Changes made to STAAR tests to avoid glitches

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DALLAS - Texas Education Agency officials say revamped efforts and nearly $20 million in improvements should help avoid glitches as standardized testing begins this week.

The Dallas Morning News reports the upgrades are meant to avoid online problems with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR. The exams help determine whether students get promoted or graduate.

Glitches happened last March during the first year that New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service administered the Texas exams.

The problems affected more than 14,000 students who had answers erased or who were given the wrong test versions. Other issues included delivery mix-ups and scoring problems.

TEA official Penny Schwinn says more safeguards are in place, such as redesigned delivery and tracking systems, plus the testing company significantly boosted its server capabilities.

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