Contrary to an earlier mandate set by the Texas Education Agency, remote learners will not be required to take the STAAR test this spring.
After the TEA announced that all students would be required to take the annual exam, many teachers and education advocacy groups pushed back, claiming theon-campus assessments are unfair and unsafe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soon after, Texas State Rep. Gina Hinojosa filed a petition against the standardized test. “As well all know, our families are under really unprecedented pressures right now because of the pandemic,” stated Hinojosa. “Taking a test, which has the sole purpose of comparing and sorting kids in schools and districts, is not appropriate right now.”
Last week, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath sat down with the TexasTribune and defended the decision for the requirement. Morath said that the STAAR test will provide crucial data as the state combats a learning gap produced by the pandemic.
However, some students learning remotely will be able to skip the exam. High school students in Texas will be required to pass the STAAR end-of-course assessments for Algebra I, English I, Biology and U.S. History in order to graduated. That requirement was waived last year.
Local districts are adjusting accordingly to state orders.