Lawmakers Call for Testing Moratorium After Mishap

May 1, 2013

Credit Jose Kevo / Flickr

Some state legislators are calling for a moratorium on public school testing after a number of computer glitches were reported by state education officials.

Longtime school administrator and State Rep. Curtis McDaniel (D-Smithville) says it would be unfair to subject students to testing this year after ``a ton of problems'' have been reported with the process.

“I know that the testing system is meant to increase accountability, but I don’t think we will go totally off-track if we cut the kids a break one year when the testing process may be skewed,” McDaniel says. “It’s just not fair to these students to make them re-take tests 2 or 3 times or accept a score based on a partial test that may or may not be accurate because of technology problems.”

The State Department of Education reported problems this week with online assessments for students in grades 6 through 12. The department reported that testing company CTB/McGraw Hill had problems with their servers while uploading results that caused some students to get knocked off the system during the middle of their tests.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi called the glitches ``completely unacceptable'' and says the department is working on how to remedy the problem.

But State Rep. Ben Sherrer (D-Chouteau) says a proposal by the State Department of Education to use partially completed test results is “intolerable.”

“The determination that unanswered questions will be scored as incorrect answers is absolutely intolerable,” Sherrer says. “The interruption of the test should invalidate the test. No student should be penalized as a result of the failure of the State Department of Education or its paid contractor to properly deliver the online test.”