educators can have confidence in the assessment process.”
State Department of Education staff worked continuously with district staff and the testing company throughout the two days of disruption. They worked overnight Tuesday to address some of the issues, making the following actions available to students and districts:
The testing windows for both the Grade 3-8 and End-of-Instruction assessments are extended by two days. This change moves the last day of testing for grades 3-8 to May 7 and the last day of testing for the End-of-Instruction program to May 14.
Students who were interrupted during English II and English III may retake the on-line portion but do not need to retake the writing portion of the test.
For students who were disrupted during testing on Monday or Tuesday, an option is being provided for those who answered enough questions correctly to qualify for a proficient or advanced score. Those students will be excused from the retesting requirement. Some students may want to obtain the score they would have received if they completed the entire test. These students will be allowed to retest if they desire. Additionally, all students who did not obtain a proficient or higher score and were disrupted must retest as is the normal practice. If the student needs to retest, another form of the test will be provided during this testing window.
Additionally, if students did complete the test, but endured multiple interruptions, they may retest if they choose.
Districts also may order paper tests for students who have not yet completed their online testing.
Dr. Maridyth McBee, Assistant State Superintendent of Accountability and Assessment, said students making a proficient score based on an incomplete test would not negatively impact a student’s graduation or a school’s A-F Report Card.
“We do know the seriousness of this disruption for educators and students alike,” McBee said. “Please know that we are doing all we can to respond.”
The testing contract was awarded in the normal bidding process, through the State Department of Central Services.