June 1, 2018
To the Administrator Addressed:
Subject: Update on the 2018 STAAR Online Testing Issues
The purpose of this communication is to provide additional information to school districts and Education Service Centers (ESCs) regarding students impacted by the 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) online testing issues.
First, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) would like to thank you for all your feedback. Based on the valuable information you have provided us, we have decided to expand the parameters used to establish which students were significantly impacted.
The original roster of students affected was based on the specific criteria stated in the TEA communication with the subject line: 2018 STAAR Online Testing Issues. Based on your feedback, we are expanding the criteria to also include students who had an inactive test session lasting longer than 15 minutes or students who logged in more than three times during the event. If a student is not on the new roster, then the data in the online testing system indicates that he or she did not meet the new parameters used to determine impact.
Last week, you may have received a file from ETS indicating which students were affected by the online testing issues during the April and May 2018 STAAR administrations. We are currently working to create the files that include additional students who were impacted based on the new parameters. The file will be emailed from ETS to the district testing coordinator on June 8. The flags for the impacted students will also be available in the final Consolidated Accountability File (CAF) for 2018 and will not be provided in the individual assessment administration files posted for districts.
While we understand the frustration of the teachers and students, TEA’s intent is to mitigate the impact of the online testing issues for those students who were significantly affected. Therefore, as previously communicated, I have removed Student Success Initiative requirements for students in grades 5 and 8 in the affected subject-area and will be modifying state accountability for all students included in a district’s new list. However, I do not have the authority to waive graduation requirements. High school students who were impacted by the online testing issues in April may be able to meet graduation requirements through substitute assessments or individual graduation committees.
If you have questions about SSI testing requirements, please contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536. If you have questions regarding reporting or state accountability, please contact the Performance Reporting Division at 512-463-9704.
Commissioner of Education