BUFFALO, NY — Students in grades 5th and 8th grades resumed taking the Standardized computer-base ELA tests Thursday. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) resumed the testing state-wide following major technical glitches that occurred during the height of testing on Tuesday.
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is reporting no troubles, thus far, have been reported with nearly 73,000 students taking the computer tests.
On Tuesday students at some schools statewide, including some schools in the Niagara Falls City School District from logging on or unable to download their material after completing their work.
Commissioner Elia said the problem was with their testing vendor, Questar, where the systems were overloaded and ran out of computer space. Elia vowed that no student would be required to retake the test. After Questar consulted with a parent provider and Microsoft, suggested changes were made. Elia extended a thank you to students, teachers, administrators and parents for their patience and support.
"I regret the hardship these difficulties have placed on school communities," stated Elia.
Elia said computer-based testing will resume at all schools on Monday and will be able to continue for the "remainder of the testing period through April 12th.
The following is Elia's full statement issued Thursday:
"First and foremost, I would like to thank students, parents, teachers and administrators for their continued patience and support as we work through the difficulties that occurred this week with computer-based testing. I regret the hardship these difficulties have placed on school communities. I understand the changes we made may have presented unforeseen challenges. As a former school and district leader, I know the logistical burdens these shifts have caused, and I share your frustration. I thank school leaders for accommodating these necessary adjustments. While I would have liked to continue as planned, these changes were necessary to minimize additional adverse impacts to our school communities.
As we have done from the start, we will ensure no school is unfairly penalized for participating in computer-based testing. A thorough comparability analysis will be done to review the student computer-based results and paper-based results. We will make the appropriate adjustments to student scores as we did last year.
I am happy to report computer-based testing has gone well today. This morning, nearly 73,000 students participated in CBT. District and school leaders should continue with grades 5 and 8 computer-based testing tomorrow, as announced yesterday. On Monday, all schools may resume CBT as they choose and continue for the remainder of the testing period through April 12.
As always, I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our students, parents, teachers and administrators to implement our state assessments each year."