Plagued by technology glitches, Minnesota extends online testing deadline for students

  • Article by: Kim McGuire and Kelly Smith , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: May 1, 2013 - 9:58 PM

Tech troubles prompt state to give students more time to finish tests.

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KaricobMay. 1, 1312:12 PM

This testing has been an absolute joke. We have been testing since April 9th, and we still aren't done. Our students have not had traditional classes since we started. We have limited computer space as do many schools, so coordinating a testing calendar is quite difficult. The math test is 48 intense problems and the new reading test is 75 problems (recommended testing time 5 hours for reading test alone). How do we expect kids to do this with all the pressure? There are so many other forms of assessment that are research-based and effective to encourage student growth, and we are using this? It's so sad what it has become. I'm all in favor of using data and holding schools accountable who aren't showing growth but this is not the way to do it? We had technical difficulties so we were allowed to restart the test. Students who took the test 1 week prior and didn't pass, jumped upward of 20 points when taking it again. Does this not tell anyone that day, setting, cicumstances, etc. affect the testing and then we are using these to judge students and schools? It's so wrong!!!!!!

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danjMay. 2, 13 5:24 AM

Isn't it ironic that American Institutes for Research (AIR) has failed to successfully administer high stakes tests that students are required to pass? What's with that?

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geowhizgirlMay. 2, 13 6:21 AM

We collect plenty of data within our classrooms and schools to assess student progress. MCAs become accountability tests for individual teachers, for schools, and for districts. While I support accountability for all, I wish you didn't have to make the kids take these endless tests just to judge whether if I'm doing my job. As a parent, I think I'd resent my child being used to assess teachers and schools.

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lrnmthMay. 2, 13 6:24 AM

Testing starts out stressful, ask any kid. The testing environment definitely influences results. So, what do we do? We cram students into computer labs with poor ventilation. The room heats up because of the heat of electronics and the body heat of students. We can't have the door open to the hallway because we need to reduce noise from the outside the room. Buildings designed in the late 60's through early 80's have no (or very small) windows, so there's no way to add ventilation. Then the online testing system has a glitch. It's a wonder that any child does well. These tests do nothing to inform instruction and have never been validated as measures of either student performance or school-wide performance. It's time to end this nonsense! Students engage in multiple measures of performance throughout the year. They take tests, write papers, engage in class discussion, etc. Give students back these testing days and make them instructional.

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mgtwinsfan1987May. 2, 13 7:43 AM

Didn't blind side anyone? Really? Tell that to the students who are scared witless by these tests and who now have the agony dragged on over countless days while the computer technology issues fail to be resolved. If we must test, let's use paper and pencil, knowing that this technology, older to be sure, is clearly superior in completing the testing in a timely way that doesn't add to the fears the students have about the whole process as it affects their graduation.

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grumpy42May. 2, 13 8:25 AM

If the State of Minnesota cannot manage a testing system for high school students, how in the wide world of sports are the feds going to manage the ACA?

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