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Texas Education Agency: No A-F Ratings, But STAAR Still On For 2020-21 School Year

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STAAR Testing Will Proceed To Gauge What Students Have Learned, Impact Of Pandemic On Education

Texas Education Agency announced Dec. 10 that A-F ratings would be paused for 2020-21 school year due to the ongoing disruptions associated with COVID-19. Students will still have to take the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams, however.

According to TEA, 2020-21 STAAR testing will “provide critically important information about individual student learning that teachers and parents can use to help students grow.”

“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,” Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath was quoted in the press release.

According to TEA, in addition to providing a look at how individual students are performing, they will give “education leaders and policymakers across Texas a comprehensive picture of what are likely to be sweeping impacts of the pandemic on student learning.” That, says TEA, will help policymakers craft solutions for the years ahead. STAAR results just won’t be used for accountability purposes this school year.

Mike Morath (TEA photo)

“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,” Morath said.

School systems are required to make STAAR available to every eligible student. The test will be administered on school campuses across the state or at other secure alternative testing site, according to TEA.

TEA will be providing flexibility to allow schools that incorporate STAAR results into teacher evaluations to remove that component this school year.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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