With schools all across the state closed because of concerns about COVID-19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that STAAR testing requirements will be waived for the 2019-20 academic year.
Abbott, in a statement released Monday morning on Twitter, said he is requesting that the U.S. Department of Education waive federal testing requirements as well.
Houston ISD, the largest school district in Texas, is among several in Texas that are closing in an attempt to slow the spread of the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus. HISD, which is on Spring Break this week, has announced that it will be closed through March 30.
“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.”
Abbott said he is working with the Texas Education Agency to ensure that schools continue to deliver academic instruction to students even while they are closed, and that students are adequately being prepared for the next grade level. According to multiple reports, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told superintendents and state lawmakers on Sunday that schools could be closed through the remainder of the academic year.
Typically, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing measures students’ readiness to advance to the next grade level and provides feedback to educators and parents.
“The Governor remains committed to ensuring parents, students and school districts have access to this information in future years,” read the statement from Abbott’s office.