Kansas Assessment Tests Hit by Cyber Attacks

By Bryan McLoone | bmcloone@nexstar.tv

Published 04/02 2014 10:11PM

Updated 04/02 2014 10:39PM

COLUMBUS, KS.--- A cyber attack on the new state assessment test in Kansas has led to students not being able to finish the test. The state has said that they are required by federal law to administer the test. One local school district says if the problem continues, they may decide not to take it.
"The amount of man hours that are currently going into just getting students on and trying to take the test and trying to figure out the problems have been extensive," said Amber Wheeler, Higland Elementary Principal.    

Highland Elementary Principal Amber Wheeler says the validity of the new Kansas schools assessment test is in question. 

"Sometimes there is answer choices and sometimes there is not, sometimes the tools that are available are there and sometimes they're not," said Wheeler. 

Kansas State officials made school districts across the state aware that the test program was cyber hacked last week. This has caused some students to not be able to complete the state mandatory test.

"We are not able to test the way we are suppose to be, we have students getting kicked off repeatedly," said Wheeler. 

"There is just a lot of frustration on the school's part, especially students and teachers," said David Carriger, Columbus Schools Superintendent. 

Columbus Unified Schools Superintendent David Carriger says the district can't do anything as the state tries to fix the problem.

"They've just told us to be very patient, stay off of it for a certain amount of days and they will try and correct the situation," said Carriger. 

The Kansas Department of Education wants schools to continue the testing, which Carriger says some districts may decide not to follow. 

"If we're continuing to have difficulties and problems with the assessment, we might have to say 'hey enough is enough. We're losing valuable instruction time," said Carriger. 

Carriger says the Columbus School District will wait another week or two before making a decision on whether to take the test if there is still an issue. Schools are required to have a 95% participation rate. The state has extended the test deadline to May 16th.

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