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Glitch delays student testing in Olathe

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Some parents in the Olathe School District are concerned that standardized testing that was supposed to take place this week isn't happening.

Technical problems are to blame for a delay in testing among middle school students in the district. Schools around the state are reporting small problems with the testing. Some schools planned to begin their assessments before spring break, but the problems caused a delay in administering the tests.

The University of Kansas Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation developed the tests. FOX 4 called KU's CETE, but no one returned out calls for this story. One parent we talked to worries the testing problems are related to incorporating new Common Core standards into the exams.

"I'm not sure what the problem is, to be honest with you," said Tate Jaeger, a parent. "I don't know if it's a matter of they can't log in, or everyone can't see the test. I don't know for sure what the problem is other than there is a problem."

Jaeger, who has two children in the school district, is concerned about sharing testing data with outside entities, particularly the federal government. He says a recently passed bill in the Kansas legislature would prevent that from happening. He's seeking a better explanation for what's being measured in the tests, and why schools are having trouble administering them when kids are prepared to take them.

The school district tells FOX 4 News any glitches are unrelated to the recently adopted education standards, but technology involving new software.

"This year and next year are transitional years as they look at and modify content.
This was predominantly a lot related to technology with some of the glitches that we have had," said Alison Banikowski, Olathe Deputy Superintendent of Schools.

Banikowski says the new software was developed to administer an evolving test as Kansas modifies standards for reading and math. Administrators say they do not believe the testing delays will rob students of important classroom time in other subjects.

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