Pencil and Test

Computer-based standardized state assessments will not be held in all school districts Wednesday in light of reported technical issues with the tests, the state Education Department announced in a news release Tuesday.

The release said the department will work with Questar Assessments, the contractor for the annual tests, "to ensure the system will operate smoothly" once testing resumes. The department said it "expects seamless administration" of the program for math and English language arts tests for third-grade through eighth-grades. Testing started for most districts this week, but many began reporting glitches with the computer program on Tuesday.

"We thank our districts and schools for their incredible support and patience as we work through these issues," the news release said. "Questar reports more than 84,000 testing sessions were submitted today. Questar has dispatched additional staff around the state to provide technical assistance to schools."

The department said in another news release that the testing window for the English computer assessments has been extended through April 12.

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Testing glitches also occurred statewide last year, with reports of various districts having issues logging into the online testing system. English assessments in Cayuga County school-area districts were delayed due to connectivity issues.

The New York State United Teachers union criticized the state's handling of the tests in a statement Tuesday.

"Students across the state are barely 24 hours into this year’s computer-based testing period for grades 3-8, and we already are receiving reports of widespread computer failures similar to the issues that created havoc in 2018," the statement said. "Despite claims to the contrary, clearly the state has not taken the actions needed to ensure that technological issues will not unduly burden students taking these already flawed state exams on computers."

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