State testing system crashes, leaving Butler County schools scrambling

Students and teachers are scrambling in Butler County — and across the state — today after the failure of the state’s online testing system.

Ohio Department of Education (ODE) spokeswoman Brittany Halpin said this morning the statewide problem with online school testing is still ongoing.

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Halpin said ODE was informed this morning by the American Institutes for Research (Ohio’s testing vendor) that there is a problem with its login system for accessing tests.

Halpin said AIR is actively working to resolve the issue. She said school districts have been notified, and will get further updates when the tests are available again.

At Butler County’s 10,000-student Fairfield Schools, officials are adjusting student testing today in response.

Lani Wildow, Fairfield City Schools director of curriculum and instruction, said “in middle schools there were a handful of students (less than 20) who did not get to log back on after starting the test, so they are being put into a makeup session where they have the full amount of time another day.”

Wildow said “the high school has some connectivity available, so they are rotating kids into the rooms where this connectivity is available. If a student was in the middle of a test, then he/she has had the opportunity to finish today. Every student who was here today had the chance to test and finish today.”

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“The elementary schools have not started, so they are waiting for the go ahead from the state,” she said.

Kettering City Schools in Dayton’s suburbs decided to cancel testing planned for today, according to Superintendent Scott Inskeep, and social media reports show some other districts doing the same.

The online system is used by the vast majority of Ohio’s 608 public school systems for their state testing.

The annual spring testing of students is a major component of Ohio’s annual school district report cards compiled during the summer and released in September. Student performance on the state tests also comprise many of the state-mandated graduation requirements.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, more than 98 percent of state tests last spring were taken online. Multiple school districts said last month that after initial problems a couple of years ago, the state’s online platform had become much more reliable.

Testing is scheduled to continue into early May.

Staff writer Jeremy P. Kelley contributed to this report.

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