Education Department outlines plan for Oklahoma tests disrupted by computer glitches

Officials at the state Education Department announced their plans for moving forward after about 3,000 tests were disrupted by computer problems earlier this week.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: May 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm •  Published: May 2, 2013
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Rep. Ben Sherrer, D-Chouteau, said the solutions the Education Department has come up with are “absolutely intolerable.”

“I can't believe the state superintendent would propose to solve testing malfunction problems by using incomplete testing results and rating unanswered questions as incorrect,” Sherrer said.

2 more test days given

School districts will be allowed two extra days to administer state exams — a time frame shorter than what many educators had hoped for.

Elementary school and junior high testing now will run through May 7. The last day for high school testing is now May 14.

Testing needs to wrap up quickly for several reasons, said Dr. Maridyth McBee, assistant state superintendent for accountability and assessment.

High school administrators need to know whether certain seniors passed enough of the state-mandated, end-of-instruction exams to award diplomas.

Also, some students attend summer school based on state test scores, among other measures.


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AT A GLANCE

WHAT NOW?

The state Education Department announced Wednesday what will happen to exams that were disrupted by computer failures.

All unanswered questions will be counted as incorrect on incomplete tests.

Students who scored enough questions correctly will pass the test, even if they didn't finish. For example, 45 right answers are needed to pass a 60-question test. If the student completed 45 right answers, he will pass the test, even if he wasn't able to finish all 60 questions. So, if a student was disrupted on question No. 44, the test won't count, regardless of how many questions she answered correctly.

Students who passed the tests but were interrupted can retake the tests if they want to try to get a higher score.

High school students taking the English II and English III end-of-instruction exams can retake the online part but don't have to redo the writing portion.

Districts can request paper exams even for online-only tests.

Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 won't have to retake any tests because they use paper tests.

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