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End-Of-Year Tests Resume At Tulsa Area Schools

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Tulsa Public Schools says testing went smoothly there Wednesday. Tulsa Public Schools says testing went smoothly there Wednesday.
The testing schedules have been rearranged because of problems on Monday and Tuesday. The testing schedules have been rearranged because of problems on Monday and Tuesday.
"Those disruptions are very hard to work around and very difficult to maintain the integrity of the tests," said Chris Johnson, with TPS. "Those disruptions are very hard to work around and very difficult to maintain the integrity of the tests," said Chris Johnson, with TPS.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The state Department of Education has extended the testing deadlines after two days of computer glitches temporarily shut down end-of-year testing for 3,000 students.

Tulsa Public Schools says testing went smoothly there Wednesday, but the schedules have been rearranged because of problems on Monday and Tuesday.

TPS says this has been a "disastrous debacle." Computer server malfunctions booted more than 3,000 Oklahoma students out of online testing programs this week.

Now, the Oklahoma Dept of Education has extended testing deadlines for grades 3-8 to May 7, 2013.

For high schoolers taking end-of-instruction exams, the deadline is now May 14.

"Those disruptions are very hard to work around and very difficult to maintain the integrity of the tests," said Chris Johnson, with TPS.

Johnson said the district is concerned the disruptions will impact students' performance on tests.

"It changes the whole testing environment, it changes the emphasis that they personally put on the test and it changes their readiness to take the test," Johnson said.

Students who were interrupted during English II and English III can retake the online portion, but do not need to retake the writing portion. Students interrupted during the Algebra I, Geometry or Algebra II tests will be graded based on the questions they did answer. Unanswered questions will be considered incorrect. If the student receives a proficient or advanced score, they can keep their score or choose to retake the test.

4/30/2013 Related Story: Server Crash Stalls Testing For Thousands Of Oklahoma Students

State Representative Curtis McDaniel of Smithville has called for the tests to be thrown out this year, saying it would be unfair to students to continue and many parents and teachers agree.

"I know that the testing system is meant to increase accountability, but I don't think we will go totally off-track if we cut the kids a break one year when the testing process may be skewed,"  McDaniel said. "It's just not fair to these students to make them retake tests two or three times, or accept a score based on a partial test that may or may not be accurate, because of technology problems. Who knows if we are even going to see the problem fixed by the end of school?"

The Department of Education says too much is riding on these grades to do that.

The testing company for this year's tests, CTB/McGraw-Hill, issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

Earlier this week, students taking online assessments in Indiana and Oklahoma as well as other test takers who use our online systems for summative assessments experienced system interruptions, which have led some local districts to temporarily suspend testing. We regret the impact on these schools and students and have made changes to correct the situation and online testing is resuming today.

Subject to state and local policies, students affected by the interruption will be able to resume testing where they left off. While no data has been lost, we understand just how disruptive and frustrating these interruptions have been. The interruptions are not acceptable to students and educators or to CTB/McGraw-Hill. We have worked with the schools in these states for many years and value our relationships with them. We sincerely regret the problems we have caused.

We are doing everything possible to ensure that testing will continue successfully through the remainder of the assessment windows.

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