The following Memorandum is from the Director of Assessment and Reporting, Mr. Richard Jones regarding the technical difficulties during yesterday's scheduled Ontario Literacy Test.
To: Directors of Education
From: Richard Jones, Director, Assessment and Reporting
Date: October 20, 2016
Subject: Online OSSLT Trial Cancellation Letter for Students and Parents
We are very sorry that the October 20 trial of the online OSSLT was unsuccessful. Unfortunately, we experienced widespread technical issues with the network and, as a result, we had to cancel the trial assessment. We do not yet exactly know the root cause of the issue, but we are undertaking a thorough investigation.
We recognize that you spent considerable time and energy preparing for the trial assessment and that you had hoped to offer your students an opportunity to satisfy their literacy requirement. We acknowledge your frustration and share your sentiment that things should have gone better.
The outcome was not what we hoped for, and for this, we are truly sorry. Because of the widespread nature of the issue, we do not yet know the implications on scoring and reporting.
The purpose of this online trial was to test the system’s readiness, and we will be taking account of all the information available to us. We had completed lead-up trials prior, but clearly more needs to be done. In this regard, I invite you to send us your feedback about your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you know, this was a trial. This means students will still be considered first-time eligible for the regularly scheduled OSSLT in March 2017 to satisfy the literacy requirement. We can also confirm that the March OSSLT administration will include a pen-and-paper version of the assessment, as originally planned.
Please find attached a letter to students and parents about the situation. Feel free to use this or amend it in your communication with your school community.
Again we are very sorry and promise to keep working with you to get this right.
Richard M. Jones, Ph.D.
Director, Assessment and Reporting