Florida’s new reading assessment overwhelms system’s computer capacity

The new computer-based Florida Assessments for Reading Instruction promised to offer better information about students’ early-literacy skills and older students’ reading abilities. But there’s been trouble with the test system launched this school year, reports the Orlando Sentinel. The Florida Department of Education has found that its computer capacity, which it said was a "bandwidth problem on the contractors’ end," was not sufficient to handle the volume of tests. Many schools reported that students would start taking the diagnostic tests, only to find the system slowing down, freezing up, or just shutting down entirely, losing everything previously done. Lee County’s superintendent reportedly decided last week that his district would not participate until the problems are fixed. In the last few weeks, the state education department has scrambled to add more capacity and has also put districts on an every-other-day testing schedule, hoping a slowdown in usage would give them time to test the new capacity and troubleshoot for other problems, memos from the department show…

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