Computer glitches during online student assessment tests this spring did not invalidate overall scores, the Minnesota Department of Education said Thursday.
Server crashes during Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment testing in April affected about 15,000 students and required some to retake their tests. State education officials worried that could lower scores overall, making them invalid.
But a report by a third party auditor found no statistical evidence that test scores on average were negatively affected by computer crashes.
Charlene Briner, the department of education's chief of staff, hopes the independent report eases concerns over this year's MCA scores.
"That way it's not an assurance from the department, it's not an assurance from the vendor that there may or may not have been an significant impact, that it really was a third party looking at what the potential impact may or may not have been on student test scores," Briner said.
State education commissioner Brenda Cassellius has sent letters to parents and school superintendents saying she's instructed the state's testing vendor, American Institutes for Research, to take measures to prevent problems in the future.
State officials will release MCA test scores next week. Cassellius has warned parents they'll likely see a drop in reading scores because the tests are now based on more stringent national standards called the Common Core.
State education officials warn against comparing this year's MCA reading results to previous year's scores because of the change in standards.