FSA Testing on Hold Again for Computer Problems

Standardized testing in Florida was once again on hold Monday after more technical glitches were reported.

The computer based testing program at all South Florida schools crashed Monday morning, delaying the Florida standards assessment test, which is typically an anxious event.

"It makes us more nervous because you don't know if it is going to shut down while you're doing it, erase all your answers," said one student. "The preparing and the mentality you having to take six tests back to back, really, it's crazy."

Department of Education officials said the testing company's servers were supposed to be up and running by 8:30 a.m. but they were still down by mid-morning.

Grades five through eight, as well as some high school students, were set to start taking the tests Monday morning but got blank screens when they tried to log on. It was frustrating for the kids and as well as adults who called it a waste of valuable learning time.

"Students leave a classroom where they would have had a lesson or two with the teacher or moved physically into computer labs sit in front of these computers to take a test and essentially they don't take a test," said Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer at Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Officials said the company, AIR, made a technical change to the Florida Standards Assessment testing system that was not approved by the department and was unnecessary.

"We have confirmed that the log in issue has been resolved and students are currently testing; we will continue monitoring the situation," the department said in a statement. "The company’s failure to follow protocol is absolutely unacceptable and the Department will hold AIR accountable for the disruption they have caused to our state’s students, teachers and school staff."

AIR said they experienced problems in providing log in services for test proctors and students.

"The problem was resolved before 11 a.m. and proctors and students were able to sign in. The problem stemmed from human error, and AIR is reviewing its procedures in order to prevent future events of this kind," the company said in a statement. "AIR takes full responsibility for this issue and apologizes for the disruptions created this morning."

Miami-Dade and Broward both suspended computer testing for the day.

Samantha Vargas, who already took her FSA, had advice for her fellow students. "I told them not to worry about it because today is the reading section so I told them you know it is pretty easy so not to worry about anything," she said.

Now, students will do it again tomorrow.

Rollout of the new FSA test has been full of technical problems and even a cyber attack.

Contact Us