Teachers and students frustrated over state assessment glitches

Classroom (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – The Kansas assessment test is billed as a test that’s easy to take and interactive.

But now, it isn’t working.

“It’s hard to get students and staff prepped because they don’t know when they are going to be able to take the test,” said Susan Arensman, USD 259 Spokeswoman.

Arensman says USD 259 began testing March 10th.

Testing was sporadically laid out through May 16th.

She says the website for the new testing system has been plagued with difficulties from day one.

It has not improved.

“Kicked off in the middle of tests, or they have difficulty signing back in.”

State officials confirm the website did shut down this week because of a specific cyber attack.

“It just tries to shut down the computers. It bombards them with intense volumes of data,” Denise Kahler, Kansas State Education Department.

Kahler says hackers targeted the testing site, and it’s closed while technicians get it fixed.

But school districts maintain although they know this is a beta testing year and the results won’t be counted, the site has been bad from day one.

They wonder why not just have one test statewide on one day so teachers can plan and get on with school.

“They have to drop everything and take the test because now the site is working, and that’s just frustrating for staff, teachers, students,” said Arensman.

School officials from several districts have asked why the test is not being given on one day to simulate a real test that will come next year.

Those state officials say most state tests are given over about a week, and they say the lengthy time frame this year is to troubleshoot potential problems.

They say the site will be ready for real-time testing next year.

Meanwhile, schools are on hold for testing this year until the site is back up.

State assessment tests hit by cyber attacks

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