STAAR testing will continue in 2020-2021 school year, but A-F ratings will be paused, TEA says

The testing will be used to gauge student learning so teachers, parents can help them grow

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TEXAS – STAAR testing will continue in the 2020-2021 school year despite the ongoing disruptions for student education due to the coronavirus pandemic, as announced Thursday by the Texas Education Agency.

However, the A-F ratings assigned to schools every year based on these test results will be paused.

The testing will instead be used “to provide critically important information about individual student learning that teachers and parents can use to help students grow,” the TEA said in a release.

Schools that incorporate these STAAR results into teacher evaluations are also being given some flexibility, as the TEA said it could remove those results from the evaluations this school year. The results will also not be used for “accountability purposes,” according to officials.

“The last nine months have been some of the most disruptive of our lives. The challenges have been especially pronounced for our parents, teachers, and students. We continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff in our schools this year, while working to ensure students grow academically,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “The issuance of A-F ratings for schools has proven to be a valuable tool to support continuous improvement for our students, allowing educators, parents, and the general public to better identify and expand efforts that are working for kids. But the pandemic has disrupted school operations in fundamental ways that have often been outside the control of our school leaders, making it far more difficult to use these ratings as a tool to support student academic growth. As a result, we will not issue A-F ratings this school year.”

The TEA said school systems must make STAAR available to all eligible students and administer the test on school campuses across the state or other alternative testing sites.

The STAAR test is “an assessment of the grade level expectations of Texas students, with questions designed by subject matter experts and committees of Texas teachers to measure how well students have mastered knowledge and skills in various grades and subjects,” according to the TEA.

To learn more about the STAAR test, visit the TEA’s website here.

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