Tarrant County school districts are working with the Texas Education Agency to determine how many students were impacted by glitches to this year's STAAR online testing system that were described as sources of frustration for students and educators.
"The impact on our children during these glitches caused disappointment, anger, tears, and anxiety among our most fragile learners," Megan Overman, spokeswoman for Eagle Mountain-Saginaw schools, wrote in an email. "Our teachers and staff did their best to decrease students' anxiety in the interim, and the connectivity issues were eventually addressed, but for some students the multiple disruptions were too late for them to refocus their attention."
In May, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced that about 70,000 students were impacted by issues with the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, online testing system. Last week, the commissioner expanded the review of which students were affected by problems during testing.
Now, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw and other school districts are working with the state to figure out how many students were affected.
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"Thankfully, TEA has listened to our concerns and has responded with the updated changes for students and schools," Overman said. "Further, we know they are working to resolve the online testing issues so that this is not a problem for the future and we appreciate the seriousness they are giving to the matter."
The Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school district is in northwest Tarrant County and serves about 19,100 students.
The 86,000-student Fort Worth school district is waiting to receive a "state-generated list of impacted students," Sara Arispe, assistant superintendent of accountability and data quality, wrote in an email. That list will be compared to district data, she said. The final list from the state is not expected until late July.
In Fort Worth, some students experienced a loss of online connection, so a student would have to log back in, Arispe said. Students also had difficulty saving, so a "saving" message would appear on screen and then the saving icon would continue to spin for lengthy periods of time, Arispe said.
The Arlington school district, which has about 62,000 students, indicated that about 684 students experienced issues in April and May.
Spokeswoman Leslie Johnston said in an email that final numbers may include more. Students in Arlington schools experienced multiple "boot offs" and extended time logged off the system, she said.
"Our main concern is about students who may not have passed due to the glitch," Johnston said. "For many students, this was their last chance to pass before graduation."
Morath announced earlier in May that the TEA will exclude the results of STAAR tests for students directly affected by online testing issues. Additionally, students in grades 5 and 8 who were directly affected by issues in testing and did not pass will not be required to retest this month.
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.