Bipartisan group of lawmakers calls on TEA to cancel STAAR exam for 2020-2021 school year

Two CTX representatives show support
STAAR testing
Posted at 3:03 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 16:05:19-05

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on the Texas Education Agency to cancel the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness exam for the 2020-2021 school year due to the effects of COVID-19.

In a letter to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, the group, made up of 50 Democrats and 18 Republicans, is urging the request of necessary waivers from the United States Department of Education so that Texas students would not be required to take the tests next school year.

"The COVID Slide, an academic deficit that the agency has widely recognized, has resulted in students, across the state, being behind grade-level in nearly every subject. Instead of proceeding with the administration of the STAAR exam as planned, the agency, along with our districts and campuses, should be focused on providing high-quality public education with an emphasis on ensuring the health and safety of students and educators," penned the legislators.

If the STAAR test is administered, the group says it should be used as a "diagnostic instrument" to see where students are academically rather than as an assessment of school districts.

Central Texas Representatives Brad Buckley of District 54 and J.D. Sheffield of District 59 were a part of the group of lawmakers to support the cancellation.

Full letter: