“On Tuesday, what officials called a “deliberate attack” affected tests in seven states that Questar is contracted with, including South Dakota, Mississippi, New York, Missouri and Tennessee. Two other states were not as “negatively affected,” said Questar COO Brad Baumgartner, who testified in front of Tennessee lawmakers on Wednesday in a special hearing dedicated to the testing woes.”
I am just wondering how many years of issues and hundreds of millions dollars spent will it take before we have a system that actually works, is efficient, secure and runs quickly and smoothly?
In a day and time of technology, it is extremely difficult to convince people that online testing, especially for the lower elementary grades, is not necessary. Each year, states contract with testing companies like Questar for as much as $60,000,000. For that kind of money, one would expect things to go smoothly, but each year, there are constant infrastructure issues, data breach issues, computer issues and now a ‘deliberate attack’ on the system. State testing takes weeks and hours already because only so many kids can be online testing at a time. Infrastructure, broadband and systems’ servers can not accommodate such large numbers of students online at the same time. Not to mention, most schools do not have updated computers or tablets readily available for each student, so it takes weeks for students to test, taking away valuable classroom time and teaching. All of these problems lead to states’ elected leaders and board of education officials reworking the testing scores and school rankings or passing bills that don’t count the test scores for the years when problems occurred. As students and parents often ask, what’s the point of even taking these tests?!
Here are some article links to the Questar testing issues from this week.