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Even more delays for students taking the RISE assessment exam

(Photo: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – There was yet another delay for students taking the RISE assessment exam all over the state.  Several schools postponed testing because of glitches that happened as students were trying to submit their scores.

The problem looked similar to what nearly 18 thousand students saw on Thursday.  After they clicked on the button to submit their answers for one portion of the online exam, they would essentially be locked out of taking the next segment.

State officials say the cause of the problem was not the exact same one that brought testing to a halt last week, but they say the issue was not on their end.

Darin Nielsen with the Utah Board of Education says, “This was, again, it was at Questar’s level.  It didn’t have anything to do with our networks.”

Workers with Questar are in the state and Nielsen says they were able to fix the issue within roughly an hour.  However, the delays were very disruptive to the students taking the exam.

“It would be unreasonable for us to think a teacher would just have their students sit at that computer and wait until somebody tells them when they can restart,” Nielsen says, adding, “I saw a bunch of emails from different districts that were saying they were just going to suspend it for today.”

The state has reportedly paid nearly $30 million in their contract with Questar to manage the RISE assessment exam, and they could extend that to ten years at a discounted price.  However, Nielsen says if there are major problems happening continually, the state could look to another company to handle assessment testing.

“It’s my understanding that the State Board has the ability in that contract to terminate that contract,” he says.

Nielsen isn’t sure how many students were impacted during Tuesday’s testing, but he believes it is much fewer than Thursday.