Technical issues cause panic for STAAR testing students - FOX34 Lubbock

Technical issues cause panic for STAAR testing students

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

STAAR testing is underway across Texas. There were some technical problems reported that blocked students from taking or finishing the online test.

This is the second time the state has experienced these technical issues that affected thousands of students. The online glitch was seen and felt in both Lubbock and Lubbock-Cooper ISDs.

"We were thinking it was maybe a problem with our own equipment or our own internet service," said Dr. Macey Satterwhite, deputy superintendent for Lubbock-Cooper ISD. "We soon ruled that out, that, that was not the case at all and so we were waiting and waiting to hear a response from either E.T.S or from T.E.A." 

It wasn't until the end of the school day when they finally received a response informing them that it was a statewide problem. The Texas education agency reported that students were logged out and blocked from logging back in. Database errors bogged down the system for about 20 minutes right in the middle of test time. School districts received this notice from the Texas education agency. 

E.T.S., the testing agency in charge of the online exam, faced similar issues a few years back when it implemented the online version. 

"The online system I think was just bigger than what they were prepared for," said Pam Leftwich, executive director for research assessment and accountability for Lubbock ISD. "They didn't have staff to answer our calls when we had issues it was just a mess." 

School district administrators said there needs to be more accountability from both the T.E.A. and E.T.S. to assure that these technical issues don't happen again. According to the T.E.A., there were about 104,000 students testing at the time of the errors. The agency is looking into how many students were actually affected.

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