Minnesota school testing interrupted by possible hacking

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ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota student testing has been suspended again after what is believed to be a sophisticated hacking attempt.

The state Department of Education said Wednesday it was temporarily halting the computerized Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments that test science proficiency. Testing was also disrupted last month over security and connectivity concerns.

Minnesota has a $38 million, three-year contract with Pearson to administer proficiency testing in math, science and reading. Students in third-grade to high school take the tests annually.

Minnesota's Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says the deal is problematic given the high-stakes nature of the testing. She wants additional assurances from Pearson's that it can handle Minnesota's tests properly.

Cassellius has told school districts that testing will be suspended Thursday. The department will let districts know about the next steps on that day.

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