Rotary supplies snacks to teachers during STAAR testing
The Rotary Club of San Marcos expressed its thanks to teachers and school administrators by supplying snacks to those administering STAAR tests last week. Individually wrapped snacks, water and soft drinks were available at De Zavala Elementary School throughout the testing period.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Marfa school board unable to nominate new president, but does pledge to have face-to-face class next year – The Big Bend Sentinel
By Sachi McClendonMARFA – At Monday’s meeting, the Marfa Independent School District Board struggled to nominate a new board president, but was able to come together to make a pledge to have only face-to-face classes next school year, barring another coronavirus outbreak. At the beginning of the meeting, new board member Rene Gonzales was sworn into his position. It was motioned by Board President Katie Price Fowlkes to restructure the board to where Christa Marquez would become president, Price Fowlkes would step down to VP and Teresa Nunez would remain secretary. Nunez, who wanted the role of president, said that veteran board members like herself should be at the top of the committee hierarchy. Toward the end of the meeting, the board passed a motion to only offer face-to-face instruction for the next school year.bigbendsentinel.com
Texas STAAR faces technical problems, leaving thousands of students unable to access test
Thousands of Texas students who showed up in-person to take the STAAR tests in the middle of a pandemic are sitting idly while education officials frantically investigate the source of widespread technical issues that have prevented the test from being administered.
Diego Bernal, other Bexar County state reps, ask TEA for STAAR opt-out process
SAN ANTONIO – Dozens of Texas state representatives, led by San Antonio Democrat Diego Bernal, asked the Texas Education Agency to allow Texas parents to opt their children out of STAAR testing this year. The letter was signed by 68 state representatives in all, including all 10 from Bexar County. AdThis AM we sent a letter to TEA requesting a formal STAAR opt-out procedure. #txlege pic.twitter.com/42Viz03oQu — Diego Bernal (@DiegoBernalTX) February 8, 2021Speaking to KSAT, Bernal noted this year’s testing will matter less than usual. Bernal said parents could already opt-out in a fashion by keeping their children out of school.
Texas will require students to take the STAAR test in person
Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneTexas public school students must show up in person to take the STAAR test this spring and districts can apply for waivers to socially distance test takers, according to recent guidance released by the Texas Education Agency. School districts can set up sites outside of their schools, including performing arts centers, hotels and recreational centers where they can "ensure equitable access and maintain test security." AdCurrently, Texas requires all districts to allow in-person learning for all students who want it, with few exceptions. Texas has already said students in younger grades who fail required STAAR exams can move up to the next grade. Morath said the data from the tests will show the extent of the educational gaps Texas students have experienced during a devastating pandemic.
Texas hires two companies to run STAAR, moving toward statewide online testing
It will also continue work on an existing testing contract through August. The two companies will take over from Educational Testing Service, or ETS, which has had the bulk of the state's testing contract since 2016. Texas students grades 3-12 take the STAAR assessments, which often determine whether they can graduate or move up to the next grade. Currently, just 20% of Texas students take the STAAR online, many of them students with disabilities and those learning English, according to Cambium's contract. As ETS' contract was set to end in 2019, Texas chose to extend ETS' contract through Aug. 31.
STAAR testing will continue in 2020-2021 school year, but A-F ratings will be paused, TEA says
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. 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. 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. To learn more about the STAAR test, visit the TEA’s website here.
Texas students will still take STAAR tests in 2021, but schools won't be rated on them
Texas public school students will still take the STAAR test this spring, but the state will not rate schools and districts based on their results, the Texas Education Agency announced Thursday. In normal years, Texas rates its schools and districts on a scale from A through F, based in large part on the scores students receive on the standardized tests. But he said in November that he was reviewing exactly how those student scores would be used to rate schools and districts. Last spring, Texas applied for and received a waiver from the federal government allowing it not to administer the STAAR test. Usually, student scores on the test determine whether high school students can graduate, whether some elementary and middle school students can move on to the next grade, and whether schools can remain open.
68 members of the Texas House call for STAAR exams to be canceled this year
“Absent the STAAR test, you’re not going to have a valid, reliable view of grade-level mastery of student skills,” he said. Last spring, Texas applied for and received a waiver from the federal government allowing it not to administer the STAAR. Texas has already committed to allowing elementary and middle school students who fail the exams this spring to move up to the next grade, with district permission. Usually, student scores on the test determine whether high school students can graduate, whether some elementary and middle school students can move on to the next grade, and whether schools can remain open. The Texas State Teachers Association, which has been calling for a suspension of STAAR testing since June, quickly came out in support of the legislators’ letter.
San Antonio lawmaker, 68 bipartisan Texas House members seek cancellation of STAAR exam
SAN ANTONIO – A member of the Texas House of Representatives from San Antonio is urging the Texas Education Agency to cancel the administering of the STAAR exam for the 2020- 2021 school year, citing COVID-19 concerns. Rep. Diego Bernal, a Democrat who represents District 123, sent a letter to TEA requesting that the agency seek the waivers necessary from the United States Department of Education for the cancellation. The letter has been signed by 68 Democratic and Republican members of the Texas House. But Bernal said instead of having students take the exam, the TEA “should be focused on providing high-quality public education with an emphasis on ensuring the health and safety of students and educators. You can read the letter Bernal sent to TEA below:
Texas fifth and eighth graders won't have to pass STAAR test to move on to the next grade
Texas students will still have to take the STAAR test next year, but fifth and eighth grade students will be able to move on to the next grade even if they fail, Gov. State education officials announced earlier this summer that third through 12th grade students would take the state standardized exams, or STAAR, this upcoming academic year. But Abbott said that next spring, the fifth and eighth grade math and reading exams would only be administered one time, in May. Student scores on the STAAR also determine whether high school students and graduate and whether schools can remain open. In normal circumstances, high school students must pass five subject-specific standardized tests in order to graduate.
Harlandale ISD teachers push for remote learning for fall school year amid COVID-19 surge
SAN ANTONIO Harlandale ISD teachers gathered Sunday afternoon at Harlandale Memorial Stadium to voice their concerns on returning to school in the fall as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the area. The president of the Harlandale Education Association said they are asking for flexibility to do 100% remote learning until its safe to return. We want our governor... to know that you cannot put a time stamp on life, on us to return to school. Theres no way that our students should be accountable for STAAR at this moment, said Julie Gimbel, president of Harlandale Education Association. A health directive issued Friday by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District said school districts in San Antonio cannot reopen schools for on-campus, face-to-face instruction until after September 7.
Texas to resume high-stakes standardized testing in 2020-21 school year
AUSTIN, Texas Texas public school districts haven't finalized their plans for a return to the classroom, but they know the state will resume its high-stakes standardized testing for millions of students. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told the state Board of Education on Tuesday that the annual State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, also known as STAAR, will return in the 2020-2021 school year. Days later, the federal government waived its standardized testing requirements. The STAAR test begins in third grade and can stop poor-performing students from advancing to the next grade or graduating high school. Standardized testing should be the last priority for students, educators and policy makers.
Controversy, debate over STAAR test: Is exam failing students, kids?
SAN ANTONIO KSAT News at Nine examined the debate and controversy over the STAAR test in Texas. Some educators, parents and Texas lawmakers have been arguing for years that the test isn't an accurate measure of success. Others say the test is just too advanced. But the Texas Education Agency tells KSAT it is confident the agency's assessments are on grade level. We took a look at what the STAAR test is all about, including what impact it has on your kids and school funding in Texas.