Vendor Apologizes To Oklahoma Education Board For Glitches

Apr 25, 2014

Company officials say the glitch that stalled Oklahoma's standardized testing Monday was caused by a small piece of infrastructure that failed at the testing vendor's data center.

That's according to CTB/McGraw-Hill president Ellen Haley, who apologized to members of the Oklahoma Board of Education on Thursday for the disruption. More than 8,200 students had their tests disrupted Monday because of the malfunctioning hardware, leaving Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi to suspend all testing that day.

The Tulsa World reports the testing vendor's technicians identified the problem and fixed it by 11 a.m. Monday.

CTB/McGraw-Hill Chief Information Officer Ray Lowrey said the malfunctioning hardware "caused traffic to run a little bit slower, not enough to shut the system down but enough to cause disruptions in testing. Our focus is finishing Oklahoma testing with no more disruptions."

Board member Lee Baxter responded that "the way you described this made it seem sort of like a lightning strike. In other words, it was an act of God."

Lowrey said what happened was unusual and something he hasn't seen during his 20 years in the technology industry.

Last year, server issues shut down testing statewide for two days.

Barresi has recommended that Oklahoma not renew its contract with the vendor for 2014-2015.


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