Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Statewide testing system down; students to use paper, pencil

The online Technology Enhanced Student Assessment system has been plagued with lost tests and freezing up

Students across Oregon headed back to the basics of test taking last week.

The Technology Enhanced Student Assessment program that enabled students to take assessment tests via computers rather than paper and pencil isn't operating correctly. And according to the Oregon Department of Education, the online testing program that was introduced six years ago as a revolutionary new approach to assessment testing is in fact offline for the rest of the school year.

'Not only is (TESA) not working,' said Tigard-Tualatin Superintendent Rob Saxton, 'it's not working at all.'

The system has reportedly been plagued with problems ranging from lost tests to the program freezing up. Saxton told the Tigard-Tualatin School Board Thursday that the problems have been going on for a couple weeks and have already backed up assessment testing schedules so that computer labs were booked solid for students to complete tests.

'There isn't enough time left to get (the assessment tests) all done (using TESA),' Saxton said.

And Saxton isn't happy with the alternative either. Using the paper-pencil method of testing is a 'huge, huge, huge undertaking,' Saxton noted. Not only will students be given only one chance to take the assessment tests - using TESA students had as many as three chances to take the tests - but the return time for test results is also much slower than with the online system.

The statewide assessment tests have significant implications for school districts. The tests are required under the No Child Left Behind Law and are used in determining a school's Annual Yearly Progress report.