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Elia, Rosa term computer glitch on state tests 'inexcusable'

New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is calling the computer issue with state assessments that affected more than 260 districts Wednesday "unacceptable" and "inexcusable."

Elia, in a joint written statement made with Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa, blamed the problem on the state's vendor, Questar Assessment.

They said the company's "administration of the grades three through eight English Language Arts computer-based assessments experienced an unacceptable failure."

This is the second year students could take the assessments on computers, and eventually the state wants all students to take the tests on computers.

"While more than 135,000 testing sessions were completed through yesterday, the difficulties schools have faced in administering the computer-based assessments are inexcusable," Elia and Rosa said in the statement. "We will accept nothing short of seamless implementation for our students and schools testing on computers."

They said the state Education Department has directed Questar to provide regular updates over the weekend to department staff on the status of computer-based testing. Students in some schools will continue to take the tests on computers next week.

Questar is to provide a "root-cause analysis" of what occurred Wednesday and make sure it does not occur during the math assessments in May, the statement said.

"The department will continue to review its contract with Questar to determine appropriate next steps for recourse for New York State," the statement from Elia and Rosa said.

Elia and Rosa thanked schools and districts for "their incredible support and patience as we work through these issues."

A total of 164,900 students completed computer-based assessments Tuesday through Friday, according to the state.

State tests begin with computer glitch, teacher complaints


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