More problems with Common Core testing surface today

(AP) — Technical problems continue for Nevada’s Common Core testing a week after a malfunction first halted the federally-mandated assessment process.

Last week, testing was stopped in Nevada, Montana and North Dakota after a widespread system crash with New Hampshire-based Measured Progress.

The company’s contracted to administer the tests linked to hotly disputed, federally backed education standards.

Nevada resumed full testing after its first notable success with Friday’s limited testing but system-generated error messages appeared Monday.

Clark County School District said it suspended testing after the system crashed at 9:30 a.m.

All three states have announced plans for school districts who say they can’t finish the test.

The U.S. Department of Education maintains there are no exceptions to the mandate to test 95 percent of all students, which is linked to funding.

Today the Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga issued the attached Guidance Memorandum to all school districts and charter schools in Nevada to address the disruption in computer service during the administration of the criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) in English language arts and mathematics, such CRTs being the computer based Smarter Balanced assessments. In summary, the memorandum states:

1. Due to systemic computer challenges, the Superintendent declared a statewide irregularity in testing administration for the CRTs in English language arts and mathematics for this school year. A testing irregularity of this type is provided for in Nevada law, and the Superintendent’s declaration provides individual schools with a remedy to reach federal and state participation requirements with the minimal amount of disruption to school activities.

2. School districts and charter schools have the choice of continuing with the online administration or requesting a paper and pencil version of the Smarter Balanced CRTs. Either the online or paper version of the test will suffice for purposes of federal and state participation requirements.

3. If individual schools are unable to complete testing, either due to systemic computer challenges or because insufficient time exists in the school year to compensate for delays in test administration, they may seek administrative relief by showing a good faith effort to have students participate in the CRTs. Good faith effort is defined as at least two attempts to complete the tests at each school.

“Because the irregularity in test administration continues, I am providing school districts and charter schools as much latitude as federal and state law will allow,” said Superintendent Erquiaga. “Many students will complete the tests but many will not. My conversations with the vendors and the Attorney General’s Office will continue, and I want to thank the school personnel and our students for their patience during this process.”


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