HISD: Thousands of STAAR retest answer sheets go missing during shipping

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Thursday, June 4, 2015
HISD: Thousands of STAAR retest answer sheets go missing

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Thousands of HISD students are in limbo after their STAAR retest answer sheets were reported missing by a shipping company.

According to Houston ISD, 2,370 answer sheets of fifth and eighth graders from 57 different campuses were lost when a box broke open during transit to Pearson, the state's test vendor, on May 15. The school district immediately identified the Texas Education Agency.

"State assessments are required by law for all students enrolled in Texas public schools. Fifth- and eighth-grade students also are required to pass the STAAR before they can promote to the next grade level," according to a statement sent to Eyewitness News. "When students don't meet all district and state promotion requirements, they are referred to a school-based Grade Placement Committee prior to the start of summer school for a formal review of grades, attendance records and other assessments."

It's up to the committee, which is made up of parents, teachers and campus administrators, to determine whether these students can then move on to the next grade.

However, HISD says of the affected students, 1,393 of them met all requirements, so they're eligible to go before a Grade Placement Committee for promotion. The remaining students will be required by the Texas Education Agency to attend summer school and then take a second re-test in June. They then will go back before the Grade Placement Committee for a final decision, which must be made by July 10.

Parents of affected students are being notified directly by their school administration.

"That's crazy. I can't imagine that happening to me," said Caroline Wells who took her 8th grade STARR test but hasn't received her scores. "I think I did well. Hopefully. I don't know."

Some parents are now worried they will have cancel their summer plans or vacations due to the missing answer sheets.

"I will be disappointed because then I can't go. Anybody would be upset about that," said Wells.