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TEA cancels online STAAR testing for Tuesday after statewide issues

Bryan ISD has decided to cancel testing for the day
(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 11:24 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Both Bryan and College Station ISDs confirm they are experiencing delays with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test. An announcement from the Texas Education Agency said districts experiencing issues should stop testing for the day. TEA said testing will resume tomorrow.

Bryan ISD canceled testing for the day around 11 a.m. Districts across the state were experiencing connectivity issues with the STAAR Online Testing Platform (SOTP), according to TEA. College Station ISD said 254 out of 3,000 students were affected by the issue. CSISD anticipates the students will have an opportunity to retest.

“We understand the frustration this has caused students, parents, teachers, and administrators. What happened today is completely unacceptable,” said a statement from TEA. “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.”

Tuesday was the first day of statewide testing. The three STAAR tests affected were Grade 4 writing, Grade 7 writing, and English I.

The Texas Tribune is reporting Texas officials mandated that students take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test, in-person this year at monitored test sites, despite millions of students still conducting their studies remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The outages appear to be affecting districts administering the tests online, a first for a majority of districts. TEA plans to transition the test fully online by the 2022-23 academic year. For districts that also planned on administering paper tests with scantrons, students taking non-virtual versions have been able to go forward with testing.

TEA said students could have experienced four scenarios with online testing today:

  • the student could have successfully submitted the test without disruption
  • the student could have successfully submitted answers but may have noticed unusually slow response times
  • the student could have been prevented from logging in to begin with
  • 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

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