According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues, including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I. April 6 was the first of five days students were eligible to take one of the three tests online.
"We understand the frustration this has caused students, parents, teachers and administrators," the release reads. "What happened today is completely unacceptable. ... All involved in public education in Texas should expected better than what they have experienced today; we are working to ensure that our students do not experience future testing issues."
According to the release, at 10:17 a.m. April 6, school districts were advised if they were having issues that they should stop online testing for the day while the vendor works to resolve the problems.
"ETS, the testing vendor, experienced problems with their database system, which are in the process of being corrected," the release reads. "The 2021 online administration of STAAR will be ETS' 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."
While the TEA Student Assessment Division is still analyzing data to determine the number of students who were affected, students could have experienced any of the following four scenarios during testing April 6:
- 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; or
- the student could have begun to answer questions but at some point was prevented from continuing, and in this instance, answers were saved every 30 seconds so that these students will be able to pick up where they left off.
While ETS continues to work to resolve the connectivity issues, among the school districts statewide that have released statements regarding the disruption are Austin ISD, Fort Bend ISD and Plano ISD.
Online STAAR testing is expected to resume April 7.