AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — After glitches during statewide standardized testing, Texas is excusing students affected from some passing requirements and fining the firm that administers the exams.

Last month, 41,702 students were booted for about 20 minutes from the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR exam. Then, earlier this month, 29,307 students taking it were affected by about 90 minutes of connectivity slowdowns.

Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced Thursday that 5th and 8th graders who were affected won’t be required to pass the exams to move on to the next grade. Testing problems also will be taken into account when the state calculates schools’ campus and district academic accountability ratings.


Morath also said Educational Testing Service, the New Jersey-based firm that administers STAAR testing, has been assessed $100,000 in “liquidated damages.”

Morath is a former Dallas ISD school board member.

Educational Testing Service has had a four-year contract with the TEA from 2015 to 2019.

Since September 2015, ETS has been fined twice because of problems with testing, according to the CBS11 I-Team.

There is often much anxiety for students associated with STAAR testing.

Depending on the grade, the STAAR scores could determine promotions to the next grade–or in some cases, if a student will graduate high school.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)