Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
Governor Abbott is working closely with the Texas Education Agency (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. These discussions are ongoing and more information will be provided as it develops.
“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.”
The move to waive testing requirements reflects the Governor’s emphasis on public health over all other priorities at this time. In normal times, Texas’ assessment system provides educators and parents with reliable information on whether or not their students have mastered grade-level content. The Governor remains committed to ensuring parents, students, and school districts have access to this information in future years.
Superintendents should continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, and their families. Their leadership is an important part of our statewide efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect public health.
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, also known as STAAR, is the state-mandated test given annually to students from elementary through high school. Several state lawmakers and education groups had urged Abbott to cancel this year’s tests.
It was still unclear how canceling STAAR would affect students who need certain tests to advance to the next grade level or graduate.
Abbott said he was working with Texas education officials to ensure students are prepared for next year as schools brace for a possible shift to online learning.