Schools are bracing for last minute stress tests

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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 1/16 7:57 pm Published: 1/16 6:20 pm

While the state says that the upcoming stress test will get kinks out the way, district workers say it's just an inconvenience. FOX 23 first found out about the stress test from a Jenks principal's blog page. He said they'll have to figure out which students they'll disrupt so they can test out the system. The Jenks district refused to comment, so we went to neighboring Tulsa, where Chris Johnson is the chief accountability officer.

"We're very doubtful that it's going to solve a lot of the problems," said Johnson. "Obviously if you have to pull out all your kids in a certain grade and put them in front of a computer or a number of those, then it cuts into the instructional time."

Johnson said because Tulsa is such a large district they were able to make a deal: only two of their 78 schools have to undergo the test. But FOX 23 contacted the state Department of Education. They sent the same letter given to other administrators that outlines that every middle and high school would need to practice. Johnson said he knows how this would hurt smaller districts.

"This can be an enormous task because they want every computer that is going to be used for testing to be powered on and online and somebody sitting at that computer," said Johnson.

He said the test doesn’t represent what students will likely encounter later this spring.

"The problems that we encountered last year weren't internal problems with our servers or our Internet, they were problems with the test vendor's ability to handle the load," said Johnson.

For the smaller districts, the countdown is on. There are just seven days left to prepare for the stress test.

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