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Technical Glitches Stall State Standardized Testing

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - It's another 'fail' for the state of Florida's new computer-based standardized tests.

When Miami-Dade students in grades 5 though 8 went to take the exams Monday, they couldn't because the testing company's servers were down.  High school students were also scheduled to begin taking end of course exams.

"This is now the second time we have experienced such issues," said Marie Izquierdo with the Miami-Dade School Board. "As you may recall we had similar issues with the writing assessment. This assessment in particular is for reading and mathematics."

North Miami Senior High School students, like Greg Pierre Louis, were ready to take the test Monday.

"I was ready for it today and yesterday night I studied for it and I was ready to take it," said Louis.

The testing company, American Institutes for Research (AIR), said they hoped to have the problem resolved by 8:30 a.m. A little after 10 a.m., when the servers still weren't up, Miami-Dade Public Schools posted about the problems on Twitter.

"Who holds the state accountable and more importantly who is thinking about the children?" asked Izquierdo. "The commissioner this morning was very adamant about her being upset and her holding the state accountable."

School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho also tweeted about the problem.

By mid-morning Monday, it was announced that testing was canceled for the day.

Broward and Palm Beach counties followed suit because of problems logging in and also canceled the day's testing.

Rollout of the new Florida Standards Assessment tests have been plagued with technical problems and even a cyber attack, according to the state.

CLICK HERE to watch Joan Murray's report

At the start of the initial online testing for English language arts in March, eighth, ninth and 10th grade students experienced a number of technical difficulties unrelated to the cyber-attack. Administrators had problems logging into the testing system and some students were logged out before completing tests.

The Department of Education blamed the problems on software issues and thought the situation was resolved. Then they had to deal with a suspected cyber-attack in which there were numerous reports of "white screens" after people tried to log into the system.

The state was assured by the contractor that everything will be up and running by Tuesday and that testing will take place then.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.


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