System Trouble in Kansas Interrupts Standardized Testing in Alaska

View of the University of Kansas. Brent Flanders/Flickr
View of the University of Kansas. Brent Flanders/Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

An Alaska educational testing system came to a halt Tuesday, when a fiber-optic cable near the University of Kansas was severed at about 1:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

The University of Kansas is home to AAI — the Achievement and Assessment Institute — which provides online standardized testing to school districts across Alaska.

According to a University of Kansas news release, the cable had been accidentally severed somewhere just off-campus in the city of Lawrence. Internet, online classes, even email was unavailable to the majority of campus for the rest of the afternoon. The incident also put a stop to the Measures of Progress testing – or AMP testing – in communities across Alaska. That includes Kodiak.

Ron Bryant, director of school and student services for the Kodiak Island Borough School District, says the administration learned about the problem in Kansas Tuesday morning after students in the villages had already noticed a barrier.

“They found out about the problem before most of the students in town because, again, they had to complete a stage of the test, then hit the end, and then it talks to the computers in Kansas. So, we were in the middle of testing. A lot of students even finished at the high school.”

Bryant says the completed answers are safe, and students will be able to resume where they left off. He says the school district suspended testing starting Tuesday and it will resume Thursday to give the university enough time to fix its system issues.

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