With PARCC testing on the horizon for many K-12 institutions what is required to get everything setup is important. We ran through the field test last year and took away many wonderful lessons that helped us inform our decision on test taking in the spring.
To stay ahead of the curve, we periodically work through ensuring our systems continue to meet requirements for testing. One such aspect is making sure the browser being used, Safari in our case, continues to pass the PARCC System Check Tool. If you are a school doing computer based PARCC testing, or someone responsible for supporting the systems used in a school, I suggest you regularly keep an eye on this tool. What we want to avoid is a rush of needing to figure out a system configuration issue a few weeks prior to this high stakes testing.
Working through the tool this week I found we had a plugin setting within Safari that needed to be changed preventing the tool from launching. A generic System Check is unable to run message was displayed with further detail being another vague System Check is unable to run due to browser security settings. After a considerable amount of time we found the setting required to get rid of this message. This was on both 10.9.3 and 10.9.5, various versions of Safari 7.x and in both Java 7U71 and Java 8U25. Within the Safari Preferences under Security and then under Manage Website Settings. From here click on Java to view the plugin settings. Finally, you will want to adjust your security settings so the SystemCheck tool can Run in Unsafe mode. This allows the Java Application additional access rights to your machine.
If you manage your machines and would like to take a look at the changes made in Safari, check them out on my github page linked here.