WKYT - Pike - Headlines

Computer glitch interrupts end-of-course testing

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Several Kentucky school districts experienced glitches in the software used for end-of-course examinations this week. The exams are required for students taking English II, Algebra II, Biology and U.S. History. The Kentucky Department of Education suspended online testing Thursday until the problem can be resolved.

Like many high schools across the Commonwealth, Pike Central began conducting end-of-course testing this week. And all week, state education officials say they received complaints of lagging in the computerized version of the exams.

"Only about 30 districts are testing this week, and we got a call from about 20 of those saying that their problem, the slowdown had increased," said Ken Draut, associate director of the KDE.

That is why the Kentucky Department of Education decided to suspend online testing Thursday until the problem could be fixed. About 60 percent of districts administer the tests online.

"This is potentially a headache for a lot of other schools that maybe were not as far into the process as we were," said Andrea Humphries, assessment coordinator for Pike Central High School. "We did have to readjust our schedule and you know that's how it is in education, we have to be flexible."

In all, some 25 school districts across the Commonwealth experienced problems with the ACT Vantage system, but educators we talked to say despite a few hiccups they are very happy with the new software.

"When I first heard of the online testing I was very skeptical that it would work," said Humphries. "Once we did it for the first time last year and I saw it actually happen and we got the immediate feedback, it was wonderful."

ACT, Inc., which provides the test for the state, says it is making "every possible effort" to fix the problem.

KDE officials expect the exams to reopen Monday.

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