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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco schools suspend FCAT testing amid computer problems



The Pasco County school district has advised its schools to suspend FCAT testing Tuesday morning because of computer issues.

"Kids are having troubles signing in," district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe explained, saying the issue is affecting fifth grade math, and seventh and ninth grade reading.

In a memo to principals, accountability and measurement director Peggy Jones said other districts, including Leon, Seminole and Brevard appeared to be having similar difficulties. "We are not certain if this is Pearson-based (or) the Internet provider. We will continue to work on a resolution and will notify you."

Florida Department of Education spokesman Joe Follick said he did not have any information that the issue was affecting all schools statewide. He said he would investigate and provide more details as they become available.

UPDATE: The FLDOE has confirmed this problem is with testing company Pearson's "hosting providers." Not all districts are affected. This is not the first time that schools have experienced server problems during state testing. In 2011, for instance, schools lost access to Pearson's server during the algebra end-of-course exam.

Read on for the FLDOE's letter to districts.

Good morning,

As some of you already know, Pearson is experiencing difficulty with a hosting provider this morning, which is causing issues with testing (both TestNav and TestHear) and accessing the PearsonAccess website for test management.  The issue does not seem to be statewide, but several districts have reported issues. 

If your district is experiencing difficulty with live testing, please suspend testing and wait to hear from our office.   We do not currently have an estimated timeline from Pearson for when this issue will be resolved, but we will be in touch with updates/resolutions throughout the day. If your district is not experiencing issues, you may continue testing as scheduled as your district is likely not routing through the affected server.

Some of you have inquired about schedule extensions due to this issue.  Once the problem is resolved, if you have schools that will need more time to complete testing beyond your district’s schedule, please let us know (in writing) and we will work with you to ensure that all students in your district have sufficient opportunity to test.

Thank you for your patience. 

Victoria Ash, Chief, Bureau of K-12 Student Assessment Accountability, Research, and Measurement

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 11:27am]


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