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State testing to resume for 5th, 8th grade students Thursday

State testing to resume for 5th, 8th grade students Thursday

April 03, 2019 04:46 PM

NEW YORK (WHEC) -- Computer-based state testing is set to resume for 5th and 8th grade students Thursday. 

The New York State Education Department canceled computer-based testing (CBT) for Wednesday after a series of issues were reported with student tests.

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On Tuesday, schools across the state, including in our area, reported complaints citing delays with logins and submissions when students were trying to take their ELA tests. 

According to the New York State Education Department, there was a glitch with Questar which is the company that runs the system kids use to take the tests.

According to State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia, Questar diagnosed what caused the testing disruptions and have implemented corrective action to address the problem with the help of Questar's parent company, ETF, along with an independent reviewer, Microsoft Professional Services.

The state's contract with Questar, which is responsible for both the computer-based and paper-based testing, runs until November of 2020. 

Ninety-three percent of the tests were successfully submitted Tuesday. 

New York State United Teachers  released the following statement Wednesday: 

"In 2018, students, parents and educators were assured that the failures of New York's computer-based test system for grades 3–8 would not be repeated. This week, we found out that assurance was hollow as testing quickly deteriorated into a chaotic, stressful situation for the entire school community. A stop-gap corrective action plan is far from the significant overhauls that must be made to restore any semblance of trust in the state testing system. Computer-based testing must be halted, and not only should Questar be held accountable for this debacle, the state must be as well."

COO of Questar Assessment Inc., Brad Baumgartner, released the following statement: 

"We understand the frustration, and our team has been working around the clock to ensure New York schools can resume computer-based testing as soon as possible. We have consulted with respected outside firms and have wasted no time implementing their recommendations. As such, testing will resume Thursday. Of the 93,100 total students who started tests on Tuesday, 93 percent of, or 86,500, students who started testing sessions successfully completed and submitted their tests that day. Questar Assessment Inc. is committed to the students, teachers and school districts of New York State, and we take our responsibility to provide accurate and insightful testing results seriously."
 

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