State defends not releasing student test scores

Kansas Assessment Testing (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – So, how did your child do on the state assessment test this year?

Keep guessing.

“No, the results of the testing will not be released by the State Board of Education,” says Denise Kahler with the Kansas State Department of Education. “That is on our recommendation.”

Kahler says it would not be fair to release the results because they are incomplete.

KSN has been investigating what went wrong with the state assessment test for months, and why so many students never got to take the test. The KSN investigation found students taking the test were, at times, kicked out of the test. The testing center also faced a nasty cyber attack called a DDOS.

“We got that fixed,” says Kahler.

KSN also learned some student test answers were changed in the computer.

“We knew going in, this would be a beta testing year,” says Kahler.

KSN asked, on a scale of one to ten, how confident the Department of Education is that the computer testing will go smoothly next year.

“To answer your question… will we be ready next year?” says Kahler. “I couldn’t give you a rating. The thing is we feel good but there is no 100 percent guarantee. And for me to sit here and say I guarantee there won’t be an issue, I think that would be a reckless statement. ”

Kahler says the Center for Testing for Kansas has done an amazing job of fixing problems with testing. Many times on the fly.

“We did have some issues from very early on. We experienced what is called a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS) early in the testing window,” says Kahler. “And that kept some students from being able to complete the assessment. There were some issues with items not displaying (on the tests) properly.”

Kahler says now it’s a fairness issue. After April 11, Kahler says there were relatively few issues with the test, through the end of school. But, now, to release results for some students and not others, that would not be fair.

“Results for some, but not all?” says Kahler. “That’s just not fair.”

Students, teachers, parents and even lawmakers will not get the results.

But, state education leaders say the test is ready to go for next year. They also say they have some limited, general information to release to schools about the test this year.

“We have learned much,” says Kahler. “We’ve learned where students struggled on this test and where they will need  to work to improve. We do have some data.”



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