During a time often referred to as stressful, teachers and students are thrown a curve ball. As students taking the test online wrapped up a day’s work of STAAR testing, they ran into a problem they couldn’t solve.
“Some of our online testers were having some issues,” Texas Education Agency Spokeswoman Lauren Callahan said.
The problem kicked in after students logged out of their tests to take a break, or were inactive for a period of time.
“They weren’t seeing all of their answers, they were having issues submitting, things like that,” Callahan said.
With testing still in progress, the TEA had to act quickly.
“We have been, as an agency, working with our resting vendor, over the last several days, to figure out what’s going on and see how we can keep this from happening again,” Callahan said.
And the consequences of the technical issues won’t be felt by the students.
“Each school district is going to make a determination, with regard to each student, as to whether or not that student prefers, or the district prefers,to finish the test,” Texas Board of Education Member Marty Rowley said.
They can also choose to let bygones be bygones.
“We’re not going to punish students for something that’s not a student’s fault,” Callahan said. “There’s no student who is to blame for what happened, this week. These were technological errors and we certainly didn’t expect to have that happen.”
“We just do the best we can, with regard to the hand that we were dealt, and try to go on down the road,” Rowley said.
The TEA says the hope for students wishing to complete their exams is their answers will be restored when they log back in, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case.
Callahan says a lot of the students who take the test online either have a disability and require assistance, or they’re students who speak English as a second language.