Nearly 70 Texas legislators have signed a letter asking the Texas Education Agency to cancel the STAAR exam this school year.
Rep. Diego Bernal sent a letter on Wednesday asking TEA to cancel the STAAR exam for 2020 and have it be used as a “diagnostic tool” instead.
Dozens of Texas legislators signed a letter asking the Texas Education Agency to cancel the STAAR exam this school year.
This AM, I sent a bipartisan letter to the TEA requesting that TX seek the federal waivers necessary to cancel the STAAR test. At most, STAAR should only be used as a diagnostic tool, as opposed to determine sanctions under the A-F accountability system. #txlege pic.twitter.com/q6zs6ZZCaB
— Diego Bernal (@DiegoBernalTX) November 18, 2020
“At most, any administration of the STAAR exam during the 2020-2021 school year should only serve as a diagnostic instrument to see where our students stand academically as opposed to an assessment instrument to determine district and campus sanctions under the current A-F accountability system,” Bernal stated in the letter.
Bernal, who is out of San Antonio, is the vice chairman of the State House Public Education Committee. A total of 68 legislators signed the bipartisan letter.
Bernal’s letter also referenced the “COVID Slide,” the belief that the virus has impacted large numbers of students to the point that many are now behind and/or failing.
“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,” wrote Bernal.
The Texas State Teachers Association announced it’s support of Bernal’s call. The organization tweeted, “#TeamTSTA applauds and supports the efforts of 68 members of the Texas House, both Republicans and Democrats, who have called on the state education commissioner to seek the necessary federal waivers to cancel STAAR testing for this school year.”
#TeamTSTA applauds and supports the efforts of 68 members of the Texas House, both Republicans and Democrats, who have called on the state education commissioner to seek the necessary federal waivers to cancel STAAR testing for this school year. https://t.co/jftF3X9Ckk pic.twitter.com/cGUXxekytn
— TSTA/NEA (@txstateteachers) November 18, 2020
In July, just four months after the pandemic began, Gov. Greg Abbott waived the grade promotion requirement related to the STAAR exam for 5th and 8th grade students.
Waiving the grade promotion requirement related to STAAR testing for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) July 27, 2020