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District 833 resumes MCA testing

Standardized academic testing in School District 833 and across Minnesota will resume Thursday, a day after the state suspended the online assessments due to glitches.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius announced the decision after “corrective actions” were taken by Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments test vendor Pearson. For at least two days last week, students taking the exam could not log on because of a server failure. A glitch Tuesday was blamed on an attempt to disrupt Pearson’s system by someone who launched a “distributed denial of service attack,” according to the statement.

The attack was not an attempt to steal student data but to disrupt testing. Pearson has assured the state that at no point was any student data at risk or compromised.

The problems have not affected the 400,000 tests that have already been completed.

The MCAs test students in grades 3-8 on reading and math. High school sophomores are tested in reading, and juniors are assessed in math. Science is assessed in grades 5, 8 and high school.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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