Last week an issue was discovered with the Technology Readiness Tool’s “Device Indicators” report regarding recommended system specifications. This report provides a school, district or state with the percentage of school devices that meet the recommended system specifications for the Smarter Balanced assessments. As you know, the reports can be generated for both minimum and recommended requirements. The report regarding the minimum specifications is correct and does not have an issue. Meeting the minimum requirements signifies that a school is ready to deliver the tests online.
However, the Technology Readiness Tool report regarding which devices meet the recommended requirements was counting a few operating systems that should not have been included as meeting the recommended requirements. Once again, it is important to note that as long as your devices meet the minimum requirements, those devices are ready for use in the SBAC assessments.
The Recommended Requirements report was fixed on Monday, May 20th. Prior to this solution, you may have noticed that the reports associated with device readiness were disabled in the Technology Readiness Tool. Any data entered by the school or district, nor any of the school users that reside in the Technology Readiness Tool were not modified as part of this fix. However, you may notice the reported percentage of devices that meet the recommended requirements may drop for any devices with these operating systems:
- Windows XP
- Macintosh OS 10.4.4 – 10.6
- Linux Ubuntu versions 9 – 11
- Linux Fedora versions 6 – 15
Some devices with the above operating systems may not meet recommended requirements because of other system parameters, such as memory, screen resolution, or display size. Overall, less than 23% of all devices in the database were affected by this issue, and less than 31% of districts have devices that will be re-categorized as not meeting recommended requirements.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium sincerely regrets and apologizes for any confusion or concern this issue may have caused. As an additional measure of data integrity assurance, we have initiated a reexamination of all Technology Readiness Tool calculations and reports in order to further confirm the accuracy of the technology readiness results provided by the Technology Readiness Tool. At this time, we do not anticipate any other changes.
If you have any questions or would like any assistance, please contact your State Technology Readiness Coordinator, Stan Freeda (Stanley.Freeda at doe dot nh dot gov; 603-271-5132).