PARCC resumes Thursday after glitch halts testing at NJ schools
PARCC testing in New Jersey will go on as scheduled on Thursday after a computer glitch left many school districts unable to log onto the testing website this week.
In an email to school districts, state Education Commissioner David Hespe said the error was corrected by Pearson, the company that provides testing services to the state.
"At this time, Pearson has informed us they have taken all necessary steps in fixing the problem that many districts experienced this morning," Hespe said.
Hespe said that Pearson has "confirmed that the problem was a log-on issue and was not attributable to server capacity or the actual test." He said that Pearson "will be held accountable for their failures today."
During testimony before the Assembly Budget Committee on Wednesday morning, Hespe told Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, D-Passaic, that he was notified by a vice president at Pearson, the company that handles the technical end of the testing, of a problem on their platform on Wednesday morning. He said it was the first widespread glitch since PARCC testing started.
Rocco G. Tomazic, superintendent of schools for the Freehold Borough School District hoped that Thursday will bring a return to normal for taking the test. "Some of the kids are hyped up and then 'we're not going to do that today,'" Tomazic said of student reaction to Wednesday's delay although
He said the district brought in extra substitute teachers to monitor the halls during test and will have the expense of bringing them back for an extra day on Monday. Tomazic said he will also have a shorter period of time to have Chromebooks needed to take the test moved around between schools.
"Having a glitch also feeds into the people who are against test saying 'see, see,see I told you," Tomazic
"It's nice that everyone is putting their best efforts in to make sure it doesn't happen again, Tomazic said, hoping that in the long run it will just be a "blip" for the test.
Wednesday's snafu is the latest setback for the controversial computer-based test by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. Last year, just 40 percent of students passed both the language and math portions of the test, while 130,000 students didn’t take the test, including almost one-fourth of 11th graders. Many parents had their children opt out, calling the test disruptive.
This year’s PARCC is 90 minutes shorter than last year, with an hour less time for math tests and 30 minutes less for reading and writing. It will be administered once over a two-week span, rather than two testing windows months apart. There will still be 10 to 11 hours of testing time.