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State urges school districts to finish RISE exam before school year ends

(Photo Credit: KSL TV, file)

SALT LAKE CITY – It has been a nightmare for teachers and students this year, but, state educators are still urging school districts to finish the RISE exam.  Some teachers wonder if it’s too late for them to finish.

Educators say, statewide, only about two-thirds of the testing under the RISE exam has been finished.  Time is not on the side of districts like Granite, which only have eight more days of classes before the end of the year.

Other districts, like Jordan and Canyons, have a little bit more time.  Canyons School District Spokesman Jeff Haney believes they have enough to get the testing done.

“We have our end of school year a week later than some of the other school districts,” he says.

Salt Lake School District has even longer to work with.  Their school year ends June 5th.

However, Haney admits students and teachers may feel burned out after they’ve had to postpone testing several times.  They’re telling teachers to do everything they can make sure their kids take the exam seriously.

“We’re telling teachers to remind students that when they go back to the computer lab to resume their testing that they return with the idea that they are to do their best,” Haney says.

But, what happens if a district can’t finish in time?  Utah Board of Education Spokesman Mark Peterson says normally there would be penalties for that.  However, this year, there won’t be.

“If they’re unable to make it before the end of the school year, it’s a possibility that they could note down that they couldn’t finish the test because of platform problems,” according to Peterson.

The board is granting testing extensions to any school that asks for one.

Questar Assessment Inc., the company that oversees the RISE exam, issued a statement, saying, “Questar Assessment Inc. understands the state’s frustration with the administration of the RISE assessments. We are committed to working with a third party evaluator in an effort to determine the impact of systems issues and ensure the validity of Utah data. We remain dedicated to the students, teachers and school districts of Utah, and we take our responsibility to provide accurate and insightful testing results seriously.”