Questar has advised NYSED of an issue related to the text-to-speech (TTS) functionality for Chromebooks running the Chrome Operating System (OS) versions 85, 89 and Beta version 90. The issue is caused by the updates made by Google to the Chrome OS, not the Nextera testing platform. This issue will not be a problem for those schools equipped with Chromebooks currently operating with OS version 86, 87 or 88, as long as these schools do not update their devices to version 89 or 90 prior to the test. Additionally, this issue only impacts students testing on Chromebooks and receiving the TTS accommodation. Students without this accommodation may test on Chromebooks with any OS version.
On Chromebooks running OS version 89 or 90, the TTS word highlighting and audio do not stay in sync. That is, the words in print on the computer screen will not be highlighted at the same pace as they are being spoken by the device to the student. Please note that this issue occurs only on devices running Chrome OS 85, 89 or Beta version 90 and does not occur on Chromebooks running operating system versions 86, 87, or 88. Additionally, this issue does not occur on Windows, Mac, or iPad devices.
Schools using Chromebook devices for State testing who have students requiring the TTS accommodation should make sure that the device that such students will be using is operating on OS version 86, 87, or 88 and should NOT update their Chromebooks to the new OS version 89 or, when it becomes available, version 90. A graphic and instructions have been provided below on how to determine the OS version currently installed on a Chromebook. This information is also provided on the Questar Test Readiness page under the information for the Chromebook Operating System requirements and is consistent with prior guidance to schools to avoid updates to the computer devices within one month of the testing window.
If your school has already updated its Chromebooks to OS version 89, it is recommended that any students with the TTS accommodation use a different supported Windows, MAC, or iPad device for testing. If that is not feasible, Questar customer support can advise on how to revert the device to version 88 of the Chrome OS. You may reach out to them by their email or by phone at 866 997 0695.
Finally, Questar’s technical staff are working with Google on this issue and will immediately advise NYSED of any additional solutions. NYSED will provide further updates should other options to resolve this issue be identified.
If you have any questions concerning this information, please contact Questar customer support's email.
Determining the OS Version on a Chromebook
- Click the system tray on the lower right corner of the screen. The menu will expand upwards.
- Select the “Settings” icon to open the Settings window.
- Select “About Chrome OS” from the left side of the Settings menu.
The OS Version is listed just under the “Google Chrome OS” heading.