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Broken Arrow Officials Blame Superintendent, Vendor For Testing Failure

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After widespread issues last year, CTB McGraw assured the state the exams would go off without a glitch. After widespread issues last year, CTB McGraw assured the state the exams would go off without a glitch.
State Superintendent, Janet Barresi. State Superintendent, Janet Barresi.
Dr. Janet Dunlop, with Broken Arrow Public Schools. Dr. Janet Dunlop, with Broken Arrow Public Schools.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

After state testing was suspended Monday due to a computer glitch, many officials are clearly blaming state Superintendent Janet Barresi and the testing vendor for the widespread failure. But they say students are the ones suffering for the second year in a row.

After months of rigorous preparation, Broken Arrow students were among the thousands of Oklahoma kids to sit down for tests. Eight minutes into the exam students saw an error message.

4/21/2014 Related Story: After Computer Glitch, Tulsa Schools Unsure When Testing Will Resume

Dr. Janet Dunlop, with Broken Arrow Public Schools, said, "We are frustrated at why we would continue going into a second year of contract with this testing vendor only to find the same exact issues we had last year."

After widespread issues last year, CTB McGraw assured the state the exams would go off without a glitch.

"They get ready for this like they would a ball game, so when you go into a ball game you are psyched up and ready to go, and you know you are ready to play that game, and to go in to find out nobody brought the ball," said Dunlop.

State Superintendent, Janet Barresi, bounced around ideas in a news conference Monday morning.

"That is why were are exploring any and all options on where we go from here, including the possibility of switching to pencil and paper assessments for the remainder of the testing window," Barresi said.

"I would be interested to see how we can pull that off," Dunlop said.

She points out printing the test alone, and getting them to a thousand Broken Arrow students would be expensive and impractical. The suggestion from Broken Arrow educators involves going back to the drawing board with a new vendor.

"Without a valid and reliable measure then this time and this huge expense to our state taxpayers is not worth it. We need to start over and rethink the process," Dunlop said.

McGraw Hill's president is supposed to come to Oklahoma later this week. The IT director at Broken Arrow said the problem is with the company's program or software.

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