Technical Glitches Complicate Administration of the Common Core

The Common Core test, which rolled out in most states across the country this semester has been beleaguered by bad press, protesting students, angry administrators and a growing nationwide opt-out movement.  This month the federally mandated tests have been tripped up by technical glitches which further delayed testing procedures.

Who’s at fault here?  It appears that Pearson Education was at the root of the technical issue. reports:

Online testing in Florida schools being delivered by Pearson Education hiccupped on Tuesday, April 22, at 26 districts in the state and had to be delayed for a day while server problems were sorted out. Reported problems with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) included an inability for students to sign in to take the annual exam, slowness in downloading test questions and submitting answers, and a warning screen that directed students to alert their test proctor of a problem when they were finished.

The districts were informed on Wednesday that they could resume testing, and the Florida Department of Education said it would extend testing deadlines to accommodate the delay if they were needed.

The FCAT is administered to students in grades 3-11 and consists of assessments in math, reading, science and writing to measure student progress against Florida’s Sunshine State Standards.

The result of this isn’t merely that the testing schedule is bumped up a day. My friends in the local school district informed me that their school’s testing administrators often have the assignments for teachers who proctor the exam established weeks before the initial test.  Since many schools operate on the odd/even day schedule, many teachers who were able to cover a group of students who were testing on computers in the morning would likely not be able to do that the next day, as their planning period may be at a different time during the school day.  This forced some administrators to scramble to rewrite their testing coverage plans.  Even a minor technical glitch like this can become a major headache for school teachers and administrators, not to mention our children.

Florida hasn’t been the only state subject to these inconveniences.  The Washington Post released an updated list earlier this week.

With technical issues only adding to the myriad of problems with this test, is it any wonder why the opt-out movement is fast becoming a national trend?

-Gabriel Diaz

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