EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - COVID-19 has changed where, when, and how our students learn, but it is not changing standardized testing. This week, Governor Abbott announced the STAAR test will be given, but results will not be used in deciding if students in 5th through 8th grade are ready to move to the next grade level.
“The students have in the past had to pass this test to promote to the 6th and 9th grade. This year they won’t have to do that,” says Overton ISD Superintendent, Stephen DuBose. “There’s other ways to tell whether a kid needs to be promoted to the next grade level. We have a years-long worth of information to make that decision instead of a one-day test.”
DuBose says they will use the test results as a tool in their classrooms.
“When the kids take the test and get the results back, it does a very good job of breaking down what areas the students struggle in or where they excel,” DuBose says. “And that will guide our instruction as we continue to enrich that student.”
And according to Texas Representative Matt Schaefer—it’s not just the teachers who want to know how the students are doing in the classroom.
“I’ve never met a parent who doesn’t want their child tested or assessed. I think parents want that—they want to know how well their student is doing,” says Representative Schaefer.
But, Schaefer has also said that the decision of whether or not to test should be left up to the local school districts.
“I think we really need to listen to our local school districts first, and I think we need to understand whether they are able to prepare these students to take this kind of a test,” he says. “I do want to give the maximum flexibility to make sure that students have a chance to prepare for these tests.”
According to the statement from Governor Abbott, waiving the promotion requirements will do that: “provide 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 STAAR test will now also be given on one day instead of three. DuBose says it will give them back something that Covid-19 has taken away—time.
“We always have more need for time to instruct kids,” he says.
Governor Abbott says the test will be administered in May to coincide with the administration of other STAAR assessments in grades 3 through 8.
To read the governor’s full press release, click here.