Texas suspends STAAR testing requirements for 2019-20 school year

Due+to+the+Coronavirus+%28COVID-19%29+situation%2C+Texas+Governor+Greg+Abbott+has+waived+requirements+for+the+State+of+Texas+Assessments+of+Academic+Readiness+%28STAAR%29+tests+for+the+2019-20+school+year.+STAAR+tests+have+been+administered+to+students+in+grades+3-11+by+the+Texas+Education+Agency+%28TEA%29+since+the+2011-12+school+year.

Shriya Vanparia

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has waived requirements for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests for the 2019-20 school year. STAAR tests have been administered to students in grades 3-11 by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) since the 2011-12 school year.

By Shivi Sharma, Coppell High School

It was announced today that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has eliminated state testing requirements for the 2019-20 school year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests will not be administered for the current school year in an attempt to prioritize public health in schools.

Due to the federal government’s requirement for state testing, Abbott is currently requesting the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to waive federal testing as well.

Some district leaders have asked Texas Education Agency (TEA) officials if they can continue STAAR testing in their local areas. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath will finalize details about testing by this Thursday.

“Your health and safety are top priorities, and the state of Texas will give school districts flexibility to protect and ensure the health of students, faculty, and their families,” Abbott said in a statement. “We will empower schools to make the best decisions to protect their communities from COVID-19.”

STAAR tests have been administered to grades 3-11 across the state since the 2011-12 school year by the TEA and were scheduled to begin in April.

“There are so many better ways to observe great instruction,” Coppell ISD trustee Tracy Fisher said via text. “Our teachers are amazing. STAAR raises the floor a bit and lowers the ceiling a lot. We need to use this decision as an opportunity to redefine success, as we’ve wasted 25 years doubling down on this system.”

The decision to cancel STAAR testing follows Governor Abbott’s declaration of a “state of disaster” in Texas on Friday and the rescheduling of SAT and ACT college-entrance exams to June. At this time, CISD is closed through March 20 and is continuing to evaluate the situation before making additional long-term announcements.

View the CISD website for updates regarding school closures and information about COVID-19.

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on March 16, 2020.