Server Crash Stalls Testing For Thousands Of Oklahoma Students

Tuesday, April 30th 2013, 6:25 pm
By: News On 6

Big computer problems prevented thousands of Oklahoma students from finishing their state tests.

The problems were supposed to be fixed Tuesday morning, but the testing company's server crashed for the second day in a row. Now, schools are crunching to get testing done by the Friday deadline.

Tulsa Public Schools said testing totally shut down Tuesday for 6th through 12th grade. At Carver Middle School, hundreds of tests were invalidated and have to be taken again.

"I just feel like it's not really fair to our students when we're putting them in this unfair situation," Angela Loegering said.

Loegering's 7th grader was excited about getting his geography test out of the way.

"In the middle of the testing session, there was an error, and so the kids in that testing session were not able to finish," she said.

Phones started ringing like mad at the TPS administration office, as teachers across the district reported their students weren't able to test properly.

TPS says the state department of education chose testing company CTB/McGraw-Hill as the vendor for this year's tests. A server for the company crashed Tuesday morning, just as testing began.

4/10/2013 Related Story: Software Glitch Delays Standardized Testing For Some TPS Students

Bob Ehrle is a testing coordinator at Carver Middle School.

"All of a sudden, the computers started going down. They'd go down, and then we would have to take anywhere from five to 20 minutes to get them back up," Ehrle said.

He said more than 200 students at Carver alone saw the test, but couldn't finish it.

"They had to restart his computer five different times and so there's just no way that you can get legitimate results from that," Ehrle said.

Those tests have to be thrown out and students must now take paper tests, which will hopefully arrive soon.

"The kids have a lot at stake, and I feel like, if they're doing their part, the state needs to make sure that they're meeting their end of the deal, so our kids can succeed," Loegering said.

State education officials say they may extend the testing deadlines. School districts from Broken Arrow, to Fairfax and Oklahoma City had testing problems Tuesday.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi said, "This is completely unacceptable. We are outraged that our school districts are not able to administer assessments in a smooth and efficient manner. This is especially disruptive for the children who have worked hard all year and now have the opportunity to let us know what they have achieved. To be interrupted during testing is a very difficult and stressful environment for our children and educators."

Indiana is reporting the same problems with the same testing company. The company has not responded to our calls for comment.