Education officials say new science test is a success

State education officials are calling a pioneering new science test a success.

More than 185 thousand students took the online assessment in May. It was the first online evaluation of student progress administered statewide in Minnesota.

Officials from the state Department of Education said the testing went smoothly, despite initial concerns that the technology for live, online testing might not be ready for use on a large scale.

Assistant Education Commissioner Christy Hovanetz-Lassila said the testing went well.

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"We had a very, very, very small number of students experience any type of technical difficulty with the assessment," Hovanetz-Lassila said. "Less than one-quarter of one percent of students statewide experienced any technical difficulty with regard to the technology or to the software."

Students in grades 5 and 8 took the test.

High school students also take the test the year they take biology, which varies from district to district. The results will be released this summer.

Hovanetz-Lassila said state officials hope it will lead the way to other interactive testing for Minnesota students. They already take math and reading tests on paper.

"It is the wave of the future," she said. "There are a lot of states that are moving toward online testing. We had a very positive experience for science this year and we'll continue to explore the opportunities for online testing in the future."