LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Governor Greg Abbott announced another change in Texas education for the 2020-2021 school year Monday, waiving grade promotion requirement related to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test for students in grades 5 and 8.
According to State officials, there will only be one administration of the STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading assessments for the 2020–21 school year, administered in May to coincide with other STAAR grades 3-8 assessments. Typically, students enrolled in grades 5 and 8 are required to re-take a STAAR test late in the school year, and sometimes again in the summer, if they do not meet grade level when taken during the spring.
Previously, school systems would take into account a student’s score on the STAAR test to determine whether the student can be promoted to the next grade level, and officials say the traditional A-F rating system will remain in place, but with certain adjustments due to COVID-19.
“As always, our goal is to provide a high quality education for every Texas student,” said Governor Abbott. “This will be a uniquely challenging school year, therefore, this year is about providing students every opportunity to overcome the disruptions caused by COVID-19. By waiving these promotion requirements, we are providing greater flexibility for students and teachers, while at the same time ensuring that Texas students continue to receive a great education — which we will continue to measure with high quality assessments.”
The Texas Education Agency provided information following the Governor’s announcement, saying school districts and open-enrollment charter schools are not required to apply for a waiver of these SSI requirements. Districts will have local discretion on whether these students should advance to the next grade, “based on local criteria that reflect a student’s academic achievement and mastery of subject matter, and should include STAAR assessment results, along with other relevant information,” according to the TEA.
The TEA says although students in grades 5 and 8 will not be retained solely on the basis of STAAR results, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools will remain accountable for student performance.
You can read the full waiver announcement from the TEA, here.
In June, the TEA answered some Frequently Asked Questions regarding 2020-2021 testing with the STAAR administration and changes due to COVID-19.