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Local school districts will be shelving computers and breaking out No. 2 pencils next week as online end-of-course testing at high schools in Kentucky has been suspended because of system issues with ACT, the testing vendor.
Issues arose last week as schools began administering the tests, with about 25 districts encountering slow and dropped connections while testing online.
The Kentucky Department of Education suspended online testing Wednesday and planned to resume it Monday, but received notice Friday from ACT that it couldn’t open online testing by then. It hoped to have it running by today, according to a KDE news release.
State officials chose to move to paper tests at that point.
About 60 percent of districts planned to use the online test format, including Elizabethtown Independent Schools and Hardin County Schools.
Elizabethtown High School planned to begin administering the tests Friday, but has rescheduled all testing while awaiting arrival of paper tests, said Mike Selvitelle, director of assessments. The tests are supposed to arrive May 13.
Officials at both districts liked the online testing because results were delivered immediately. Now, Selvitelle said EIS might have to wait up to 10 days for results.
Late results can affect grading, as the results from tests given in English II, Algebra II, biology and U.S. history are counted in student grades as well as in the state accountability system.
KDE officials are giving districts the option not to count the tests in students’ grades at all, according to the release. Selvitelle said EIS officials plan to include them.
Mark Kopp, HCS associate superintendent for instruction, said he feels confident HCS high schools will be able to use the test results in student grades.
Both districts are awaiting more information from KDE.
Despite the issues, Kopp and Selvitelle hope they can return to online formats next year. Both districts tested online last year, and Selvitelle said testing went “flawlessly.” Kopp said HCS officials were impressed with the online system last year.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.