Thu November 7, 2013
ACT Can't Run 'Stress Tests' After Technical Glitches; Kentucky Considering Other Options
The ACT testing company says it’s unable to run "stress tests" this fall that were requested by the Kentucky Department of Education following technical glitches with the test last spring.
In May over 1,500 students were unable to take the End-of-Course Exam online. ACT was among several testing companies nation-wide that experienced capacity issues thousands of students were trying to log onto the test at the same time.
KDE requested the company test its system this fall to allow upwards of 20,000 students to be logged on simultaneously.
Officials told the department it’s not prepared to do that and KDE canceled the stress test.
KDE spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez says while the department searches for other possible testing vendors, schools will have to schedule their test taking appropriately—ensuring no more than 10,000 students are on the system at any onetime—or continue to use pencil and paper tests.
“That might not mean that much of a change for schools because the majority of schools for the last two years have been taking pencil and paper anyway," she says.
For the students who were affected—WFPL reported that about 25 school districts reported problems—the issues didn't have a negative impact on their scores, Rodriguez says.
“They ran some comparative analysis to look at the students who were affected and students that weren’t and they didn’t find that it affected scores for the tests of the students," she says.
The End-of-Course Exam includes four subjects—Algebra II, English II, Biology and U.S. History—and given to students as they complete the course. Some students have already taken the test for this year, Rodriguez says, but the majority of students take the test in the spring.
After the education department completes its research for other potential testing companies, it may allow them to bid on the state’s contract for next school year.
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