STAAR glitches affected more than 100,000 Texas students, education commissioner says

By David Yaffe-Bellany

More than 100,000 Texas students were affected by computer glitches on standardized tests this year, tens of thousands more than previously estimated, Education Commissioner Mike Morath told the State Board of Education during a briefing on Wednesday morning.

In May, Morath threw out 71,000 students’ results for the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness and fined Educational Testing Service, the New Jersey company that administered and graded the test, $100,000 for the computer glitches. Morath also has waived promotion requirements tied to STAAR scores for fifth and eighth graders affected by the glitches.

At the Wednesday meeting, Morath said 41,702 students were affected by slow connectivity during testing in April, while another 58,743 experienced slowdowns or had trouble logging into computerized tests in May. The new total of 100,445 affected students marks a roughly 30,000-student increase from Morath’s previous estimate of the number who encountered computer problems.

The increased estimate came after Morath expanded the criteria for determining whether computer glitches affected students, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“We’re working pretty furiously to prevent this sort of thing in the future,” Morath told the board. 

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