Several Houston-area school districts report problems with online STAAR testing, plan to resume Wednesday

HOUSTON – Several school districts in the Houston area reported problems Tuesday with the online version of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test.

In an email obtained by KPRC 2 Investigates, officials at the Texas Education Agency notified schools of technical difficulties with online STAAR testing.

“Our vendor, ETS, is currently investigating the reports,” the email read.

Later the TEA released a statement, “... We understand the frustration this has caused students, parents, teachers, and administrators. What happened today is completely unacceptable. ETS, the testing vendor, experienced problems with their database system, which are in the process of being corrected. The 2021 online administration of STAAR will be ETS’s last for the State of Texas. Beginning next school year, Cambium Assessment will be taking over these critical testing functions to ensure that users have a seamless online testing experience moving forward.

“All involved in public education in Texas should expect better than what they have experienced today; we are working to ensure that our students do not experience future testing issues.”

Officials at several school districts, including Spring Branch, Goose Creek, Needville and Dickinson, confirmed some students are having problems accessing the online testing platform.

Officials at most districts said they are following TEA guidelines regarding how to proceed with testing, but some district officials said they have called off testing for Tuesday.

Officials at the Aldine Independent School District said they are only administering paper-based assessments, and testing is proceeding as planned.

About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.