Governor Greg Abbott announced today that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
With schools across the state closing due to the ongoing concerns of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) stated that “it has become apparent that schools will be unable to administer the STAAR as they would normally. We are thankful for Governor Abbott’s willingness to waive the STAAR testing requirement, as it allows schools the maximum flexibility to remain focused on public health while also investing in the capacity to support student learning remotely.
Governor Abbott is working closely with TEA to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19. This includes tailoring instruction for students with special needs so that they have access to the same education as other students in the district. Governor Abbott will continue to work with the TEA on developing additional methods to ensure that students are learning and ready to succeed at the next grade-level.
“During this unprecedented public health challenge, we at TEA are doing all we can to support our schools and local communities,” said TEA in a statement released today. “We will continue to support [educators] in every way we can, including ensuring the availability of free tools to diagnose student learning.”
The move to waive testing requirements reflects the Governor’s emphasis on public health over all other priorities at this time. "Your health and safety are top priorities, and the state of Texas will give school districts flexibility to protect and ensure the health of students, faculty, and their families," said Governor Abbott. "We will empower schools to make the best decisions to protect their communities from COVID-19."
These discussions are ongoing and more information will be provided as it develops.