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Coming soon: online testing in W.Va. schools

By Roger Adkins

Exponent-Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The transition to online testing is inevitable, and school systems large and small are bound to experience some growing pains, officials say.

The ACT will be online by spring 2015, said Dr. Jim Phares, West Virginia schools superintendent.

Many other tests, including some standardized tests, already are administered by computer, and more will be making that transition soon, local officials said this week.

Harrison County Superintendent Susan Collins said changes are coming faster than ever, and school systems will have to work to keep up with the pace of progress.

“Statewide, everyone will be doing things online a year from now,” Collins said.

Collins said Harrison County has the infrastructure in place to be considered one of the top school systems in the state, technologically speaking.

“You can’t have people move into an area without having the proper infrastructure in place — water lines, roads, sewage systems and everything else,” Collins said. “It’s the same thing with technology.”

If Harrison County cannot handle administering tests online, other school systems are sure to have problems, she said.

This begs the question of what school systems with fewer resources will do, said Doug Hogue, Harrison County Board of Education member.

“I think some of the smaller counties that do not have the excess levies and funds to put into this are going to be at a disadvantage,” Hogue said. “The state may have to step up and help those counties in order to put everyone on equal footing…”

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