After conflicting reports from test vendor ACT about the ability of its technology system to handle online testing, the Kentucky Department of Education is moving to paper and pencil tests for the remainder of the school year. Early last week about 25 districts reported slow connections and sometimes dropped connections from the ACT Vantage testing system that’s used to administer the online end-of-course exams to high school students.
On Wednesday, the department temporarily suspended online testing. By Thursday, ACT had assured the department that capacity issues had been addressed and testing could resume without problems. However, late Friday afternoon ACT sent a statement saying there will be no computer-based testing today. ACT says it’s making every possible effort to resolve the issues.
The end of the course test is required for any student taking higher level English, Algebra, Biology and US History courses. Normally, test results factor into the students’ final grade but the Department of Education spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez said the state is waiving that requirement because the results may not be available in time.
"Due to the circumstances, as for any requirements we have using the end of the course exam for the final grade, districts will have the flexibility for whether they include the score for the end of the course exam in the students' final grade or not," said Rodriguez.
About 60 per cent of the state’s one-hundred and seventy-four schools were planning on using the online version of the standardized test this year.