- Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - School districts across Kansas are experiencing delays in state assessment testing this week, forcing some to shut down the exams altogether.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Denise Kahler said officials have been in contact with the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation to determine the cause of the delays. The center is a University of Kansas entity the education department contracts with to host the tests, the Topeka Capital-Journal (https://bit.ly/2p5Kbsm ) reported.

Kahler said she’s been told the issues are with the center’s information technology arm, the Kansas Interactive Testing Engine.

“They said they should be installing several software enhancements,” she said. “We’ll recommend that districts stagger their (testing) start times to load-balance a little bit.”

The Testing Engine said the problem is with the servers, not the tests themselves.

“The servers aren’t performing as they should,” Kahler said. “It’s not the assessment tool. It’s the platform.”

The newspaper was unable to reach Testing Engine officials.

Annual state reading and math tests for third- through eighth-graders and 10th-graders began March 14 and run through April 28.

In 2014, results of the state reading, math and science tests were eventually thrown out due to cyberattacks and other technical issues. In 2016, a damaged fiber cable in Lawrence caused state testing delays in 17 states, including Kansas, that were using the testing platform.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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