Putting Education Reform To The Test

School Districts Report Second Day Of Testing Problems

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho at a February press conference. He's suspending testing in Miami-Dade schools.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho at a February press conference. He's suspending testing in Miami-Dade schools.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

For the second day in a row, some Florida school districts decided to suspend required testing because of computer problems.

The Florida Department of Education told school leaders this morning that test provider American Institutes for Research had found and corrected the problems that shut down testing Monday. The agency wrote the testing system was showing “improved” performance.

But problems persisted Tuesday when district attempted to administer the exam. The Tampa Bay Times reports Tampa-area schools had to suspend some testing for a second day.

Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho says he won’t resume testing until the state can prove everything is working. Palm Beach school also will not test students on Wednesday.

“Improving the system alone isn’t sufficient for me, for my teachers, or my students,” Carvalho said at a morning press conference. “I respect them too much. Either they have it right, or they don’t. And improvement of something that broke down is not sufficient.”

He wants the state to conduct a real load test to make sure enough bandwidth is available. He also wants the state to reconsider using this year’s results to determine school grades, teacher evaluations and other more.

About 67,000 students were able to complete the writing test statewide Monday, the state agency said. Miami-Dade planned to test at least 84,000 students Monday.

The Florida Department of Education said an additional 85,000 students took the test statewide on Tuesday. Overall, 23 percent of students scheduled to take the exam have completed the writing test.

The district doesn’t know how many students were able to finish the exam because they have to access the AIR test platform to get that information. Miami-Dade officials said test administrators weren’t able to log into the site Monday — even before students attempted to do so.

Another concern? Some students were able to log on and see the writing test. Carvalho says those students may have an unfair advantage.

It’s up to the state agency to decide if test results are compromised.

“This is the second day in a row that the state begins assessment only to have it implode,” Carvalho said. “The question that is unanswered is how do you treat the results of those students?”


  • MJ Kersey

    How many students opted out of testing?

  • FedUpTeacher

    And how many students waited hours to get into the test on Monday? It’s great that the state thinks there are just *weeks* of makeup time for this…does that mean they’re postponing the reading test or the EOCs? Where do they think that extra time comes from? Do they realize that it comes from our instruction time?

    I think THEIR salary should be based on this test, don’t you?

  • Me

    I had issues at my school on Monday but we were still able to test and we also tested on Tuesday and had no issues. Also the numbers that Carvallo is putting is just a little inflated. Just saying that Miami dade does not have 84,000 students between grade 8-10. Grades 8-10 are the only students who were expected to test on computers.

    • Mich

      FYI it is not only the 8-10 that are taking computer based testing. The 6th grades do too. Not sure about the 7th, but they might also. So the numbers are probably correct.

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