MCA glitches raise concerns for results

Published 10:10 am Monday, April 27, 2015

When Minnesota started the transition to universal online state tests, the move was supposed to make the annual academic proficiency exams easier on students and teachers.

That hasn’t been the case so far. Years and multiple testing vendors later, taking the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, or MCAs, is as anxiety-inducing as ever for students and teachers.

Minnesota has administered computerized science MCAs since 2008, with varying success, and this year began requiring nearly all students to take math and reading MCAs online.

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Educators say the recent glitches with provider Pearson’s testing system, which disrupted testing three days over the past two weeks, are just the latest example of the problematic transition. Besides issues directly with testing vendors, school districts long have struggled to address software compatibility problems and to ensure they have the technological capacity to test all students online.