UPDATE: TEA issues statement after Amarillo ISD, Canyon ISD, others experience STAAR test issues

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UPDATE: Canyon ISD said all online and paper STAAR testing will resume Thursday, April 8.

The Amarillo Independent School District issued a comment on the issues with STAAR testing experienced by it, and other districts, today:

“Yes, like many other school districts across the state of Texas, some AISD students at some campuses experienced issues with the STAAR test today. Some of our campuses chose to have students take the STAAR writing test online, which is an option the state made available this year. For those students who were not able to log in and test without issue by mid-morning, we made the decision to cancel testing for the day for those students only. They will try to test again tomorrow, assuming the TEA and its test vendor are able to resolve the issue.  This only impacts those students taking the 4th or 7th grade STAAR writing test ONLINE who experienced issues today.”

UPDATE:

The Texas Education Agency has issued a statement after reports today have spread of Texas school districts experiencing issues with STAAR tests.

The statement reads:

“Earlier today, districts experienced connectivity issues with the STAAR Online Testing Platform (SOTP). We posted updates to the STAAR Assessment Management System dashboard every 10 minutes to keep districts apprised of the progress in resolving the issue.

“The three STAAR tests affected were Grade 4 writing, Grade 7 writing, and English I. This was the first of five days that students were eligible to take one of these three tests online.

“At 10:17 a.m. CDT today, districts were advised if they were having issues that they should stop online testing for the day while the vendor works to resolve these problems. Online testing will resume tomorrow.

“We are still analyzing data to determine the number of students affected. Students could have experienced four different scenarios with online testing today:

1) the student could have successfully submitted the test without disruption;
2) the student could have successfully submitted answers but may have noticed unusually slow response times;
3) the student could have been prevented from logging in to begin with; or
4) the student could have begun to answer questions, but at some point was prevented from continuing, and in this instance, answers were saved every thirty seconds so that these students will be able to pick up where they left off.

“We understand the frustration this has caused students, parents, teachers, and administrators. What happened today is completely unacceptable. ETS, the testing vendor, experienced problems with their database system, which are in the process of being corrected. The 2021 online administration of STAAR will be ETS’s last for the State of Texas. Beginning next school year, Cambium Assessment will be taking over these critical testing functions to ensure that users have a seamless online testing experience moving forward.

“All involved in public education in Texas should expect better than what they have experienced today; we are working to ensure that our students do not experience future testing issues.”

ORIGINAL:

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to Canyon ISD, districts across the state have dealt with connectivity issues with the online testing platform for multiple STAAR tests.

The tests impacted were noted by the District as STAAR Grades 4, 7 Writing, and English I.

Said the District, “At this time, TEA is currently working on getting the issue resolved.”

Students taking the paper and pencil version of the STAAR tests will be able to complete them today, noted the District. Meanwhile, it is waiting for further guidance from TEA regarding online testing.


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