After Computer Glitch, Tulsa Schools Unsure When Testing Will Resume

Monday, April 21st 2014, 5:55 pm

Monday was a frustrating day for students and teachers trying to complete state testing in public schools. A problem at the testing company essentially shut down testing across the state, again.

Students in grades 6-12 were scheduled to take tests Monday, not all of them, but a lot of them. Some couldn't even start the tests, and some were in the middle of them, when the whole thing shut down.

The testing lab at Hale High School was empty on a day when it was supposed to be busy.

4/21/2014 Related Story: State Testing Suspended In Oklahoma Schools Due To Computer Glitch

Kasi Draper, a Hale High School 11th grader, was taking a 75 question history test Monday morning, and had to reboot the computer four times to get through it.

"It will just stop working and make you exit off, and when you log in, you start back at number one, so I had to write mine down," Draper said.

Draper said she passed, but didn't do as well as she might have.

"It just makes you lose focus. I wish it would have been regular so we wouldn't had to keep logging out, and there was a lot of talking in the room, and I can't listen and read at the same time," she said.

The problems with the computers started early Monday and got worse until it was shut down about 10 a.m.

Hale High School Principal, Caleb Starr, said, "The kids came in, logged on to the test, and after a few questions, were booted off the McGraw Hill system."

The state department is demanding answers from McGraw Hill, the same testing company used last year when so many students had problems.

Tulsa Public Schools is convinced their systems work as they should, but can't do anything but wait on the state for answers.

"Nothing new. We had hoped for a better result this year, but it wasn't unexpected," said Chris Johnson, TPS Director of Accountability.

At Hale High, the principal said it's a setback for students, taking high stakes tests for graduation.

"So we give students this big speech about if you disrupt the test, you'll invalidate the test and you won't be able to graduate, so it's ironic that the state testing and the testing software are the ones causing the disruption in this case," Starr said.

There's no word yet on whether students can get back to testing Tuesday, meaning students went home and won't know until then, whether they'll be taking a major test or not.