Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2021

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Computer glitch halts Common Core testing in Nevada

Nevada’s students haven’t been able to take computerized standardized tests since Tuesday morning because of technical problems.

According to the Nevada Department of Education, a spike in students taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) this morning in Nevada, Montana and North Dakota exceeded the data capacity of Measured Progress, a third-party vendor contracted by the states to provide the test.

All testing in the three states has been stopped until Measured Progress can increase its data capacity, according to an email sent to state superintendents today by state deputy superintendent Steve Canavero.

Students who were taking the test at the time of the problem were able to finish their test, but teachers could not start new tests. About 13,000 tests were completed this morning before the errors started occurring, according to the department.

“We hope to have the tests up and running tomorrow,” said department spokeswoman Judy Osgood.

The SBAC requires an Internet connection and a computer powerful enough to take the test.

This year marks the first time the tests have been rolled out in Nevada. Though they have previously been field-tested by state students, the assessments are now officially being taken by students in third through eighth grades.

They replaced the older CRT state tests and are designed to assess students' mastery of Nevada’s new Common Core reading and math standards.

The SBAC was developed by UCLA and is offered to any state that pays a yearly admission fee. Nevada pays upward of $1 million a year to be able to administer the test, and is one of 18 states on the SBAC governing board.

The test is one of two Common Core assessments currently offered in the United States, the other one being the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

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