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.
The announcement comes as districts report alarming numbers of students failing at least one class this fall and thousands of students who have not showed up to online classes or turned in assignments. 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.
“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,” Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Thursday in a statement.
Last spring, Texas applied for and received a waiver from the federal government allowing it not to administer the STAAR test. It is unclear whether President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will offer similar waivers in 2021.
See here and here for the background. I expect the incoming administration to be pretty understanding, and I am in favor of waiving all of this stuff until everything is well and truly back to normal. No need to make it any harder on the kids than it is already. The Chron and the Press have more.