The Texas Education Agency released a statement noting some technical issues experienced Tuesday during the online administration of STAAR tests. Commissioner of Education Mike Morath issued a statement saying “The technical issues experienced today during the online administration of STAAR are simply unacceptable. Such issues undermine the hard work of our teachers and students.” It was noted that the vendor responsible for administering the tests, Educational Testing Service is partly to blame, however, the Commissioner said the TEA also shares in the responsibility. He said the TEA will continue working with school districts and Educational Testing Service to address these and other outstanding issues.
The TEA said yesterday, according to the ETS districts will be able to resume testing students Thursday if a student was affected by the problem. ETS will also work to restore all the student responses that could be recovered. Districts are urged to make sure that students confirm their responses are recorded before submitting the test.
Director of Curriculum for Levelland ISD, Heidi Blair said that a small number of LISD students, less than 5 was affected by the problems. She said LISD is currently working to schedule make-up tests for the students affected. She continued, ” Our teachers and students have been working hard to achieve high levels of learning and were very prepared for this assessment.”
The TEA said that students who were not able to complete an online test because of the technology issues related to the STAAR online testing platform, districts are NOT required to have the students complete the test and should feel under no obligation to do so and the agency will ensure that there are no adverse consequences for students who do not resume testing and for districts that elect not to have students resume testing. Decisions will be made by the TEA in the future how this problem will be addressed in such areas as performance based monitoring and accountability.