FSA debuts with technology glitches

The week of March 2 marked a notable debut for Florida’s new standardized test. Software and computer glitches affected students across the state in the first year that students used computers for their writing assessment. Many students did not have adequate typing skills, so the tests took longer than the previous paper-and-pencil writing assessments.

“It was difficult going into the test and not knowing the computer side of the test,” sophomore Erin Ryan said.

Students experienced software problems throughout the test.

“During the test it slowed down quite a bit,” sophomore Nick Burgess said.

Others experienced major glitches.

“The FSA server kicked me out because of network issues on their end,” Ryan said.

Sophomores weren’t the only ones who experienced problems.

“I didn’t personally notice the glitches myself, but friends of mine said it slowed down,” freshman Victor Hernandez said. “It was weird going into the test without any training, usually they will do some kind of boring seminar to teach us everything about the test format.”

Technology glitches occurred statewide. Cases much more serious occurred in Dade County, where entire systems failed half way through the test, causing many students to lose their work.

The flawed roll-out leaves some questioning  whether the test is fair to all students.

“If you have a make-up day, they most likely won’t change the prompt. The test it too new,” language arts teacher Adrienne Gent said.

By Sam Leighton