After months of preparing for the annual year-end assessments, many Tennessee students struggled to log on to the TNReady testing platform Monday morning.
The Department of Education says the problem was quickly fixed by the vendor, and over 20,000 students took the test after the problems were resolved.
“We share the frustration that some students had challenges logging into Nextera this morning. Questar has fixed this issue, and thousands of students are on the platform now. Over 25,000 students have successfully completed TNReady tests as of this point today,” the Department of Education tweeted. “No server has crashed, and the issue was not statewide. This issue was not related to volume. Testing has resumed.”
Some districts saw the early errors as a warning of what was to come and chose to cancel testing for the day.
“In Williamson, most of our 5-11 students could not log in,” said Jason Golden, Deputy Superintendent of Williamson County Schools. “Williamson County Schools early reports indicate that those who did get logged in apparently finished the test, but we can’t measure the distractions they were dealing with in each classroom as other students couldn’t get logged in. We shut it down for the day & are not doing afternoon testing.”
Problems were also reported in Rutherford County.
Over a month ago, the Department responded to log in issues with the practice testing platform, and assured educators that the issues would be resolved by test day.
“These technical problems are not symptomatic of a flawed system or a vendor who is unable to deliver a high quality technical solution,” Cliff Lloyd wrote in a mass email. “We remain confident that any remaining problems will be ironed out well before we embark on operational testing and if your district has opted in to online this spring, you can continue to be confident in that decision.”
From the original vendor failing to create a functioning testing platform or deliver and score written tests, to thousands of tests being scored incorrectly, to some classes not receiving their test results at all, TNReady was off to a rough start from the very beginning.
After three years of error-ridden efforts to implement TNReady exams, many parents and teachers across the state are losing patience with the state Department of Education.
But the issue was not only with logging on. Some could log on, some got stuck at access codes, some got all the way on and were then kicked off.The anxiety level of these kids, who have prepped and practiced for days, was through the roof. How unfair for them, and their teachers.
— Morgan Smith (@_smithmorgan_) April 16, 2018
Tennessee schools are now graded on an A through F scale, thanks to new accountability measures put in place last year by the Department of Education, with test results being a factor.
Despite the push to hold schools accountable for students’ score, the closest thing to accountability the Department has was House Speaker Beth Harwell calling for hearings to determine why over thousands of tests were inaccurately scored across the state last year. The hearings prompted the creation of an Assessment Task Force.