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State leaders push back on in-person STAAR exam, Central Texas schools prepare for test with COVID-19 precautions

The State of Texas will require students to take the STAAR exam in person in the spring.

AUSTIN, Texas — Central Texas school districts are preparing for the STAAR test with coronavirus precautions after the Texas Education Agency said it will require students to take the test in person this spring. Some state leaders are still fighting against this option. 

"The thing that frustrates me is that the TEA said, 'You know what, don't worry, schools and school districts, we're not going to use it for promotion or for recording a grade tied to the school,' but you're still going to create a ton of unnecessary anxiety for so many families," said State Sen. José Menéndez. "I honestly don't understand what they're hoping to learn. I think what it's going to tell them is who gets to do better under a pandemic and what students don't. But how does that really help?"

Regardless of what critics think, Texas schools are preparing to welcome back all students to take the test. In Central Texas, leaders with Round Rock ISD said they plan to follow strict coronavirus protocol. Social distancing, mask-wearing, and RRISD also plans to work with families who have concerns or unique needs.

Menéndez recently released a survey asking Texas families what they think about this decision. Menéndez said more than 11,000 have responded and 97% are against going back in person for the test.  

"The opposition is so great. My hope is that we can get the governor, lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house to join us in pushing TEA to reverse his decision," said Menéndez.

Menéndez said the survey closes on Saturday and hopes to give parents, teachers and students a chance to weigh-in. 

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