Thousands of parents were notified Thursday that state exams taken by some Eanes ISD students may have been lost. But the Educational Testing Services or ETS said it’s all just miscommunication.
Are they or are they not missing? That is the question Eanes ISD wants answered about some Staar tests taken by their students. Dr. Tom Leonard is the Superintendent for the school district, “We sent the tests in, we sent them through, it's a documented, we know how we sent them, we have the tracking numbers we send our boxes in to ETS,” he said. But Dr. Leonard said ETS contacted the district and told them they didn’t receive the tests. The district then sent out a letter to parents of 3rd through 8th graders, saying there was a chance their tests were missing. Dr. Leonard said if it turns out the tests are missing, they will not punish the kids for the mistakes of adults. “Our kids took them, our school district sent them, somebody there received them, none of our kids made a mistake, our kids will not be retested,” he said.
ETS sent Fox 7 this statement saying: "Answer reports for students in the Eanes School District are not lost and will be reported, as scheduled. As millions of answer reports were returned to ETS for processing in May, ETS contacted the district with due diligence because our tracking system indicated we had not yet received their shipment. The district indicated they had shipped them and this was subsequently confirmed. ETS then informed the District Test Coordinator that the answer documents had been received and were being processed. The report that scores were lost is not supported by the facts."
Many Texas districts have had issues with Staar testing and ETS which is the new test provider this year. Earlier this year, a computer glitch reportedly affected more than 14,000 exams. Dr. Leonard said it's normal and every testing company has problems. “You are not going to test this many kids, in the State of Texas and not have problems. Even Amazon loses a box once in a while.” Dr. Leonard said they will know for sure June 15th, as that is the deadline for student’s scores to be released. “I am optimistic we are going to get the test scores, everything is going to be okay,” he said.
The district said they have notified the Texas Education Agency and are working with them on guidelines or recommendations if ETS does not find the tests.