Explainer: Why Test Glitches Are a Much Bigger Problem Than You Think

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Media Outlet: The 74 Million

Abigail Swisher wrote for the 74 Million about technical and procurement problems with state K-12 assessments:

While schoolchildren in Tennessee and Alaska are gone for summer break, adults in both states are stuck behind with a big mess on their hands. In both states, end-of-year statewide tests in reading, math, and science were cancelled because of technical and administrative problems on test day. 
In Tennessee, widespread glitches with online assessments, followed by a scramble to procure paper tests in time, led Commissioner Candice McQueen to cancel testing for grades 3-8.
In Alaska, a rogue backhoe thousands of miles away in Kansas hit the fiber optics cables powering Alaska’s online testing server, leaving many of the state’s 130,000 students staring at blank screens on test day.
Neither state was alone in these difficulties: incidences of both technical and procurement problems with state K-12 tests were common this year.

Author:

Abigail Swisher is a program associate with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the PreK-12 team, where her work focuses primarily on college- and career-ready policies.