Rough start for online STAAR tests as glitches disconnect thousands

Our call this spring to #StopSTAAR has been echoed by lawmakers and parents across the state—and now, apparently, by the test itself. Technical problems last week stopped thousands of students from completing their STAAR tests administered online.

The affected tests were Grade 4 Writing, Grade 7 Writing, and the English I end-of-course exam. The Texas Education Agency said the glitches were a result of connectivity issues from the online provider, ETS. “We understand the frustration this has caused students, parents, teachers, and administrators. What happened today is completely unacceptable,” the statement said. TEA is phasing out paper STAAR tests and hopes to have all tests administered online within the next couple of years. Last week’s problems followed similar tech incidents that shut down STAAR in 2015 and 2018.

Texas AFT President Zeph Capo reacted to the technical problems on Twitter: “We told y’all that damn test was a waste of time and money.”