Barresi opposes renewal of contract with testing vendor


 

Some school districts will resume testing Tuesday

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 21, 2014) — In the wake of thousands of disruptions in online assessments today, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi said she will recommend the State Board of Education not renew the contract of testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill for the next fiscal year.

Officials with CTB/McGraw-Hill held a conference call late this afternoon with Barresi and representatives of 11 districts, including Davis, Edmond, El Reno, Lawton, Norman, Oklahoma City, Prague, Pryor, Sapulpa, Tulsa and Woodward. CTB indicated  a piece of hardware malfunctioned and caused intermittent disruptions. The situation had been remedied by early afternoon. 

Districts are free to continue testing tomorrow or wait until Wednesday based on their specific needs. OSDE suspended testing Monday once the scope of the disruptions became apparent.

About 8,100 Oklahoma students in grades 6-12 experienced disruptions during online testing.

“It is an understatement to say I am frustrated. It is an understatement to say I am outraged,” Barresi said at a news conference held at the department.

“The state was ready. Districts did all we asked of them. We quadrupled training, conducted stress tests and addressed a litany of issues in hopes of guarding against as many system deficiencies as possible. But we could not guard against everything, and this is a 100-percent failing of CTB.”

CTB indicated it is monitoring the errant hardware and is working with the hardware vendor to guard against another interruption. This marks the second year of significant system disruptions surrounding the vendor.

About 11,000 students today were able to complete their assessments.

Third- through fifth-grade students taking assessments were not affected because those tests are pencil-and-paper.

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Last updated on April 23, 2014