The state of Alaska has suspended online standardized testing in schools this year because of ongoing problems connecting to a Kansas-based server. In a press release issued this afternoon, the Department of Education said that “repeated technical disruptions have rendered the affected tests invalid.”Students across Alaska logged online to take the Alaska Measures of Progress, or AMP, assessments on Tuesday, March 29. Testing was brought to an abrupt end when a construction worker accidentally severed a fiber optic cable at the University of Kansas. The university houses the state’s testing vendor, the Achievement and Assessment Institute.With the cable down, the connection between the vendor and Alaska’s test takers was compromised. When testing resumed on Thursday, the vendor’s system crashed several times and Alaska schools experienced interruptions, losing some of the students’ answers.In the press release, Dr. Susan McCauley, interim commissioner for the Department of Education, said “Statewide assessments are an important source of information about student achievement, but only when the results are valid. To have valid results, all students must be given the test under the same conditions.”The Alaska Measures of Progress, introduced in 2015, were designed to gauge student performance in English and Mathematics. After last year’s scores got delayed, the state decided in January to scrap the system entirely. The department will request proposals for a new test system to be implemented in spring 2017.