Computer glitch interrupts statewide testing for some schools

Several Minnesota schools experienced problems with online statewide testing Tuesday.

A server malfunction at testing company Pearson prevented students and test administrators from logging into the system, according to state Department of Education spokesperson Josh Collins.

"Students who were already taking the test would not have likely experienced any issues — it would have prevented students from logging in to the environment this morning," Collins said.

In a memo sent to districts in Minnesota and several other states, Pearson said the problem is being fixed, and the system should be working at full capacity by Wednesday.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!

Kevin Ward, testing coordinator at Avalon School in St. Paul, said some of the 60 students taking MCAs at his school weren't able to log in to the system.

"So it just kind of created this crazy cycle where we lost some time and I think it was stressful for students and obviously it's stressful for staff," Ward said.

Some Minnesota districts reported testing crashes on the Pearson system last month because of software and computer compatibility issues.

The state is paying testing company Pearson $38 million over the next three years to implement Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment testing online.

Last year the state ended a contract with American Institutes of Research because of server problems that caused testing delays in 2013.