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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Student surveys give insights into Florida's computer testing system



Florida students return to state testing later this month, with hopes that they don't run into the same problems they faced a year ago.

State officials say they've worked to improve the computer system that led students, parents and educators to question the credibility of the tests and, more broadly, Florida's accountability model -- even after an independent validity study.

That study indicated that the percentage of computer problems that students faced was tiny. Superintendents suggested otherwise, and a recently released survey of students who took the tests shows the troubles were much larger than the study portrayed.

Nearly 15 percent of 362,890 students who took state reading and math tests answered "Yes" to the question, "I had computer problems while I was testing." Almost 17 percent said they received error messages while testing. And close to 19 percent disagreed with the statement, "It was easy to respond to the various item types."

Not everything received low marks in the survey.

About 89 percent of students said taking a sample test helped them understand how to respond to the different items, while 93 percent said they could log in easily and 96 percent said it was easy to submit a completed test.

The writing tests begin Feb. 29, with language arts and math exams set to start March 28.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 10:11am]


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