TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — The cyberattack on school testing systems from nearly six months ago is still fresh on the minds of Florida officials as students are streaming back into school this month.READ MORE: Advocates: Utility-Backed Bill Imperils Rooftop Solar In Florida
Right now, if they know an answer, state officials aren’t saying.
A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would only say that the attack remains under investigation. Molly Best said there were “limits” to what state authorities could say about the probe.
Yet the decision to remain mum about the investigation comes at a critical time. Florida is just days away from releasing the results of a much-anticipated independent study of the Florida Standards Assessment. That’s the new test based on standards linked to Common Core.READ MORE: Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz's Instagram Photos Will Be Shown At Penalty Trial
This was the first year the test was given to Florida students, but it was marred by so many delays and problems that frustrated legislators demanded a look into how the test was drawn up and administered. That study will determine whether test results from this year wind up being used for school grades and other measures.
Some school districts remain disenchanted with the new test being used in elementary, middle and high schools and which is costing the state $220 million over six years.
The Department of Education last March blamed some of the delays on the cyberattack. Officials said the attack prevented students from logging on to take the test, but the test itself and student information was never breached.
Cheryl Etters, a spokeswoman for the department, said that the testing vendor, American Institutes for Research, put security measures in place, and additional hacking attempts were thwarted.MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Coldest Air Of The Season Has Arrived In South Florida
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