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So far so good for ISTEP testing servers

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No interruptions were reported from Bartholomew Consolidated or Flat Rock-Hawcreek schools during the opening day for ISTEP+ testing, although officials say trouble could still be on the horizon.

When nearly 80,000 Indiana students were disrupted last year because of computer server problems housed by testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill, the biggest problems occurred on the first and second days of testing.

But in Oklahoma, where testing was halted last week because of interruptions using the same testing vendor, the interruptions happened in the middle of the four-week testing window. It was the second year in a row the Oklahoma Department of Education was forced to halt testing because of problems with CTB/McGraw-Hill.

The smooth first day in Indiana could be because the servers can now handle the traffic, or it could be because it’s not peak testing time yet.

Some schools in Indiana — including all BCSC elementary and middle schools — have been granted waivers to conduct at least some testing on paper, which lessens the stress on the testing servers.

Although CTB/McGraw-Hill issued an apology to Oklahoma for the interruptions, assuring officials they have greatly improved their infrastructure since last year, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Superintendent John Quick said he still has no faith in the company.

Building technicians are in each of the local schools in case students run into issues.

“My guess is that the crunch will come midweek when the peak use hits,” he said.

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