School districts respond to statewide testing issues

WICHITA, Kansas – Across the state, students and teachers are dealing with technical issues trying to do their testing.

“Our students were upset because they’d go in day after day and not be able to take the assessment,” said USD 259’s chief academic officer, Denise Seguine. “Kids will log in and not be able to take the assessment, or kids will take a portion of the assessment but not be able to complete the assessment just because they in the middle of it they get kicked out, or they get a white screen.”

“We ran into a few glitches, the computer screens freezes up every once in a while,” said Matt Malget, assistant principal at Pleasant Valley Middle School. “It wasn’t logging our kids off after we got done with the test”

Wichita officials decided to limit testing, cutting back on the number of schools to sometimes only one school or one class taking the test.

Pleasant Valley Middle has been able to overcome the glitches, but only after switching to take test on iPads rather than on computers, but not every school has access to that technology.

“We had enough to test everyone in their class, and it just seems to be working a lot better than the computers,” said Malget.

Despite the issues that have happened since the state launched the pilot test, Kansas State Department of Education officials are optimistic about the testing getting better

“As of last Thursday, we had about 44 percent of all the tests that we expect to be completed,” said deputy education commissioner Brad Neuenswander. “The last week we saw the highest volume of success with students logging in completing assessments.”

But with a deadline of May 16th, district wide testing may not be a realistic goal this time around if things aren’t fixed.

“Our kids are missing instructional time trying to make a system that’s not real viable right now work,” said Seguine. “So, we decided instruction is most important until we know for sure that that assessment is going to work for us.”

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