Schools have been granted a small reprieve in the wake of technical turmoil plaguing this year's Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment exams.
Wednesday, Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius announced that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) would allow schools more time to complete the online tests. The original deadline was May 10.
Schools in both Burnsville and Shakopee reported persistent problems with online math and readings exams, which make up the bulk of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). The MCAs are the benchmark tests by which children, teachers, schools and districts are judged for annual yearly progress, a key component of the educational reforms instituted by No Child Left Behind. Students experienced crashing test modules, log in failure and delays.
Similar problems have been reported in Indiana, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.
Some have suggested that the glitchy tests may skew results. Nevertheless, MDE decided to press forward.
"While some have suggested that this year's tests be suspended altogether, we do not believe that halting forward progress in our efforts to provide better testing and better information is in the best interest of students, teachers, parents and the public," Cassellius wrote in a memo.