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STAAR test to be administered fully online starting next school year

As part of the new redesign of the STAAR test, the test will be administered fully online starting next school year.
Lubbock ISD started the school year with about a third of students learning virtually, dropping...
Lubbock ISD started the school year with about a third of students learning virtually, dropping to less than one in ten by the end of the year. In its statewide comparison of STAAR tests, the TEA found districts with mostly virtual learning suffered the most.(KCBD)
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As part of the new redesign of the STAAR test, the test will be administered fully online starting next school year. This comes as a result of House Bill 3906 being passed in 2019.

Last year, the optional online version caused chaos for many districts across the country who experienced technical issues when students tried to begin the exam. With online testing now mandated, Texas State Teachers Association staff say they can’t imagine the possible issues that might arise.

“When school districts were administering the tests, we saw lots of districts all across the state that had the test time-out, had the test not even start, and it eventually caused massive chaos that was totally necessary given the high-stakes nature of the testing,” says Clinton Gill with the Texas State Teachers Association.

He says along with the technical issues, he has concerns about the functionality of the paper test versus online.

“As a former teacher, I know that students use that booklet to work out the problems and show their work. We were always advocates that they had to show their work when they took this test and so giving them the opportunity to work it out on a piece of paper and then find the answer choice that matches what they got at least made them feel more accomplished.”

Another issue Gill addressed was the lack of tech support many districts might face. Despite the Texas Education Agency giving districts up to two weeks to administer exams, Gill says there should be funding to help equip schools with the necessary technology needed to place every student on a computer.

“The reality that school districts do not have one to one technology in most areas of the state, and it is an unfunded mandate, so the legislature is not going to be providing money to go out and buy all the laptops and computer processes that are necessary in order to make this test successful.”

Gill says he, and the TSTA are calling on lawmakers to fund the mandate If they plan on continuing with it.

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