Backhoe in Kansas Disrupts State Testing in Alaska
You read it right.
Alaska state testing was killed by a Kansas backhoe.
Alaska contracts with the University of Kansas’ Center for Educational Testing (CETE) for its state exams– but it looks like this will be the last year for that contract.
Alaska’s interim education commissioner, Susan McCauley, said that the state had already decided in February to shop for another vendor for its state tests.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, a worker operating a backhoe at University of Kansas cut a principal fiber optic cable connected to the CETE testing server– a cable that happened to be critical in delivering state testing for Alaska.
CETE serves Kansas as well as the testing of students with cognitive disabilities in 14 other states. CETE’s server was up for Wednesday, March 30, then giving trouble again on Thursday, March 31, and Friday, April 01.
On Monday, April 04, 2016, CETE tweeted the following:
12,000 students are simultaneously testing this morning with no issues. Thanks for your patience during service interruption last week.
Our team worked throughout the weekend running diagnostics & making adjustments to the system to help ensure a strong testing environment.
However, by April 04, 2016, Alaska had called it quits on its 2016 standardized testing. McCauley noted that even though the federal government requires standardized testing to be administered as a condition for Title I funding, the federal stipulation is that the tests are to be reliable and valid. Given the chaos introduced by Kansas backhoe and exacerbated by CETE’s bungled efforts to resolve the issue smoothly, McCauley believes that test reliability and validity have been compromised.
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Coming June 2016 from TC Press: