No test answers lost after new, minor STAAR glitch

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It’s been two years since a massive computer glitch wrecked STAAR test results statewide – after another hi-tech hiccup this week, educators across the state are breathing a sigh of relief to learn no scores were impacted.

The ‘interruption’ in the online platform for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness affected some Kilgore ISD students (in addition to more than 100,000 simultaneous test-takers) but only briefly and with no data-loss.

In Spring 2016, thousands of students’ answers disappeared into the digital ether due to a software error. About a dozen local students’ test answers were wiped in the mishap. It was an emotional and logistical crisis in the midst of testing season, but the flub ultimately didn’t count against the students or their schools.

By comparison, this week’s glitch was relatively minor: a disruption to the state server at about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday reportedly logged students out of the test, and they were temporarily unable to log back in. A subsequent query to the server degraded system performance until the process was halted.

“There were approximately 104,000 students testing during the database query and the percentage of these that may have been interrupted is under investigation,” according to an email from Deborah Sauberer, executive director of Student Assessment for the Texas Education Agency. “We apologize for the confusion and appreciate your patience as we worked through the issue.”

KISD District Testing Coordinator Jennie Good reports no lasting impact from the malfunction.

“Kilgore ISD is not currently aware of any loss of student testing data resulting from the interruption from the state testing server,” Good said. “We had only minor interruption that resulted in some of our online testing students being logged out and having to log back into their test.”

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