LISD reports glitches with STAAR vendor that caused test retakes

LISD on STAAR test glitches
Leftwich (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)
Leftwich (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)
Source: Ashlyn Tubbs
Source: Ashlyn Tubbs

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It is a testing change that has made this year's STAAR test the most difficult experience in over a decade for Lubbock Independent School District.

Pam Leftwich, the executive director of research assessment for LISD, said that stess they felt this past March is shared statewide after challenges with a new vendor.

"ETS is a new vendor we have and they're over all the StAAR assessments," she said, "It was very frustrating for the students and the campus test administrators and campus personnel that when they would log in and take their test they may have spent one to two hours on their test and when they maybe took a break and came back their answers weren't there so we had about 51 students that were affected."

While many students took the retest option, some parents were angered by the flawed process and refused.

"The TEA said there would be no penalty," Leftwich said.

These are issues Leftwich  says districts statewide experienced

Another Lubbock school, Frenship ISD, did not have any problems according to spokesman Andy Penney:

"We were fortunate and did not have any complications in March, so we do not have any retakes to administer. We have received the test results and every student was accounted for....no student or their test was affected by this."

When KCBD reached out to the ETS for comment, they directed us to the Texas Education Agency who told us:

"The transition to a new testing vendor has been rougher than expected. Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has been visiting with superintendents statewide on a regular basis to hear their concerns. Correspondence has been sent to all districts that provide some direction. Utilizing the information provided by superintendents across the state, TEA has been in dialogue with ETS on what steps will be taken to ensure issues like these do not happen again. If they do, Commissioner Morath advised during remarks to the State Board of Education earlier this month that he would look at all options including reopening the contract. Finally, Commissioner Morath has spoken about liquidated damages being assessed against ETS in regard to the testing problems. That tabulation is taking place now."

Leftwich just hopes these problems are fixed to make sure students only have to feel this pressure once next year.

"We want things to be fair, we don't want anything to jeopardize a student's well-being," she said, "as well as their graduation and promotion requirements."

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