STAAR Test Glitches Could Lead to School District Sanctions

Issues with this year’s STAAR tests may have wider repercussions, because so much rides on these statewide standardized tests.

By Alain StephensMay 17, 2016 11:57 am

Audio will be available shortly.

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, better known as the STAAR test, has been under a lot of scrutiny this year. The test is required for public school students but, to many students’ and teachers’ dismay, this year’s sitting has been rife with glitches. Some schools reported that entire portions of test answers simply disappeared after they were electronically submitted.

Now superintendents across the state are voicing concerns, saying students and school districts shouldn’t be evaluated by such a problematic test.

Eva Ayala, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, says educators have had missing test keys, private student information sent to the wrong district, and completed tests delivered to the wrong location. Ayala says this is the first year the state has used tests made by ETS, a test agency out of New Jersey that makes and administers other standardized tests like the GRE for graduate school admission.

“Each year there are some bumps, or some glitches,” she says. “But this year, it’s much more widespread than we’ve seen before.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How these glitches could impact a district

– What’s riding on the outcome of the STAAR tests, including teacher evaluations and school district assessments

– The sanctions at the federal and state level for districts with failing students, including improvement plans like replacing staff or administrators