Tulsa School Students Test Their Testing Computers

Tuesday, January 28th 2014, 12:28 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Schools put the testing system to the test on Tuesday, in hopes of avoiding another fiasco. The online companies that do standardized testing wanted to know if Oklahoma students could all be online at the same time, without causing a system crash.

Middle and high school students in Tulsa and across Oklahoma spent two hours on their testing computers Tuesday morning.

1/27/2014 Related Story: Oklahoma Public School Students Giving Computers A 'Stress Test'

Dala Gober-Reeves of Rogers College High, said, "This was strictly a stress test to see if all the servers could take the information at the same time."

At Tulsa's Rogers College High, students answered real, but random test questions for two hours on 125 computers.

The students were serving as computer monitors for the system they'll use for testing that actually matters. It's designed to prevent another testing disaster like the one that happened last year.

It didn't matter how the students did, but the computers passed.

"It went real well, when they were on the test, we didn't get any error message whatsoever," Gober-Reeves said.

The push for data is helping drive the push towards computers, so endless numbers can be generated about how students are doing. But that's a problem when the computers fail, as they did last year during state testing.

Dedrick Gillespie, a 10th Grade Student, said, "That test we were taking for real, it shut off and we had to get refocused on what we're doing."

Tuesday's test was for the two state testing companies to prevent a repeat of that.

The results so far, CTB reported 38,000 users online at the peak of testing, with 3,000 disruptions reported. Measured Progress is reporting 26,000 users online, with 0 disruptions.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi said the test was, "to ensure kids have as smooth of an experience during the actual testing window as possible."

But Tulsa's superintendent called the exercise "disruptive" and "a colossal waste of time." Dr. Ballard said the state gave districts, "no choice but to participate in these unnecessary tests."

The State Department of Education said they'll review the results to make improvements before the actual tests that start in April.

Some school districts reported not being able to get online at all.

Both Tulsa Public Schools and the State Department of Education said they are compiling Tuesday's test results to see if any changes need to be made.