Changes made to STAAR tests to avoid glitches

Changes made to STAAR tests to avoid glitches

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As standardized testing begins this week, Texas Education Agency officials say revamped efforts and nearly $20 million in improvements should help avoid glitches.

Spokesperson Lauren Callahan tells Newschannel 10 there is more protection in place to avoid the online problems experienced by 14,000 students last year, including here in the Panhandle.

Computer glitches erased answers, testing materials were sent to wrong locations because of delivery problems, meaning thousands of tests had to be re-scored.

"We had made a big commitment to our districts and our vendors made a big commitment to us that some of the issues that we saw last year, we're not going to see this year. So we feel confident that some of the issues that we saw last year have been addressed. It is going to be a completely error-free process? Probably not. We've got 5.3 million kids across the state, but we are certainly I think in a good spot," says Callahan.

Changes made include redesigned delivery and tracking systems, and added server capabilities.

"I know that our vendor boosted its server capabilities so that it could handle larger volume," says Callahan. "They've certainly been addressing their delivery and tracking systems, in fact they redesigned those so that testing materials would be better located as well as some student information would be better located. We see some glitches every year. It's just, unavoidable given like I said the nature of the size of testing that we're doing. But certainly we had a commitment to our vendor that this year and years to come would run far more smoothly than things ran last year."

AISD tells us, "Since last year's errors were on the reporting side (not in the actual testing), preparations for this upcoming round of testing remain consistent for our District. We have not made any changes on our end."

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