The Texas Education Agency will not issue A-F school accountability ratings this year because of ongoing disruptions caused by the coronavirus. However, students must still take the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness exam, according to a news release from the agency.
Officials say the STAAR test is necessary for teachers and parents to understand what students have learned (or not learned) this year amid the pandemic. It will not be used for accountability purposes. For schools that incorporate STAAR results into teacher evaluations, the TEA will allow them to remove that component this academic year.
The test will be administered on school campuses and alternative testing sites. It must be made available to every student, but remote learners will not be required to take it. Fifth- and eighth-grade students who do not pass the exam will not have to retake it to advance to the next grade.
“The pandemic has disrupted school operations in fundamental ways that have often been outside the control of our school leaders, making it far more difficult to use these ratings as a tool to support student academic growth,” education commissioner Mike Morath said in a statement.
Accountability ratings will not be issued for the second year in a row. They were first canceled during the 2019-2020 school year after Gov. Greg Abbott sent students home to learn remotely in March.