Department of Education temporarily suspends MCA testing

Dept. of Ed. suspends MCA testing

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Education announced Tuesday that the state will temporarily suspend administration of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments until all technical problems with the system are resolved.

School administrators reported several glitches with the statewide testing system used by some of the largest school districts in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, or MCA testing, is given to students in order to assess progress toward Minnesota's academic standards.

On Tuesday, the day when several schools were to administer the test, officials reported problems logging into the system. In some cases, school administrators said they were delayed up to two and a half hours before they were able to get into the system, which eats up the amount of time students have to complete the test.

"Testing is already an anxious event for some people so anything that raises that level is concerning to us and we feel like if we hold our students to high standards we need to do the same with our contractor," Minnesota Department of Education spokesman Josh Collins said.

It's not clear how many districts were affected by the glitch, but the state's largest, Anoka-Hennepin School District, plus St. Paul Schools and a Minneapolis charter school confirmed they experienced issues on Tuesday.

"I visited with students who sat and waited more than an hour for the system to start to work and it never did so that was disappointing," Anoka-Hennepin Associate Superintendent of High Schools, Jeffrey McGonigal said.

McGonigal added around 28-hundred students in that district were scheduled to test today.

School officials say similar issues with the MCA testing occurred last week, as well.

The test is administered by Pearson and this is the first of their two-year contract.

Authorities say after last week's problems surfaced, Pearson added another server to try and correct the issues. But schools on Tuesday say the problem was not fixed.


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