​States Report Significant Hurdles With Common Core Testing

SOMETHING IN COMMON: Nevada, Montana and North Dakota all temporarily stopped Smarter Balanced state testing last week, after their shared computerized testing system continued to crash.

The three states all use Measured Progress, a Dover, NH-based company which provides state accountability assessments, to administer the math and English language arts tests to K-12 students. On April 14, the company’s server crashed, forcing districts in all three states to stop testing. It likely was overloaded as 210,000 Nevada students (compared to 135,000 from North Dakota and Montana combined) started using the server to take the tests, according to the Associated Press.

In response, Measured Progress moved the Nevada students to their own server on Thursday. But problems continued, and Clark County School District, Nevada’s largest district, canceled testing for the day.

As testing was continually interrupted by the crashing server, Montana offered waivers allowing districts to opt-out of the assessments. If less than 95% of students take the tests, the state risks losing millions of dollars in funding from the Department of Education. So far, 20% of school districts in Montana have committed to full testing this year.

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