TEMPLE, Texas – After a massive statewide breakdown, online STAAR testing came to a halt on Tuesday.
“It’s a complete disaster. It was a colossal failure of proportions at the state level,” says Dr. Bobby Ott, the Temple ISD Superintendent.
It is the first of five days of state testing.
“Students had screens that froze up. They weren’t able to submit answers, there were delays between questions, and in some cases, they were booted out of the system,” says Dr. Ott.
These issues were experienced by students across the entire state.
“Initially, you’re starting to wonder, is it our network? And then you start to figure it’s not. It’s regional. And then you figure out it’s not regional, it’s all across the state. I’m talking to superintendents everywhere. Of course, TEA acknowledged this and sent something out afterward,” says Dr. Ott.
The TEA released a statement saying in part, “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.”
Waco ISD also released a statement regarding the issue. The statement saying online testing scheduled for Tuesday will now happen on Wednesday.
Doctor Ott is also focused on what comes next.
“As far as students who have graduation implications riding on these assessments, I want the families to know that I have been working very closely with our legislators. There are a few bills in session right now that will suspend the graduation requirement piece attached, so those students are not penalized. I am telling you I am going to adamantly fight for that,” says Dr. Ott.