Software glitch stops standardized testing in Oklahoma schools - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Software glitch stops standardized testing in Oklahoma schools

Posted:
OKLAHOMA -- For the second year in a row, students taking a standardized test in Oklahoma had to stop because of a software glitch.

While logging on to take a standardized test online Monday, thousands of students, including many in Ardmore, say they could never make it past the sign-in screen.

"It would never even let me in," Ardmore High School student Tanner Mathew said. "It would say access denied."

Students at Colbert Public Schools experienced a similar roadblock.

Sixth through eighth graders there were unexpectedly kicked out of the program in the middle of the test.

"The frustration level after being kicked off so many times is pretty high," Colbert High School principal Gary Walton said.

In fact, so many districts statewide complained about disruptions that the state superintendent suspended all online tests Monday.

It's the second year in a row the test has stalled.

"The system we have right now, it's a failure," Madill superintendent John Tuck said.

The tests are called end-of-instruction exams.

They last for 2-3 weeks and are run by testing vendor CTB/McGraw Hill.

Jennifer Hillburn is the test coordinator in Colbert.

She spent much of the morning on the phone with the company.

"They just kept telling me there has been a problem come up and we are working very hard and very diligently to solve this problem," Hillburn said.

Students say they study year-round to pass the test.

Many need it to graduate.

"I just wanted to get it over and done with," Mathew said.

But it isn't just students feeling the frustration.

Teachers also have a lot on the line because they're evaluated on how students perform on standardized tests.

They fear frustrated students will lead to lower grades.

But after two consecutive years of disruptions, the consensus among students and teachers alike is that it's the test itself that deserves the failing grade.

"If we were to give them an 'A' through 'F' grade today, it would obviously be an 'F'," Tuck said.

"They're already under a bit of stress and then to have this happen on top of that is pretty disheartening, for kids and teachers, to work that hard then have this happen," Ardmore High School principal Kim Holland said.

We contacted CTB / McGraw Hill.  So far, we have not received a response.

Administrators we spoke with say they aren't sure whether testing will resume tomorrow.