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State Technical Issues in Conducting Tuesday's Online Administration of STAAR Test

            Connectivity issues with the STAAR Online Testing Program utilized by the Texas Education Agency in conducting today’s administration of the writing assessment for grades 4, 7 and English I (CHS/TEAM School), prevented the majority of our students, and thousands across the state, from completing the writing exam.

            At 10:17 this morning, TEA advised school districts that issues were being experienced and to stop online testing for the day. At that time, due to online connectivity problems, very few of our students completed their assessments, while others were interrupted in the process. Log-in issues prevented a number of our students from beginning the test.

            Below is a statement from TEA’s Student Assessment Division regarding today’s problematic testing administration:

            “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.”

            After review and discussion with campus and district administrators, elementary and middle school online testing in STAAR Writing will resume Thursday. The English I online administration is now scheduled for Friday, April 9.

            We appreciate the efforts of students, and parents, in coming to school today ready to undergo their first STAAR assessment of 2021—coupled with the dedication and diligence of our teachers in engaging students in learning in preparation for today. It has been a trying Tuesday for everyone concerned!

            Please assure your child that today’s issues will have no effect on their Writing/English I scores. We appreciate the focus and responsibility demonstrated by our students as they undergo the STAAR administrations each year. We know they will come to school with confidence on Thursday, to pick up where they left off.

            If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher or campus principal. Thank you for your understanding and patience in the face of this unexpected occurrence.