SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Students in the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD) were unable to take the PARCC exam today as scheduled due to system-wide computer issues, confirmed Suzanne Turner, Director of Strategic Communications for SOMSD.
According to Turner, students and administrators were not aware that there were any issues with the PARCC exam until users tried to login and take the test this morning.
SOMSD students who were scheduled to take the test today are ninth-graders at Columbia High School, seventh-graders at South Orange and Maplewood Middle Schools, fourth-graders at Clinton, South Mountain, Tuscan, and Seth Boyden Elementary Schools, and fifth-graders at Jefferson Elementary School.
An email from PARCC customer service at about 11 a.m. today stated that "Pearson [the company that provides PARCC standardized tests] is aware and is working to fix this now. It should be fixed shortly." However, as of noon, a SOMSD spokesperson confirmed that PARCC testing is suspended for the rest of day at South Orange Maplewood schools.
A representative from Pearson would not elaborate on the technical issues with the PARCC, stating that the New Jersey Department of Education would have to answer all questions as "they are the ones administering the test."
Peter Shulman, Deputy Commissioner of the NJ Department of Education, stated by email that “Pearson believes it has identified the root cause and will be working on the problem between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. today... Pearson and NJDOE will work this evening to ensure the system is in optimum state prior to testing beginning tomorrow morning.”
The SOMSD administration sent an email to the community at about 12:45 p.m. today stating that "the latest email from the New Jersey Department of Education informs districts that Pearson is working to resolve the technical issues before tomorrow morning."
Today's PARCC tests will be rescheduled, and the SOMSD stated that "schools are rescheduling testing as appropriate. If you have any questions regarding the testing schedule, please contact the main office at your child’s school."
This is the second day in a row that technical issues have hindered students ability to take the PARCC exam. Yesterday some students were unable to complete testing as scheduled on Tuesday, April 19, due to the system being "overloaded" and preventing students and teachers from being able to login to the PARCC system.
PARCC testing began on April 4, and is scheduled to continue until April 29.
The original PARCC testing schedule can be found here.
During the 2014-2015 school year, 767 students throughout the SOMSD district did not participate in PARCC testing, which is approximately 22 percent of all students in grades 3-11.