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Report: Texas students must take STAAR test in 2020-21, regardless of COVID-19 situation

Reports say Texas students will still be required to take the test, but with some changes.

AUSTIN, Texas — No matter what the COVID-19 outlook is for Texas, students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test in the 2020-21 school year, according to a report from our partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

The Statesman reported Tuesday that Texas would continue to require students to take the state-mandated, standardized exam, but with some changes. Among the reported changes to the STAAR test would be including an expanded testing window and making adjustments to the way the State’s accountability system works "given we lost last year’s data and it’s going to be harder to calculate growth," according to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. 

The STAAR test is administered to students from third grade through high school. Advocacy group Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment already asked the Texas Education Agency to waive the STAAR test, according to the Statesman


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"To judge a student in the middle of a pandemic just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do," Heather Sheffield, TAMSA president, told the Statesman Tuesday.

On June 23, the TEA released new guidelines for attendance, remote learning and personal protective equipment amid reopening schools in the fall. Final TEA documents showed school districts will receive masks, thermometers and hand sanitizer, but it will be up to the districts to distribute them.

Some educators, like Texas State Teachers Association President Noel Candelaria, told KVUE on June 24 that the guidelines are too lenient.

"What if, because of me, my student gets sick and their family gets sick or they lose a loved one? I mean, you know, we've seen the traumatic impact that COVID-19 has had on families that have lost loved ones," Candelaria said. "We want to ensure their safety and because we want to see them again. We don't want to risk their lives for the sake of being able to close an academic gap."

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