Governor waives STAAR testing requirements
Published 9:14 am Monday, March 16, 2020
AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday he is waiving the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
Additionally, Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.
Abbott said he is working closely with the Texas Education Agency to ensure 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 they have access to the same education as other students in the district. Abbott will continue to work with the Texas Education Agency on developing additional methods to ensure 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,” Abbott said. “We will empower schools to make the best decisions to protect their communities from COVID-19.”
In normal times, Texas’ assessment system provides educators and parents with reliable information on whether or not their students have mastered grade-level content. Abbott says he remains committed to ensuring parents, students and school districts have access to this information in future years.
The governor asked superintendents to continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, and their families.
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.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.