Katy ISD officials not aware of any students directly affected by statewide STAAR testing disruption, will review results with TEA soon

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Earlier this week, thousands of students statewide experienced technical difficulties while taking the required State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests, state officials said.

According to the Texas Tribune, Community Impact Newspaper‘s reporting partner, Texas Education Agency spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson said more than 100,000 students were taking the test when the problem was noted, but because the disruption was scattered across the state it is difficult to determine how many students were affected.

Katy ISD released a letter to parents Wednesday in response to the technical difficulties:

“As you may be aware, STAAR testing began yesterday across the state of Texas including at all our Katy ISD campuses.  Unfortunately, soon after the test administration began, the Educational Testing Services (ETS), which is the state’s vendor for the STAAR exams, reported that a state-wide disruption to its server had caused multiple outages to its online system.  These outages impacted students taking grades 5 and 8 reading, grades 4 and 7 writing, and English I.  As a result, many students were inadvertently kicked out of the testing session and/or were unable to log back into the ETS system.  In addition, some students experienced the assessment “freezing” and had to temporarily log off and log back into the system. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and ETS were immediately notified of these disruptions. Students impacted by the outages were allowed to have missed time added back to their time limit.”

The district is not currently aware of any Katy ISD students losing their responses but is currently working with the TEA and Educational Testing Service to review any testing trends once results are released to the district, according to the release.

According to the Texas Tribune report, the disruptions Tuesday mirror a 2016 situation when statewide computer issues compromised more than 14,000 tests and Education Commissioner Mike Morath ultimately cancelled the results for fifth- and eighth-graders.

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Rebecca Hennes
Born and raised in west Houston, Rebecca joined Community Impact in June 2017 after graduating from the Honors College at the University of Houston. She serves as the Katy editor covering Fort Bend and Harris counties, government, education, business and transportation.
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