I am getting reports of computer servers crashing in various states. Whose nutty idea was it that all testing must be online? Was it to make data mining easier? Ir to enrich the testing companies and vendors of software and hardware?

News from Colleen Wood in Florida:

Colleen Doherty Wood
50thNoMore.org / @50thNoMore

Diane – below is the email sent by our Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart.

Pearson’s server apparently could not handle the number of children testing today. I guess it was a big surprise to them.

We have been warning for years, that Pearson and our state were not technologically ready for this move to online testing.

Today proved it. Across the state, students were kicked off the system and unable to test. Districts were told to wait for instructions while students just had to wait.

When will we talk about the emotional and psychological affect all of these “glitches” have on our children, who carry the weight of Jeb Bush’s entire accountability system on their shoulders?

Test scores from today will not be reliable, yet will be used to evaluate teachers and determine class placement.

In Florida, we are demanding a 3 year pause on the implementation of the new accountability system, which by all accounts, will be harder. If they can’t get it right this time, why should any of us trust them to get it right next year?

We have 67 counties in Florida. So far we know it has impacted 7 counties, but the day is young. We suspect there will be more.

From: Commissioner Stewart [Commissioner.Stewart@fldoe.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:59 AM
Subject: Pearson Server Issue Affecting Testing

Good morning,

As some of you already know, Pearson is experiencing difficulty with a hosting provider this morning, which is causing issues with testing (both TestNav and TestHear) and accessing the PearsonAccess website for test management. The issue does not seem to be statewide, but several districts have reported issues.

If your district is experiencing difficulty with live testing, please suspend testing and wait to hear from our office. We do not currently have an estimated timeline from Pearson for when this issue will be resolved, but we will be in touch with updates/resolutions throughout the day. If your district is not experiencing issues, you may continue testing as scheduled as your district is likely not routing through the affected server.

Some of you have inquired about schedule extensions due to this issue. Once the problem is resolved, if you have schools that will need more time to complete testing beyond your district’s schedule, please let us know (in writing) and we will work with you to ensure that all students in your district have sufficient opportunity to test.

Pam Stewart