DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While Texas school districts are scrambling to figure out how to operate classrooms for the fall semester, one problem they may not have to worry about is standardized testing.
That’s if state lawmakers succeed in a renewed effort to eliminate the STAAR test.
It’s a test students across Texas have taken every spring until 2020 when COVID-19 shutdown more than 500 school districts across the state.
The STAAR test is scheduled to resume next year, but some state lawmakers from North Texas don’t think that’s a good idea.
“We need to take action now to alleviate the concerns of parents, students and teachers as it relates to standardized testing next year,” said State Rep. Jared Patterson – (R) Denton. “It’s just not a good measurement of student achievement, student growth over the course of the year. Our teachers are not manufacturing widgets.”
Representative Patterson says the pandemic has made the assessment test for all third through 12th graders even more unfair.
“They may or may not have the same internet access. They may or may not have the same resources available. They may or may not have the same access to the teacher,” he said.
The state gives hundreds of millions of dollars to a company that administers the exam which the federal government requires.
State Representative Matt Shaheen – (R) Plano, has wanted for a long time to replace STAAR, which he believes is too hard on teachers, with another process to evaluate student progress.
“It gives a guide to the teachers and respect to the progress that students are making throughout the year versus this year-end assessment,” said Rep. Shaheen.
The federal government would have to approve a request by Texas to waive STAAR testing for the 2021 school year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted public education in Texas.
But it may have given state lawmakers more leverage to reexamine how the state measures student achievement.