Computer server problem delays FCAT testing in some Tampa Bay co - WFLA News Channel 8

Computer server problem delays FCAT testing in some Tampa Bay counties

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Computer server problems delayed FCAT testing for students in some Tampa Bay counties on Tuesday.

The Tampa Bay counties that experienced FCAT testing delays include Pasco, Hardee, Highlands, Hernando and charter schools in Hillsborough County. Some schools in Polk County experienced problems and others did not, according to a Polk County Schools spokesperson.

No details have been released about dates that students will be allowed to take a make up test.

A Florida Department of Education spokesperson released the following statement to school districts explaining the problem:

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.

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, Florida Department of Education

Florida Governor Rick Scott on Tuesday said that problem is not acceptable.

"Our students have studied hard, parents have pushed them and helped them study hard, their teachers have helped them. It's unacceptable. I know the Department of Education is looking into it, they're going to hold this company accountable," said Scott.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the company in charge of online testing released a statement about the server issues:

"Pearson’s online testing services for Florida experienced internet traffic disruptions today due to a network issue with our third-party hosting service provider, Savvis. We are working closely with Savvis to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Even with the disruption, which did present difficulties for some school districts, many students are testing normally with almost 200,000 tests delivered today."

The President of the Florida Education Association was quick to criticize Florida's Department of Education.

“Today’s computer problems associated with administering the FCAT test prove yet again that the state is not prepared for such a large undertaking. The state is unbending in its requirements of students, teachers and public schools when it comes to these high stakes tests and unyielding in the punitive impacts they have on students, teachers and schools.

But when it comes to administering or grading these tests, problems continue to bubble to the surface with alarming regularity. This should be a teachable moment for The Florida Department of Education as they enter a new era of testing next year: Slow down, make sure every aspect of the testing program works, involve teachers and administrators in this massive undertaking and get it right," said FEA President Andy Ford in a news release.

Stay with WFLA.com for updates about this story.

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